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How an obvious fake became fun

Started by Figleaf, December 01, 2023, 08:40:51 PM

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Figleaf

The seller knew nothing about coins. Neither did the buyer, a dear family member who just wanted to please me. She bought it in a hurry. The piece got lost in her clothes for weeks until it rolled out when it had already been given up.

T***p.jpeg

It is a very obvious fake of a common Chien Lung cash with the mark of the ministry of finance on its behind. The stuff it's made from is wrong. A sliver on top is missing to make it look more genuine, making it look like a fraud instead. Everything it says is sloppy and wrongly formed but the worst is in the heart: Instead of a neat square indicating its place, four lines, all crooked, imitate the real thing enclosing a round opening made with a modern tool that screams out "I am a fake". Everything about this coin is a lie. It never served a purpose. That realisation made me see the parallels: the pack of lies, the screaming hole, the sloppy lines, the unreal language, the affronts to genuine coins looking like it, being unfit for the job, the missing hair, covered up by an orange whig...

The piece has found a place in my collection and it now has a name: T***p. ;D

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


Gusev

I also liked this topic.
An interesting story about how this "coin" was obtained, as well as a high-quality and interesting analysis.
"Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there."- Marcus Washling.

SilkroadDilettante

Hi Peter, a fun story and a fun coin.

Looks like it is possibly pewter? Might I suggest it was not made as a 'fake' but to serve a decorative purpose; it may even be quite old. Chinese have worn, stiched, or otherwise used coins (and coin-looking things) for a long, long time on cothing, charms, occasionally furniture or other items etc, so it may have originally been designed for some other use, rather than to deceive and enter circulation. Izi.

Figleaf

You mean well, but no, not pewter. Just colour-adjusted as I played with the contrast so you could actually see the details ;) and not decoration either; more like bait for foolish tourists. Those decorations are usually one-sided (the Chinese have a great dislike of the Manchu script), too big, too thick and even sloppier. This-un has the right size and is a bit too thin. Didn't mention that because it does not at all fit the T***p image. :)

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

SilkroadDilettante

Quote from: Figleaf on February 23, 2024, 06:46:31 PMYou mean well, but no, not pewter. Just colour-adjusted as I played with the contrast so you could actually see the details ;) and not decoration either; more like bait for foolish tourists. Those decorations are usually one-sided (the Chinese have a great dislike of the Manchu script), too big, too thick and even sloppier. This-un has the right size and is a bit too thin. Didn't mention that because it does not at all fit the T***p image. :)

Peter

Fair enough. To be honest I guess it is not worth wasting too much thought on. I'm sure you also know that some provincial issues of Qing coins were much poorer quality than ones from the China plain. I think probably every single Chinese-issued coin has been faked countless times at this point- but inexpensive ones like this generally have fewer fakes, or fewer convincingly old-looking ones anyway. Having said that I am pretty cautious of anything that has a standard value of over around 10 USD- going on a bit of a tangent now but, walking around some antique dealers earlier this week I did look at some Wang Mang coins (complete with dirt enrustation, convincing multi-coloured patina, etc.) and come to the eventual conclusion they were fake. I think they would probably pass in photos, so this is another reason I am not keen to start bothering with bronze cash coins! Izi.