Bradbury Wilkinson and Company

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1906 Romanian stamp printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson

Bradbury Wilkinson & Co were an English engraver and printer of banknotes, postage stamps and share certificates.


The original company was established in the 1850s by Henry Bradbury and begun printing banknotes in 1856.[1] Bradbury then died in 1860.[1] In 1873–74, the firm built an imposing six-storey workshop, for engraving printing plates, in Holborn, London at 25 and 27 Farringdon Road, which is now a Grade II-listed building.

The company printed the first series of the Imperial Bank of Persia banknotes that were issued in 1890.[2]

In 1903, the company was acquired by the American Bank Note Company. In 1917, it moved to New Malden in Surrey still operating as Bradbury-Wilkinson as a wholly owned subsidiary of ABNC.

Seychelles 50 rupee banknote circa 1971 featuring Queen Elizabeth II and the hidden word "sex" to the right.[3]

In 1983, Bradbury Wilkinson created a form of polymer banknote using Du Pont's Tyvek material; this was marketed as Bradvek and used to print 1-pound banknotes for the Isle of Man. In 1986 it was acquired by De La Rue. The site is now occupied by the Shannon Corner Tesco supermarket. The last Bradbury-Wilkinson plant was shut down by De La Rue in 1990.

In 2015 a Seychelles 50 rupee banknote (worth £2.50 or $4), originally issued between 1968 and 1973, featuring Queen Elizabeth II and covertly depicting the word "sex" was sold at auction in the UK for £336 (around $500). Many think Bradbury Wilkinson's engraver Brian Fox put it in.[3][4]

Stamp Mexico, Centennial of Independence, 1910 date of first issue, printed by Bradbury Wilkinson and Company, classified according to the Scott Catalogue 2009 A44 Vol. 4 pag. 895 and according to the Mexican philatelic collection. Scanned copy from the philatelic collection of the Fonseca Padilla family, Jalisco, Mexico.[5]


  1. ^ a b "BBC - Beyond the Broadcast - Making History - Banknote engravers during the war". BBC Education. BBC. 2003-10-14. Archived from the original on 2004-07-02. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  2. ^ Shargi, Ali (15 December 1998), ESKENĀS, VIII/6, Encyclopædia Iranica, pp. 615–624
  3. ^ a b "BBC News - Seychelles 'sex' banknote to be sold at auction". BBC News. BBC. 2015-08-17. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  4. ^ "BBC News - Seychelles 'sex' banknote auctioned in Dorchester". BBC News. BBC. 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  5. ^ "CENTENARIO DE LA INDEPENDENCIA DE MÉXICO". Correos de México. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  • Duggleby, Vincent (2002). English Paper Money: Treasury and Bank of England Notes 1694-2002. Pam West. ISBN 978-0954345709.
  • Byatt, Derrick (1994). Promises to Pay: First Three Hundred Years of Bank of England Notes. Spink & Son Ltd. ISBN 978-0907605508.