Author Topic: Zinc copies of Kai Yuan, made in the Vietnamese Dang Trong Kingdom  (Read 141 times)

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Offline bgriff99

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Zinc copies of Kai Yuan, made in the Vietnamese Dang Trong Kingdom
« on: September 14, 2017, 08:09:23 AM »
Cast out of Chinese commercial zinc, generally 99% or so pure, brought from Canton by Dutch ships to ports in central or southern Vietnam for coin casting.    The political entity of the Nguyen regime is known as Dang Trong.  It comprised the lower half of Vietnam at that time.    It had its own mint, but also leased rights for many private mints, plus granted casting rights to some of its political satraps, in particular the towns of Hatien and Can Tho.    Hatien had a clear mintmark.   These seem to be from closer to the capital, Hue.

The beginning of Nguyen zinc casting is recorded to have been 1746.    Its end was the defeat of this kingdom in the Tayson Rebellion, about 1777.     Some other zinc cash continued after that point.   The Nguyen kingdom was never granted the right, by China, to use their own reign titles on coins.    It never did until Nguyen Anh, getting close to victory and control over the whole country, did so in the 1790's.    Only one dynasty at a time in Vietnam was allowed to use its own reign titles.   The Le, although utter puppets of the warlord Trinh family, held that right from the 1500's through the Tayson Rebellion period.

Inscriptions used on bronze dynastic Nguyen cash were always the same, until the 1740's:   Tai Ping Tong Bao (Vietnamese Thai Binh Thong Bao).   On the zinc cash a great variety of reign titles was used, from Chinese and Vietnamese history, and recombined and made up ones.    About 100 different inscriptions, and over 600 varieties.   These copy the Tang Dynasty Kai Yuan.    Such usage of historical inscriptions was the norm for trade cash.

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Zinc copies of Kai Yuan, made in the Vietnamese Dang Trong Kingdom
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 08:41:25 AM »
Zinc copies of the Chinese reign Shun Zhi used 1644-61.    The one with reverse crescent right and dot left is from the town of Hatien, in the far south on the Cambodian border.   

The moon and star mintmark is code for the character "ming".    Hatien was originally a Cham fishing village.    It was colonized by Ming refugees from the San Fan Rebellion against the Manchus, about 1680.   Their aggressive and capable leader picked its fine harbor as a future Chinese city.    They became a Nguyen protectorate about 1730, and received the right to cast cash.   The founder's son was made its governor.   At first they used an assortment of old Ming reign titles for which none had originally been made.   Later they adopted either the written character ming, split to right and left of the reverse centerframe, or the cryptic moon and star.    The Nguyens repeatedly petitioned China to be declared an independent kingdom, so the adherence of Hatien to the defeated Ming Dynasty had to be toned down.    But here it is used with the first Manchu reign title.
   

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Zinc copies of Kai Yuan, made in the Vietnamese Dang Trong Kingdom
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 08:10:03 AM »
Thank you for an extremely interesting write-up, Bruce. So much East Asian history has yet to be discovered outside the region. All we can do is gape and despair of ever seeing such coins, let alone having a chance of buying them, so this thread counts as frustration relief. ;)

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

Offline THCoins

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Re: Zinc copies of Kai Yuan, made in the Vietnamese Dang Trong Kingdom
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 06:18:57 PM »
Only now could take some time to sit down and look at some older threads.
Thank you ! This was a very interesting read.

Anthony