Author Topic: Palembang Pitis  (Read 16025 times)

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Offline bgriff99

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Re: Palembang Pitis
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2013, 09:24:48 PM »

#6 round piece with quadratic hole, d=16 mm, hole diagonal d=13mm!, m=0,29g.

Got also only 1 example and couldn't read legend. I assume it belongs to older rulers with used Chinese script, copying Chinese similar shape coins. Don't see this peculiar piece on zeno.ru nor Millies mention it.

I know it's not something new here, but I hope it will help at least few people to get idea on the coins. I hope also I'll learn more about them from you guys! I generally collect 1801 to date, so still have to decide will I keep all types and then, I'd have to complete collection with missing pieces, like copper 1198 fulus.


Natco, your coin with Chinese characters reads 'Hsien ping yuan pao' clockwise.   It is a copy of a type of trade cash made at Amoy for the monsoon trade.   The originals circa 1570 were leaded bronze 22mm.  After 1590 they were debased with more lead and made progressively smaller.   They ceased about 1640, but were copied for 100 more years.   Yours is a close copy of what they looked like circa 1600.   Millies talks about the Chinese mint pp38-42.  Zeno does not recognize them for what they are and thinks they are all local.  There are a lot of them there.   See #42531, 50275, 52407. 
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 06:36:50 PM by Niels »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Palembang Pitis
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2013, 09:56:13 AM »
Thanks, bgriff. Can you post a 1570 original, please?

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

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Palembang Pitis
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2013, 11:41:22 AM »
My collection is sparse, but this is a 21.5mm early piece.   In mint state they are as sharp as any Ming cash.   There were numerous reign titles used, but by 1596 they were using only Hsien-ping yuan pao.   In Millies pp38-42 can be read about the Dutch encountering the debased version.   "Hammion" there, which they thought was the current king of China comes from them asking what this inscription was.   In Fukienese "Ham-pi-ong" (Hsien-ping king).

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Palembang Pitis
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2013, 11:53:38 AM »
Thank you. I can see the resemblance. I should point out, however, that the Dutch had nothing to do with the Palembang pities. The issues were for the account of the local ruler, who outsourced production to local Chinese. In fact, they were not even meant to be seen individually, as they were strung or packaged together, maybe inspired by Chinese cash strings, but with a local twist.

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

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Palembang Pitis
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2013, 12:40:33 PM »
Here is how they looked by 1596.   This is a Chinese original, kind of worn.   Circa 1618 the new supplies coming from China dwindled, so their value increased so much that in Banten, Cirebon, Jepara copies began to be made in pewter.   When the VOC found out that's why they were selling so much lead to their Chinese captain at Batavia, they got him to set up a mint for them.    All that ended around 1639 when there were so many it wasn't profitable anymore.    The British and Danes had flooded the market with lead.    In areas where tin was plentiful they were also made, including Palembang.   The originals were fragile, wore out and broke apart in use, and were gone by 1660.   Generally pitis were heftier than these, so this exact type went out of style.    There is no connection to the Palembang Sultanate pitis.   But the tin copies made there turn up occasionally.

In 1596 the first Dutch probe for spice trading docked at Banten.   It's a long story what happened... but they had to use the pitis.   They had to buy them with pieces of 8.    Fortunately one of the captains recorded everything in detail for a book, and brought back some pitis.   He found out where they came from, and their history, and put a picture of one in his book.  It allows attribution of a big swath of private coinages of the time.

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Palembang Pitis
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2013, 01:24:25 PM »
This is the most common reign title for the earlier type, Hsiang-fu yuan pao.   At 21.5 mm.    They get down to 19mm.