charms/amulets

55. Paizi – printed colophons and Chinese charms

David Helliwell of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, writes the excellent blog Serica – some notes on old Chinese books. In his latest post he included an illustration of a paizi 牌子 (literally, a “plaque”). It reminded me of pieces in the BM’s collection of Chinese charms. Was there a connection? (more…)

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33. 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: (more…)

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

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 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…)

4. Chinese Openwork Charms

Not a new book, but a recent acquisition for the library at the Department of Coins and Medals, at the British Museum – kindly donated by Simmons Gallery.

LIU Chunsheng, Zhongguo gudai loukong huaqian kianshang (Beijing: Zuojia chubanshe, 2005)  ISBN 7-5063-3237-X  //  刘春声著:《中国古代镂空花钱鉴赏》, 北京:作家出版社,2005年。 (more…)