Author Topic: Whose portrait is on Tibet rupee 1902 -1942  (Read 618 times)

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Offline sony

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Whose portrait is on Tibet rupee 1902 -1942
« on: February 06, 2020, 09:44:22 PM »
Hello,

some say it is emperor Guang Xu but someone say it is some governor or something similiar. What is true?

Whose portrait is on coins after emperor died in 1908?

1 Rupee (Trade Coinage) - Tibet – Numista

Thanks for answers.



Offline Figleaf

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Re: Whose portrait is on Tibet rupee 1902 -1942
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2020, 01:48:48 PM »
The facts are that the original coins were produced in Chengdu, on a coin press. Also, a Ferracute press was set up in 1897/1898 (more details here.)

It follows that the dies were likely made by Westerners who didn't want to offend anyone. It is quite clear that their original inspiration came from the rupees of nearby India. However, in order to make them politically acceptable, Victoria's portrait was changed. It is most likely that it was changed to look like the emperor of China. A local governor would have risked a long drawn out and painful death if the emperor had found out about such coins on a day his teeth or his haemorrhoids were playing up. So, the most likely answer is that the portrait is that of the Guangxu Emperor with his dress borrowed from Victoria.

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

Offline Gusev

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Re: Whose portrait is on Tibet rupee 1902 -1942
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2020, 02:44:10 PM »
Good question, but we do not have an exact answer.
Any logical reasoning (Peter has as always an excellent analysis) is only reasoning.

The opinion of leading experts can be formulated as follows:
The frequent speculation that the coin portrayed for the first time in the history of Chinese minting a facsimile of the emperor Guangxu, has so far eluded any real foundation.

See also the discussion and arguments here (Reply #22). http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,15616.15.html
"Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there."- Marcus Washling.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Whose portrait is on Tibet rupee 1902 -1942
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2020, 03:26:31 PM »
An incident that must be taken into account is the British patterns struck for the Chinese market in 1866. More detail here. To the Western mind, the lesson learned from this incident is: Chinese emperor no like Victoria on Chinese coins.

Now, if the dies were made by Westerners, which seems quite likely, as striking coins was a little known technology in China, that would have meant that Victoria's portrait would have to be changed, but into what? It is important to realise at this point that the incident of 1866 did not cover the territory of having the emperor's portrait on a coin and that in 1866, the British apparently did not realise that an imperial portrait was a nono. Keeping in mind that in Western culture, the portrait would have been a sign of sovereignty, would it not have been logical for a Western die cutter to assume that if Victoria offended, you should use a portrait of the emperor?

I can also make a case for the portrait being a generic Chinese, but it is much weaker. In this scenario, the would be coiners ask for permission to use the dies from the governor of Szechuan. When he starts thundering that you can't use a portrait of  the emperor, the coiners hastily explain that it's a portrait of a generic Chinese and it's very expensive to cut new dies and it will take a lot of time and the traders want coins and you don't want to have them complaining at the court in Beijing. The trouble with that scenario is that the coins were readily accepted and imitated for decades. If they were so controversial in the first instance, surely, they would have been succeeded by something less controversial later.

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

Offline sony

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Re: Whose portrait is on Tibet rupee 1902 -1942
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2020, 05:24:26 PM »
It have similiar hat.  :)

Offline Gusev

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Re: Whose portrait is on Tibet rupee 1902 -1942
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2020, 05:28:31 PM »
Yes, this is a good logical chain, Peter :like:.

There are about 50 varieties of portraits in Sichuan rupees. They are decently different. I can agree that from the very beginning it was a fantasy portrait of a man of Chinese nationality.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 05:41:39 PM by Gusev »
"Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there."- Marcus Washling.