Author Topic: China Kingdom Chu, Tongbei 484-448 BC  (Read 3844 times)

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Offline Medalstrike

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China Kingdom Chu, Tongbei 484-448 BC
« on: October 02, 2009, 05:12:46 PM »
As a sometime around the turn of 7th - 6th Century in the West the issue "invented" was,
was known in China as long objects that served as money.
They were, however, not as in the west of precious metal.
Instead, they used since the 11th Century BC, the housing of the cowrie to pay with it.
Instead of shells, however, appeared more and more bronze imitations.
This Bronzekauri is an issue of the State of Chu.
The State of Chu held until his demise in 223 BC, at the Kauri.
On the front of the sign "bei" what "Kauri" or "valuable" means.
Only centuries later - the culture of Chu had long since been forgotten, these coins have been rediscovered.
The character that was no longer recognized as such, pointed to as the face and called the Coin
therefore, "Ghost Head coins" (guilianqian). Other names were "Ant Nose Money" or "nose money."
After the 19th Century, the character as "kauri" recognized again, will all forms as "Tongbei" called (Bronzekauri).

Tongbei (Bronzekauri)
Kingdom Chu
484-448 BC
Bronze, 2.1g, 11x17mm

Dietmar
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Offline Overlord

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Re: China Kingdom Chu, Tongbei 484-448 BC
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2009, 05:28:11 PM »
Very interesting. Thanks Dietmar.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: China Kingdom Chu, Tongbei 484-448 BC
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2009, 05:46:14 PM »
While the official name is indeed Tongbei (Pinyin) or T'ung Pei (Wade-Giles), their popular names are ant-nose money or demon face money. All names derive from the characters Pei (cowry) and T'ung (significance unknown, possible the name of a town, look like an ant's face, while the coin was said to be as small as an ant) as well as the hole. The hole was used for threading, just like cowries were usually holed and threaded.

Peng Xin Wei distinguishes 7 types. The coin posted in my opinion looks most like the smallest of these, number 6.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline sinial

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Re: China Kingdom Chu, Tongbei 484-448 BC
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 06:17:42 AM »
While the official name is indeed Tongbei (Pinyin) or T'ung Pei (Wade-Giles), their popular names are ant-nose money or demon face money. All names derive from the characters Pei (cowry) and T'ung (significance unknown, possible the name of a town, look like an ant's face, while the coin was said to be as small as an ant) as well as the hole. The hole was used for threading, just like cowries were usually holed and threaded.

Peng Xin Wei distinguishes 7 types. The coin posted in my opinion looks most like the smallest of these, number 6.

Peter

'Tong' means copper, so 'Tongbei' is just 'copper cowry'.
The term 'Tongbei' usually refers to all cowry shape copper coin, not only inscribed coins of Kingdom Chu, but also that without inscription.
'Yi Bi Qian' ant-nose money or 'Gui Lian Qian' demon face money is common term of Kingdom Chu inscribed copper cowry.
There are at least 10+ types, the most common type (left one, it was said over 99% are this type) was called 'Gui Lian Qian' because it looks like a demon face.
Another type (right one) was called 'Yi Bi Qian' because it looks like an ant climbing the nose. The term was used at Song Dynasty first.
Now the 2 terms both refers to all kind of Kingdom Chu inscribed copper cowry.
By the way, Kingdom Chu also used some inscribed golden block as money, too.

sinial

Offline Medalstrike

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Re: China Kingdom Chu, Tongbei 484-448 BC
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2011, 05:36:58 PM »
Two New:

Kingdom Zhou
Tongbei 5.Jhrd. BC
16x11mm - 2,0g

Sung Dynastie
Bi Qian Yi  5.Jhrd. BC
17x11mm - 2,4g

Dietmar
The third side of a medal rests in the eye of the beholder

Offline Figleaf

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Re: China Kingdom Chu, Tongbei 484-448 BC
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2011, 08:16:17 PM »
According to Peng Xinwei, these pieces were made under the Chu dynasty (897-951). They were known officially as "ge liu zhu" (ge six grains) but known in Chinese numismatics as "ant nose coins". Coins of these types have been found in Henan, Hubei and Hunan. They have a weight of 2 to 4.5 grams. Peng speculates that they evolved from the cowry coins issued under the late Yin and early Zhou dynasties.

Your upper piece is illustrated as Plate XXIII number 15. The character is "jun", a character also found on Northern knife coins.

Your lower piece is illustrated as Plate XXIII numbers 9-11. The characters are "liu zhu". This type is known  in China as "demon-face coin" (the big hole is the mouth).

Peter
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 08:23:40 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.