Marco Polo Studies and Yuan dynasty money

There was a very interesting conference in Tübingen this week: Marco Polo Studies: Past, Present, Future (I’ve copied and pasted the programme below). It was an intense, and friendly, workshop, bringing together expertise from different fields. I’m not an expert in this period, and felt very honoured to be invited, and to have the chance to learn from specialists from Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy and the USA. I gave a powerpoint presentation packed with images, aiming to illustrate representative pieces and introduce some recent work. I mentioned, for example:

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Marco Polo Studies:  Past, Present, Future – the conference programme

International Conference supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (Taiwan), organized by Prof. Dr. Hans Ulrich Vogel and Dr. Ulrich Theobald, at the Philosophische Fakultät, Asien-Orient-Institut, Abteilung Sinologie und Koreanistik, Wilhelmstr. 133, on 10-11 October 2017.

Tuesday, Oct 10
8:00 Welcome Address by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leonhardt, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Tübingen
Introduction Hans Ulrich Vogel, Ulrich Theobald
8:15-9:15 Past Researches, Current Work, and Future Investigations on the «Devisement du monde» of Marco Polo, Philippe Ménard
9:45-10:15 The Textual Transmission of the «Devisement dou monde»: Old Problems and New Insights, Alvise Andreose
10:15-11:40 On the Way to an Integral Edition of the Book of Marco Polo: A First Attempt to Create a Digital Version, Eugenio Burgio, Samuela Simion
14:15-14:45 “Déviations”: «Le Devisement dou monde» and the World Empire of Letters, Sharon Kinoshita
14:45-15:15 Who Read Marco Polo’s Book and what for? Christine Gadrat 
16:15-16:45 Literary Styles in the «Devisement du Monde», Danièle James-Raoul
16:45-17:15 Persia – A Strategical Place in the «Devisement du monde»: Order and Disorder in the Progress of the Narrative, Michèle Guéret-Laferté
17:15-17:45 Exotism in Marco Polo’s Accounts, with a Focus on his Return from Asia, Dominique Boutet

Wednesday, Oct 11
9:00-9:30 Marco Polo on Nestorianism, TANG Li
9:30-10:00 The Ancestors of Marco’s Marvels: Mirabilia mundi in Latin Travel Reports of the 13th Century, Johannes Gießauf
10:30-11:00 On Yuan Dynasty Money, Helen Wang
11:00-11:30 The Military System of the Yuan Dynasty, Ulrich Theobald
14:00-14:30 Three Mongolian Toponyms of Marco Polo’s Cambaluc, DANG Baohai
14:30-15:00 On the Custom of Sexual Hospitality in Marco Polo’s the Description of the World, LUO Wei
15:30-16:00 Marco Polo’s Crouching Dragons and Hidden Tigers, Hans Ulrich Vogel
16:00-16.30 The Description of the City of Quinsai in the Early Tradition of the «Devisement dou monde», Guiseppe Mascherpa
16:30-17:00 Tibet in the Major Versions of Marco Polo, Michel Quereuil

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Academic Conference Proceedings of Gold and Silver Currency and Social Life

This volume of papers by some of the leading numismatists in China was published in time for the Academic Conference of Gold and Silver Currency and Social Life, that took place in Hangzhou on 14 June 2017. It was organised by the Zhejiang Provincial Museum (浙江省博物馆) and the China Numismatic Society’s Special Committee on Gold and Silver Money (中国钱币学会金银货币专业委员会). The editor-in-chief of the volume is Li Xiaoping 李小萍, of the Zhejiang Provincial Museum, who is well-known in China for her expertise in gold and silver ingots and coins.

LI Xiaoping 李小萍 (ed.-in-chief), Zhejiang Provincial Museum (ed.), Academic Conference Proceedings of Gold and Silver Currency and Social Life (Beijing: Zhongguo shudian, 2017) ISBN 978-7-5149-1700-0.    小萍主编,浙江省博物馆编:《金银货币与社会生活学术研讨会论文集》(北京:中国书店,2017 年)

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Academic Conference Proceedings of Gold and Silver Currency and Social Life

Contents

  • Introduction – by CHEN Hao 陈浩, Director of the Zhejiang Provincial Museum
  • Contents page (in Chinese)
  • Contents page (in English)
  • 22 papers – each of which gives the title, author, author’s affiliation, and abstract in Chinese and English. The papers are given in Chinese only.

The 22 papers

  1. A discussion of the ancient Chinese gold and silver money through the tomb of Liu He, the Marquis of Haihun of the Western Han dynasty – DAI Zhiqiang  and LI Jun (China Numismatic Museum) [pp. 1-10]
    • 戴志强、李君 (中国钱币博物馆): 《从西汉刘贺墓说到中国古代的金银钱币》
  2. The examination and identification of two different types of hoof-shaped gold ingots – YANG Jun (China Numismatic Museum) [pp. 11-22]
    • 杨君(中国钱币博物馆):《马蹄金和麟趾金考辨》
  3. The purposes and shape origins of the “three platinum” silver tin alloy coins – ZHU Hu (Huadong Normal University) [pp. 23-35]
    • 朱浒(华东师范大学):《论“白金三品”的铸行目的与造型来源》
  4. Pre-Islamic Central Asian gold and silver coins in Chinese official historical accounts – YUAN Wei (Guizhou Provincial Museum) [pp. 36-44]
    • 袁炜(贵州省博物馆):《两汉魏晋南北朝正史所见西域金银币考》
  5. The discussion of the time the double headed axe shaped sycees appeared – BAI Qinchuan (Henan Provincial Numismatic Society) [pp. 45-48]
    • 白秦川(河南省钱币学会):《弧首束腰银铤出现时间考》
  6. The explanations of mining tax revenue sycees under the rules of bidding mining contracts in Medieval China – LIU Xiang (China Numismatic Society – Gold and Silver Committee) [pp. 49-54]
    • 刘翔(金银货币专委会):《买扑制度下的矿冶税——课利银释读》
  7. The process of the gold monetization during the Southern Song dynasty – CHEN Hao (Zhejiang Provincial Museum) [pp. 55-62]
    • 陈浩(浙江省博物馆 ):《南宋黄金货币化程度研究》
  8. The examination of salt tax sycees of the Jin dynasty – LI Xiaoping (Zheijiang Provincial Museum) [pp. 63-75]
    1. 李小萍(浙江省博物馆 ):《金代盐课银铤考述》
  9. The discussion of the relationships of the monetization of silver in the Ming dynasty and the early development of the world trading system – SUN Jiliang (China Finance and Taxation Museum) [pp. 76-82]
    • 孙继亮(中国财税博物馆):《明代白银货币化与世界贸易网络初步形成的内在关系探析》
  10. The usages of silver in the early modern Chinese society – DAI Jianbing (Hebei Normal University) [pp. 83-98]
    •  戴建兵(河北师范大学):《中国明清社会生活的白银时代》
  11. The silk road trade and Chinese silver money – ZHOU Weirong (China Numismatic Museum) [pp. 99-105]
    • 周卫荣(中国钱币博物馆):《丝路贸易与中国白银货币》
  12. The analysis of the silver hoards – WU Danmin (Shanghai Museum) [pp. 106-116]
    • 吴旦敏(上海博物馆):《窖藏白银的初步分析》
  13. The impacts of the monetization of silver – WANG Yongsheng (China Numismatic Museum) [pp. 117-133]
    • 王永生(中国钱币博物馆):《白银的货币化及其影响》
  14. A history of Chinese gold currency and viewing several questions remained through China Finance and Taxation Museum collection – CHEN Yang (China Finance and Taxation Museum) [pp. 134-142]
    • 陈阳(中国财税博物馆):《从中国财税博物馆藏品看中国黄金货币史上的若干问题》
  15. The discussion of the Wei-suo system and its sycees from the Qing dynasty – FANG Wei (China Numismatic Society – Gold and Silver Committee) [pp. 143-148]
    • 方伟(金银货币专委会):《卫所制及其清代实物遗存银锭浅谈》
  16. The development of the tea industry and tea taxes in Sichuan through Sichuan tea taxation sycees of Qing dynasty – DING Yiping (Liangshan Broadcasting and TV Station) [pp. 149-161]
    • 丁贻平(梁山广播电视台):《从川锭上的茶税了解清代四川茶业的发展及税收状况》
  17. From silver cakes to silver dollars – the modernization of Chinese money through silver coins of early modern period – YIN Hang (Tianjin Museum) [pp. 162-165]
    • 尹航(天津博物馆):《从银饼到银元——以清代民国银币为例看中国货币近代化》
  18. The discussion of Hunan province silver dollars from 1890s – ZHOU Xiang (Shanghai Museum) [pp. 166-170]
    • 周祥(上海博物馆):《湖南光绪银元刍议》
  19. The Marine Silk Road and the circulation of foreign silver coins in Fujian – YE Zhenming (Fujian Provincial Numismatic Society) [pp. 171-179]
    • 叶真铭(福建省钱币学会):《海上丝绸之路与外国银币流入福建》
  20. The search of Republican China standard gold bullion – JIN Deping (China Numismatic Museum) [pp. 180-186]
    •  金德平(中国钱币博物馆):《寻找民国时期“标金”金锭 》
  21. A brief history of Tientsin mints and produced silver dollars – BIAN Jing (Tianjin Museum) [pp. 187-191]
    •  边静(天津博物馆):《天津近代造币三厂及其银元铸造述略》
  22. Criticism of modern Chinese precious metal commemorative coins issuing – SUN Zhongdao (People’s Bank of China, Donggang branch) [pp. 192-196]
    • 孙忠道(中国人民银行东港市支行):《我国当代贵重金属纪念币流通管理探究》

Zhu Xihua, coin designer and engraver

Zhu Xihua 朱熙华, coin designer and engraver at the Shanghai Mint Co Ltd 上海造币有限公司 has just been honoured with a Shanghai Skilled Worker Award.

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Zhu Xihua 朱熙华 (source)

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The Shanghai Skilled Workers Awards 2017  (source)

The winners of the Shanghai Skilled Workers Awards 2017 (上海2017年工匠命名) were announced on the 19 September 2017, with 94 highly skilled people receiving the honour. Online news in English also calls these the Shanghai Artisans Awards or the Shanghai Craftsmen Awards, which is somewhat misleading as the awards are for excellence in various industries (electricity, steel, shipbuilding, aerospace, automotive, communications, construction, transportation, and more). The awards are organised by the Shanghai Federation of Trades Unions, with the aim of building up 1000 Skilled Workers over a decade (roughly 100 per year from 2016 to 2025) to speed up Shanghai’s development as a centre of innovation in science and technology , and the implementation of the national initiative “Made in China 2025“. The winners are also promoted on TV, and in publications. In 2016, 88 awards were made. In 2017, there were 767 nominations, and 94 awards were made.

Zhu Xihua has been working as coin designer and engraver for over a decade, and has contributed to the design of over 100 commemorative coins. Born in 1982, he graduated from the Shanghai Theatre Academy (上海戏剧学院) where he majored in stage design (2002-2005). He joined the Shanghai Mint Co Ltd in 2005, where he learned from senior designers Luo Yonghui 罗永辉 and Yu Min 余敏, and was selected to work on a new series of Chinese gold and silver zodiac coins, two of which were nominated for the Krause “Coin of the Year” awards.

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Year of the Ox coin (source)

One of Zhu’s medals was selected for FIDEM XXXIII (The International Art Medal Federation’s 33rd congress and exhibition), held in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2014. It was a brass medal, titled “2011 International Year of Forests“. The obverse features a bird, whose feathers are also leaves. The reverse features a human embryo at the centre, surrounded by creatures of the forest.

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Zhu Xihua’s medal “2011 International Year of Forests” (obverse) (source)

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Zhu Xihua’s medal “2011 International Year of Forests” (reverse) (source)

It was the first time that medalists from China took part in FIDEM, and six medals were presented – by ZHU Xihua, WANG An, LIAO Bo, ZHONG Chengxin, DENG Shanshan and LUO Yonghui (for details, see the FIDEM XXXIII Catalogue, 2014, pp. 48-52).

In 2016, the Shanghai Mint Co Ltd established the Zhu Xihua Art Design Studio (朱熙华艺术设计工作室), with a team of 10 designers (8 of whom, including Zhu himself, were born in the 1980s). This team designed the set of 5 silver coins commemorating the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (1 August 1927).

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The set of 5 silver coins commemorating the 90th anniversary of the armed forces in China (source: 中国金币 – there are many more images on this site)

 

Chinese Coins from the Scholar’s Study

“Chinese Coins from the Scholar’s Study” at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, opened on 25 April. It closes on Sunday 24 September. It’s a small, but thoughtful display and well worth a visit if you can make it. (more…)

Who’s Who in East Asian Numismatics?

The online newsletter Coins Weekly runs a regular feature “Who’s Who in Numismatics”, introducing people who are active in the field. So far, in terms of people working on East Asian numismatics, they have featured Joe Cribb and last week the spotlight was on François Thierry de Crussol. I hope they’ll also go further afield and feature some of the numismatists based in East Asia too. (BTW, subscription to Coins Weekly is free) (more…)