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Chinese Poem Coins (1661 - 1722)

 
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Australia
3329 Posts
 Posted 09/02/2017  12:51 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add gxseries to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Was tidying up my collection and this is one set that I got a few years back. I did show it once before but wanted to do a formal digital coin album set.

A brief summary of the Chinese poem coins is that the coins were cast around 1660 - 1680s by 20 different mints in different provinces. The coins were rearranged to form poetry. As far as I understand, there does not seem to be any meaning to it but may be rearranged by phonetic.



The way I have designed is that I wanted to include both the pinyin and English pronunciation as well as traditional and simplified Chinese characters. It kinda looks cluttered but to put so much information in - it was not straight forward. As of why I wanted to do so, I honestly struggled to read different references with different annotations. Therefore this has to be done.


Enough said and enjoy the view!


http://gxseries.com/ct/poem1_small.jpg

http://gxseries.com/ct/poem2_small.jpg


Please feel free to post your pictures as well. :)
My partial coin collection http://www.omnicoin.com/collection/gxseries

My numismatics articles and collection: http://www.gxseries.com/numis/numis_index.htm Regularly updated at least once a month.
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United Kingdom
1911 Posts
 Posted 09/03/2017  07:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Pertinax to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What does the poem say ?
Life Fellow, Royal Numismatic Society

My wants list: http://goccf.com/t/283145
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United States
18966 Posts
 Posted 09/03/2017  08:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting post. I had never heard of these previously. Maybe I can pick up a few for the next time the neighbor's rooster crows at 4:30 am.
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Valued Member
United States
102 Posts
 Posted 09/04/2017  12:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add svnhson to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for sharing!
I have a few of these: I will have to check the mints to see how much of the poem I have.
Edited by svnhson
09/04/2017 01:02 am
Valued Member
United States
52 Posts
 Posted 03/03/2021  10:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oabmarcus to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
these are not "Poems" but different mints. This one is "Tong" or shaanxi datong mint. THese are quite numerous and not hard to find.
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Australia
13584 Posts
 Posted 03/03/2021  10:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
these are not "Poems" but different mints. This one is "Tong" or shaanxi datong mint. THese are quite numerous and not hard to find.

True, the inscriptions on the coins themselves are not poems. They are called "Poem coins" because the 20 different mint-characters that appear on the 20 coins of the series can be arranged to form a Chinese poem, according to traditional poetry structure.

Quote:
What does the poem say ?

The "poem" is nonsense and doesn't really "say" anything, the sort of thing you might expect from 20 English words pulled out of an English dictionary at random; it's just that, when arranged this way, the meter and rhyme matches a traditional Chinese poem. Perhaps a good analogy in English would be the typical "tongue twister": a sentence that's designed to be hard to pronounce, and kind-of-rhyme, but doesn't usually make much sense or meaning as a sentence. As can be seen from the layout of the coin displays in the OP, the poem in question is written, in Pinyin Anglicization:

Quote:
Tong Fu Lin Dong Jiang
Xuan Yuan Su Ji Chang
Nan Ning He Guang Zhe
Tai Gui Shan Yun Zhang

The poem, despite its meaninglessness, has taken on a life and power of its own in Chinese spiritualism. Charms and amulets displaying the "poem" have been made, for use in occasions and situations where using a full set of "poem coins" would be too awkward or bulky.

You can read all about them on This Primaltrek page.
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Australia
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 Posted 03/03/2021  10:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Perhaps a good analogy in English would be the typical "tongue twister": a sentence that's designed to be hard to pronounce, and kind-of-rhyme, but doesn't usually make much sense or meaning as a sentence.

Or perhaps a better analogy that occurs to me: a mnemonic, a random sentence designed to help memorize a list of something completely unrelated to the sentence. eg. "My very easy memory jingle said upon naming planets", to help you remember the order of the (formerly) nine planets in the solar system, or "Kings play chess on fine grain sand" to help you remember taxonomy, the system of lifeform classification by Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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Australia
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 Posted 03/05/2021  09:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gxseries to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi oabmarcus - I'm under the impression that a complete set of 20 can be hard to find in particular Honan and Taiwan Province as shown in the links.

What would a set like this go today?
My partial coin collection http://www.omnicoin.com/collection/gxseries

My numismatics articles and collection: http://www.gxseries.com/numis/numis_index.htm Regularly updated at least once a month.
Valued Member
United States
52 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2021  11:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oabmarcus to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
gxseries: You are correct, certain mints are rarer than others. If you have ones to sell, we can discuss it in private.

thanks!
Edited by oabmarcus
03/07/2021 11:15 am
Valued Member
United States
52 Posts
 Posted 03/07/2021  11:10 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oabmarcus to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
SAP:
It is a mnemonic a memorizing device, nothing more. No one in China calls it "poem coins". We just say "Man Han" coins, since the left character is the back is manchu and the right is Chinese or "han".
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