2. 19th-century East Asian numismatic books at the American Numismatic Society

It’s great to read that the 19th-century East Asian numismatic books at the ANS are being catalogued! Here’s the news copied from the ANS Magazine 2017, issue 1 (p. 67): 

Christopher (Zhengcheng) Li is a recent graduate of Sotheby’s Institute of Art who travelled from his home in China to study in the United States. Christopher is an ANS member with a particular interest in ancient western coins. He is helping us by cataloguing the mostly nineteenth-century Far Eastern books that once belonged to ANS treasurer and collector John Reilly. Christopher has been producing records using both Roman and Chinese characters, noting various forms, including English and pinyin, while sometimes updating the information found in Arthur Braddon Coole’s Encyclopedia of Chinese Coins, 1967 (a newer version of his Bibliography on Far Eastern Numismatics, 1940), the standard bibliographical reference for Far Eastern numismatics.

Good luck and thank you, Christopher (Zhengcheng) Li!

Coole’s bibliography was the first serious attempt at a comprehensive bibliography of East Asian numismatics designed for English readers, and was published as the first volume of his Encyclopedia of Chinese Coins series in 1967. It was compiled by Arthur Braddan Coole (1900-1978), with the assistance of Howard Franklin Bowker (1889-1970), Hitoshi Kozono 小園齊, a teacher in Fukuoka High School, the renowned Chinese numismatist Ding Fubao 丁福保 (Ting Fu-pao, 1874-1952), Qiu Yutan (Ch’iu Yu-t’an 邱堉墰) and others. It remains an important reference work, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of its publication!

coole front cover

However, we should also acknowledge that a huge amount of work has been done in East Asian numismatics since 1967. See, for example:

A Survey of Numismatic Research  – produced every 5-6 years since the 1960s, and published by the INC and IAPN (International Numismatic Commission, subsequently renamed as the International Numismatic Council, and the International Association of Professional Numismatists).

  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 2008–2013 (publ. 2015) – contents page
  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 2002–2007 (publ. 2009) – pdf 
  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 1996–2001 (publ. 2003)
  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 1990–1995 (publ. 1997)
  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 1985–1990 (publ. 1991)
  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 1978–1984 (publ. 1986)
  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 1972–1977 (publ. 1979)
  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 1966–1971 (publ. 1973)
  • A Survey of Numismatic Research 1960–1965 (publ. 1967)

A lot of work goes into producing the Survey, and it would be extremely useful if all these volumes could be scanned and put online.

N.B. The latest volume (2015) did not include the Chinese summary, which ZHOU Weirong (China Numismatic Museum) supplied and I translated. You can find it online here – China: A Survey of Numismatic Literature 2008-2012 .

And a few more useful publications:

Bibliography of Japanese Numismatics, compiled by Edward Welch and Helen Wang, and revised by Yoshiko Yasumura (2014) — This includes publications listed in Hitoshi Kozono’s “Numismatic Works in Japanese”, in A.B. Coole’s Encyclopedia of Chinese Coins, vol. 1 (1967), pp. 149-273; also Helen Wang’s “New Publications on Japanese Coins (incl. a Bibliography of Japanese Numismatics, 1960-2011)”, Journal of the Oriental Numismatic Society 210 (Winter 2012), pp. 44-47 (which included titles subsequent to Coole/Kozono.)

There’s also my article A Short History of Chinese Numismatics in European Languages (Early China 35, Jan 2013, pp. 403-437) which was structured around Coole’s Bibliography (1967), and focused “on the Western language publications relating to Chinese numismatics and contemporary currency that were published in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and pays particular attention to the authors of those publications on the grounds that they were the first people to shape the field in Europe and the United States.”

And there are papers by Lyce Jankowski: for example, Short Introduction to Chinese Numismatics – A Bibliographical Approach, Historia Mundi, no. 4, Nov 2014; and L’âge d’or de la numismatique en Chine : l’exemple du Catalogue des Monnaies Anciennes de Li Zuoxian, in Proceedings of the XIVth International Numismatic Congress, Glasgow, 2009 (published 2011).

For more resources, see the Bibliographies page on this website.

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