Tai Ping Tong Bao, cast by the Shanghai Small Sword Society 1854

Started by bgriff99, January 15, 2024, 01:39:26 AM

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A variety of Taiping Rebellion coinage.   This group operated in Taiwan, Fujian and the Shanghai area, which they captured in 1853.  Production of these coins was documented by Qing authorities.  When rebels took them outside areas they controlled, searches by the Qing found them, and persons caught with them faced execution. So they switched to making recasts of the current Xian Feng cash.

The pattern was made by character alteration.  This obverse inscription was used in the Song Dynasty, but this coin started with a Kai Yuan, then replaced the top-bottom characters, and added the reverse ones. "Ming" refers to the idea that being rid of the Qing was a restoration of the Ming.

Diameter 24mm, made of brass.  Ex Dan Ching.


Let me see if I understood this correctly. I read the obverse characters as in your title: Tai Ping Tong Bao, but the reverse is not quite clear: nail mark Chang, perhaps? I gather this is the first type you discuss. If so, it was replaced, because the Ching didn't like it

The second type would have used a Song era inscription. I found a Song coin with obverse Chong Zhen Tong Bao and reverse Tai Ping (Guang Xi). Is the second type based on this coin? I cannot find any Song coin with the inscription Kai Yuan.

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


Kai-yuan is Tang Dynasty, with its obverse style carried over to the beginning of Song.   Bottom reverse is 'Ming'.   The top is just a crescent.   Another variety has a crescent and dot, which was code for 'Ming', same position of crescent except at bottom, so they probably just carried that over.

This is 'Ming'  明, composed of 'ri' 日 =sun, and yue 月 =moon.  So a dot and crescent together (star and moon) was sometimes used by rebels as code for Ming.  As mentioned previously, the town of Hatien in Vietnam used it as their mintmark.