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:


charm - book171

charm - book172


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


Richard von Glahn – 4 lectures in Paris, May 2017

Richard von Glahn is Professor of History, at UCLA, and author of Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700 (1996) and The Economic History of China from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century (2016) – and many other books and articles. This month he is in Paris, giving four lectures in different seminar series. I’ve copied the details below from the EHESS website, as a record. (more…)

Auspicious Symbols – ONS Study Day, London, 18 Nov 2017

 On 18 November 2017 the ONS Study Day will focus on auspicious symbols. Coins (bank notes, tokens, and charms) are not decorated just with images or inscriptions. They also preserve a range of symbols and devices which might be considered under the term auspicious. This is a somewhat imprecise term but is often used to cover those parts of a design which cannot be considered either images or inscriptions. These symbols are amongst the most ambiguous elements in coin iconography with it being very unclear why an engraver added them to the coin. (more…)

The Kwangtung Note Redemption, July 1914

This album of notes arrived at the British Museum as part of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Loan (1987-2009). In 2006, the Chartered Institute of Bankers became the ifs School of Finance, and in 2009 the collection of paper money was given to the British Museum. Here’s the link to the BM Collections Online.  (more…)