3756 more Chinese coins than before

Square-shoulder hollow-handled spade coin of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, between 650 and 400 BC, Fitzwilliam Museum CM.451-1999

Square-shoulder hollow-handled spade coin of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, between 650 and 400 BC, Fitzwilliam Museum CM.451-1999

We were working on this one so long that now it’s finally done I’m mentioning it almost everywhere: my Department just put the vast bulk of our collection of Chinese coins online. There are certainly better collections than ours out there, but as far as we know ours is the only one of this size available online. Most Chinese coins are, to the non-expert, all a bit of a muchness, being round with four pictograms disposed around a square hole on one side and two (or sometimes four) on the reverse. They’ve looked the same for centuries. But this collection also includes the weirder early stuff, some of the earliest money there is, tokens in the shape of knives or spades, copies of cowrie shells in jade, clay and bone, and also a continuous run of coins for two millennia. And some of them are even tenth-century! So I mention it in case this might be a thing you would be interested by. And your European medieval stuff will resume next post.

One response to “3756 more Chinese coins than before

  1. Pingback: Kulturgeschichte Chinas im Netz (X): Digitale Münzsammlungen | de rebus sinicis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s