Author Topic: Imperial China, Jin Dynasty: Shi Zong (1161-1190) AE 1 Cash (Hartill-18.43)  (Read 1220 times)

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Offline Quant.Geek

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Imperial China, Jin Dynasty: Shi Zong (1161-1190) AE 1 Cash (Hartill-18.43)

Obv: 大定通寶 Da Ding tong bao (1178-1189)
Rev: 申 Shen above

A high-resolution image of this coin is available at FORVM Ancient Coins

« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 07:29:17 PM by Quant.Geek »
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Online Figleaf

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Super. Shen is the ninth month of the Chinese calendar.

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

Offline bgriff99

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Judging from the number of times this was copied (sans cyclical char.), it must have been both widely disseminated and well received.   I already posted a few in a previous thread.   Here is one more from about 1550-1660, a trade cash found all around the South China and Java Seas.   Weight 2.1g, diameter 23.2mm.

Online Figleaf

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I several East Asian countries, there is appreciation for human-shaped things. See e.g. the Korean ginseng root attached and note that it has similarities with the top character. With some imagination, the bottom character looks like a figurine with a hand on on its heart, even more on the imitation than on the original. I wonder if such likenesses could have played a role in the coin's popularity...

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

Offline bgriff99

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The coin clearly has a pleasing composition, and is not complicated for copying.   The top character "Ta" means great.   It is a pictogram of a man with arms outstretched, saying "It was THIS big."    Bottom character "Ting" is 'cheng' (order) beneath 'mien' (a roof).   Thus order in the house, peace, and by extension, fixed, certain, decided.    It was popular for charms.

Chinese etymology is writ more or less clearly for many words, which an educated person sees as he reads, just as you and I see Latin, German and Greek roots.

Offline bgriff99

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'Tung' and especially 'pao' also are pictograms.   Pao is a really ancient one, found quite recognizable in the very oldest writing.    It is a picture of a cabinet, shaped like a house or family shrine to the ancestors.   On the top again, a roof.  This cabinet holds the precious objects of the family, which they bring out to show the deceased ancestors at their burial places.   In the bottom, cowries, at top right the bronze three legged vessel for heating wine for the libation, at left discs of jade.   An alternate form has porcelain at top right.    'Tung' is a little less obvious.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2015, 09:32:41 PM by bgriff99 »

Online Figleaf

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That's very interesting, Bruce, but it presumes everyone can read. That was quite probably not the case. My wife's mother, a Chinese, had a market stall in what is now Jakarta. I have never met her, but I have evidence that she was illiterate and that there were enough people like her, Chinese and bumiputra, even around 1950 who were illiterate. To those people, shape would count.

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