Cast Chinese Coins: A Historical Catalogue
This catalogue is the most comprehensive ever produced for western collectors:
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This is the standard all-in-one reference for Western collectors of Chinese pre-machine coinage ("square holes"). It is a comprehensive catalog from 650 BC to 1912 with over 5000 listings, each with rubbing illustration, cross-references to former standards by Schjoth and Fisher, and rarity rating, informed by the latest Chinese research and archaeological finds. As a type catalog there is only moderate depth on calligraphy varieties, or complex, detailed series such as Banliang and Wuzhu, issued for centuries with tediously minor variations, which are better covered in more specialized works. Included are "knife" (tao), "spade" (pu) & I-pi proto-monies but with few illustrations, and a smattering of Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese, coins, and coin-like charms. Excluded are burial monies and some controversial forms. The numbering system is a bit cumbersome, but adequate, and now fairly standard in auctions and dealer offerings. The core catalog is given context by historical background notes and contemporary accounts of coinage use. Numerous maps, charts, indexes and a finding list are useful collector aids. The author has produced similar comprehensive guides for Japanese and Korean coins, while Barker remains the standard for official Vietnamese coins. A companion work, <i>A Guide to Cash Coins</i> (2017) serves as an even more graphic finding list to coins in all four series, and informatively catalogs more peripheral cast square-holes from other parts of Asia, including the vast unofficial Vietnamese series. The author's introduction downplays the dangers of collector counterfeits, which are now ubiquitous and not easily detected.