Tai Chang Tong Bao, Ming Dynasty 1620

Started by bgriff99, January 14, 2024, 04:54:29 AM

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Issued for the one month reign of an unfortunate emperor.  Privy marks indicate Zhejiang mint.  Diameter 25.5mm.

He was the first born son of the Wan Li emperor, but by a servant girl in the palace.  A second son, by the favored wife, was wished to be the crown prince by Wan-li, but custom of the time did not allow that.  Despite being crown price, he was denied education until his middle teens.  An attempt on his life was made by a palace intruder, suspected to be directed by palace insiders.  When he ascended the throne on his 38th birthday, he immediately became very ill, was given assorted medicines, then died in one month.  He was almost certainly poisoned.   

His son then became emperor, and decreed a 5 month reign for Tai Chang, at the end of 1620.  He ordered coins cast for him through 1621.  His own mother had also been killed, by his father, in palace intrigues.


A sad story, but it does make your coin a terrific piece of history. For the sake of completeness, his reign took place in August/September 1620.

His Wiki lemma is here. I find the list of women in his harem perhaps not unusual, but sadly funny. He must have been so busy he could have died of exhaustion. ;)

BTW, Tai is one of the very characters I know, but the upper character is not the one I know.

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


Quote from: Figleaf on January 21, 2024, 10:21:46 AMBTW, Tai is one of the very characters I know, but the upper character is not the one I know.

Chinese has 22 written words transliterated into Pinyin as "tai".  One other is the 'Tai' of Taiwan.  They have 4 tones which make different words, but there is also a feature with no equivalent in English:  a written word such as one for "large" will have other radicals attached to mean (for example) a large tree, a large house, a large rock, but all pronounced the same.