François Thierry’s new book on Chinese coins

François Thierry‘s new book is due out in May. Titled Les monnaies de la Chine ancienne. Des origines à la fin de l’Empire, it’s published by Les Belles Lettres, Paris. It’s a paperback, with bibliography, 688 pages, 20 maps, and 370 colour illustrations, 16 x 24 cm, 1310 g, €55.00, ISBN 9782251446868. 

François Thierry will be launching his new book at the Librarie Le Phénix, in Paris, on Saturday 20 May (click here for details)

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I haven’t seen this book yet, so am copying below the English description on the publisher’s web-site.

Currencies of Ancient China from Their Origins to the Late Empire

The fruit of several decades of research, this book – a treasure in itself –is currently the most comprehensive reference work on the currencies of ancient China, from their origins to the Late Empire (1911). Mobilizing a wide variety of sources, the author leads readers on a multi-century monetary adventure and, in so doing, maps out a thrilling general history of China.

François Thierry, who is aggregate from University, is the Honorary General Curator of the Département des Monnaies, médailles et antiques(Coins, Medals and Antiques Department ) of Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) and the recipient of the 2006 Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society.

The publisher has also put the Table of Contents on the website. It’s in French, so I’ve translated it quickly here:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
A remarkable anomaly
The Chinese concept of money
Thinking about money

I – ORIGINS TO THE END OF THE WARRING STATES
1 – On the origins of money
A – Cowries
B – A revolution: man can make money
C – The first spades and knives
2 – Monetisation of society
A – The traditional coinage of the Warring States
B – Intrinsic value and its limits
C – Pseudo-coins

II – MONETARY UNIFICATION
1 – The written sources
2 – Archaeological evidence
A – The Shuihudi woodslips
B – Coin hoards
3 – The currency of the state of Qin
A – Coins and monetary circulation
B – Classification of banliang
C – Other coins
D – Banliang of the Qin empire (220-206 BC)

III – THE CURRENCY OF THE WESTERN HAN
1 – The question of state money of coinage
A – The people
B – The kingdoms
C – The imperial administration
D – The march to monopoly
2 – The sequence of issues
A – Yujia banliang (209-175 BC)
B – Bazhu qian (186 BC)
C – Wufen qian (182 BC)
D – Sizhu banliang (175 BC)
E – Sanzhu qian (140-136 BC)
F  -Banliang of Wudi (136)
3 – Time of reform
A – Leathor money and white metal coins (119 BC)
B – Junguo wuzhu (118-113)
C – Chice wuzhu (115-113)
D – Sanguan wuzhu (from 118 BC)
4 – Classification of wuzhu under Wudi and his successors

IV – WANG MANG, CONFUCIAN REVOLUTION

V – COINS OF THE RESTORATION TO CRISIS IN THE THIRD AND FOURTH CENTURIES 
1 – Eastern Han
A – Numismatic and archaeological evidence
B – Marks
C – The appearance of clipped rims
2 – Crisis in the third and fourth centuries
A – Local coinage under Lingdi and Xiandi
B – Coinage of the Three Kingdoms period
1 – Wuzhu of Wei
2 – Zhi bai wuzhu
3 – Anonymous coins of Shu
4 – The coinage of Wu
C – The Western Jin dynasty (265-317)

VI – MONEY AND MONETARY CIRCULATIONS IN THE PERIOD OF DIVISION (317-589)

1 – North and South in the Eastern Jin period (317-420)
2 – The coinage of the Southern Dynasties
A – Written sources
B – Archaeological and numismatic evidence
3 – The Northern Dynasties
A – Written sources
B – Archaeological and numismatic evidence
C – Sui (581-589-618)
D – Chinese-style coinage in Serindia

VII – THE TANG DYNASTY (618-907)
1 – Coins and circulation under the Tang
A – The birth of the kaiyuan tongbao coins
B – Tang coinage under Wu Zetian (660-705)
C – Tang coinage under Xuanzong (712-756)
D – The crisis of 755-761 and Tang coinage from Suzong to Dezong (756-805)
1 – Qian Yuan zhongbao
2 – The coinage of Shi Siming
3 – Coins of the Anxi protectorate
4 – After An Lushan

E – Coinage from Xianzong to Wuzong (805-846)
F – Coinage at the end of the Tang (846-907).
2 – Classification of kaiyuan tongbao coins
A – Typology of kaiyuan coins
B – Dating of kaiyuan coins
3 – Minting and mints of the Tang

VIII – THE FIVE DYNASTIES AND THE TEN KINGDOMS (891-975)
1 – The Five Dynasties
A – The first dynasties
B – The Later Han (947-950) and the Later Zhou (951-960)
2 – The Ten Kingdoms (891-979)
A – Youzhou (894-914)
B – Former Shu and Later Shu (907-925-965)
C – Wu-Yue (893-978)
D – Min (897-946)
E – Chu (896-951)
F – Southern Han (905-971)
G – Southern Tang (937-975)

IX – CURRENCY AND CIRCULATION IN THE SONG DYNASTIES
1 –  The Northern Song (960-1127)
A – Currency in the first part of the Northern Song (960-1023)
B – The reign of Renzong and the crisis of the 1040s (1022-1063)
C – Shenzong, business reforms (1067-1085)
D – Zhezong and Huizong, era of factions (1085-1126)
2 – The Southern Song (1127 – 1279)
A – The first reigns
B – Evolution of the monetary system

X – THE FOUR DYNASTIES: LIAO, XI XIA, JIN AND YUAN)
1 – The Liao dynasty of the Khitans (916-1125)
2 – The Xi Xia dynasty of the Tanguts (1038-1227)
3 – The Jin Dynasty of the Jurchen (1115-1234)
The Qi of Liu Yu
4 – The Yuan dynasty of the Mongols (1206-1271-1368)

XI – THE MING AND THE SOUTHERN MING)
1 – Coins and coinage under the Ming (1368-1644)
A –  Origins to the end of the 15th century (1368-1487)
B – From the currency of Hong Zhi to the end of the dynasty (1488-1644)
C – The inrush of Spanish silver under the Ming
2 – Coins of the rebels and the Southern Ming (1644-1662)
A – The coins of Da Shun and Da Xi
1 – Li Zicheng (1643-1645)
2 – Zhang Xianzhong (1644-1646) 

B – Coins of the Southern Ming

XII – THE END OF THE TRADITIONAL SYSTEM (1644-1911)
1 –  The beginnings of the Qing dynasty (1644-1850)
A – A world in reprieve
B – Coins of the Three Feudatories
C – Decadence
2 –  A system in torment (1851-1911)
A – The last three reigns (1851-1908)
B – The triumph of silver
C – Coinage in the Western Territories, Tibet and Xinjiang
D – Towards a Western monetary system

XIII – Paper money in China
1 – Paper money under the Song
2 – Paper money under the Jin
3 – Paper money under the Yuan
4 – Ming notes (1375-1569)
5 – Paper money under the Qing

XIV – UNITS OF ACCOUNT
A – Units of account associated with cash coins
B – Units of accounts associated with silver

XV – EPIGRAPHY AND CALLIGRAPHY
1 –  Monetary inscriptions
A – Dynastic inscription (guohao)
B – Reign periods (nianhao)
C – Dates and mints
2 – Writing, styles and graphs
A – The Six Styles of calligraphy
B – Artists and calligraphers

XVI – MANUFACTURE
1 – Single mould technology
A – Clay moulds
B – Metal punches and moulds
C – Stone moulds
D – The problem of the reverse
2 – Matrix technology
A – Matrices for traditional casting
B – Matrices for stacked mould casting
3 – Casting in sand

CONCLUSION
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Index
List of Illustrations
List of Maps and Figures

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One comment

  1. Oh, can’t wait!
    The content looks very exciting. Les Belles Lettres also happens to be one of my favorite publishers.

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