Chinese characters... but is the coin Chinese? And is it a coin?

Started by Guillaume Hermann, November 23, 2023, 10:06:49 PM

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Guillaume Hermann

Hello,

On the first side, the three last characters on four are believed to be "zhi tong bao"; but I can not find this coin with an emperor's name ending by "zhi".
I can not read the other side.
But in fact, it could be Vietnamese, Korean or Japanese. And it could be another thing than a coin.
Do you know what it is? Bronze, 53 mm, 38 g https://www.numismatique.com/forum/topic/73956-1365-chine-japan-cor%C3%A9e
Asie 1.jpg
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JMP

It might be a Vietnamese: THIEU TRI THONG BAO
But in that case, the reverse should be blank:

JMP


JMP

The four hanzi on the reverse of the coin translate somewhat like: "Showering benefit on state and people", I think. But we would probably find more about this piece if we found the Vietnamese version of YU GUO LI MIN (or maybe clockwise: YU LI GUO MIN), because this legend discerns the piece from an ordinary THIEU TRI THONG BAO.
I wonder why Spink shows us this Annamese coin with the Chinese version of its hanzi.

Guillaume Hermann

Thanks a lot JMP! But I do not understand everything...
1/ this artefact is really a coin, not a charm?
2/ Vietnamese hanzi are written differently than Chinese hanzi? The only difference I see between "our" coin and the one on Spink is a short horizontal line on the left of the character at 3 on the reverse. Is it enough to say it is a different calligraphy?
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JMP

1.- I do not know wether this piece is a real coin or a charm, but while the hanzi on the reverse mention the state or the nation (GUO), I tend to assume it is a rare coin.
2.- The hanzi at 3 is on both coins "LI". Underneath one can see haw this character is written properly:

Manzikert

I believe this is a copy of one of what are called Vietnamese 'temple coins'. These are commemorative medals rather than currency.

I have one somewhere but I'm afraid I can't find it at the moment: it was laid on top of some of my books but I suspect it has fallen down behind them and I can't remember which shelf it was on, so I can't just pull off a few books in the hope of finding it :( Unfortunately I don't seem to have scanned it.

Though mine is a replica as well it is quite well finished, but yours is rather roughly finished which is what makes me think it is a more modern copy.

If I do find mine I will post it there.

Best wishes

Alan



JMP

Can we say that the piece of this topic is comparable with the specimen of Spink?
We see, this last specimen was estimated at 2500 Hong Kong Dollars and the buyer gave 7000 for it.
1 HKD = € 0,12.
So, this gives me an idea of the piece's worth: estimated at €300 and sold at €840 !
I cannot find further information on the www under "Vietnamese temple coins" or "Annamese commemorative medals", but if some collector is found ready to give €840 for a modern copy of whatever it may be... ::).

Manzikert

No, I think the Spink specimen is one of the original type, whilst the op specimen is a relatively modern cast rather crudely finished.

I wish I could remember where I found the 'temple coins' reference (and where my specimen has gone!), but I remember there being examples for several of the 19th century rulers.

Alan

JMP

I can see what you mean: the border and hanzi of the Spink specimen are more flat, where those of the piece of our topic have a rounder profile and its colour is more yellowish, in the style of most charms.
Are there originals and modern copies in this type? For the owners, this is an important question, so it would be nice if we can find more specimens and for you if you found yours, Manzikert.
Maybe the lecture in the bible of "the woman who lost a Drachm" would be a good idea, I will certainly rejoice with you when you find your Annamese Temple Coin back ;) .

Manzikert

We certainly seem to have seen an original (Spink) and a modern copy (the op) of this one, and I would assume they exist for other issues as well.

I still haven't found mine, but I will just have to hope it turns up. I lost a tiny Greek silver obol that I thought I had dropped into my printer and assumed it was totally gone, but about 5 years later I found it behind a filing cabinet. The nice thing was that the toning had improved a lot!

Alan


Guillaume Hermann

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Figleaf

I am hesitant to file this thread on the "fakes and imitations" board, since the imitations seems to have been made for a long time. I other words, they weren't meant to deceive, but served another purpose.

I know that in China, old coins were considered auspicious. They could be worked into an object or be exhibited on their own. Also, being genuine would not matter for such decorative items. While I don't know if things worked the same way outside China, I suspect it did. I remember reading a story about Chinese workers, employed on Canadian railway construction, who would decorate their huts with "old Chinese coins".

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

bgriff99

This is not pictured in Barker.  However, he provides a chart of all known reverses for the large coins of the three kings which issued them.  This is included.  It is in books of Francois Thierry.  The Spink description gives a Chinese reference.

The reverse inscription means:  Wealthy country, for general use by the people. Vietnamese (minus diacritical marks) = Du quoc loi dan (t-b-r-l).   The Spink coin is from Werner Burger's collection, ergo the strong bidding.

Many of this type were contemporary forgeries for circulation, or later for collectors. Face value was 60 unit cash.   The posted coin was heavily cleaned by scraping at one time.  Character composition indicates private-made.  Time period unknown, but fair guess contemporary to originals.  The Burger piece does not look official either.