British Museum

69. Chinese Song/Yuan dynasty silver ingot design on a lacquer coffer?

Sometimes things just stick in the mind… two years ago at a British Museum study day on Understanding the Silk Road, Dr Ladan Akbarnia gave a very interesting talk about the lacquered traveling coffer in the Brooklyn Museum: for more photos and details, see the Brooklyn Museum website: (more…)

44. Japanese Occupation Money and the Battle of Balikpapan

Nicholas Lua Swee Yang, a student volunteer, has been helping me with the East Asian paper money collection this spring, most recently on the Japanese Occupation Money (also known as Japanese Invasion Money). One note [CIB,EA.208] particularly caught his attention, and inspired him to research it further and write this post.  (more…)

42. A Viking ship on a Chinese note

This piece was first published on the British Museum blog on 9 June 2014, at the time of the Viking exhibition. It’s since disappeared from the BM website, so I’ll post it again here. I was reminded of this piece by Professor Robert Bickers, University of Bristol, who emailed this week with news of Fartsan T. Sung, one of the signatories on this note, having just posted a photograph of Fartsan T. Sung and his wife Margaret Wang Song on the website Historical Photographs of China (more…)

41. Chinese guides for identifying silver dollars and other coins, 19th century

There are two Chinese guides – merchant manuals or shroff’s guides – in the Department of Coins and Medals, at The British Museum (nos 4 and 8 below). Several similar guides are known, and I’m grateful to Richard von Glahn and Byron Hamann for sharing their expertise and knowledge on this subject. I’ll give a very brief introduction below, and then share ten of these guides. If you know of others, or of research on these guides, please leave a comment. (more…)

40. Thai porcelain tokens (“pee”)

Thai porcelain tokens (pee) are found in many collections, often just one or two pieces, and sometimes more. These are known by various terms, including the following (for more, see the bibliography below): (more…)

34. The Nicholas Rhodes Collection of Tibetan Coins

A reminder of how useful auction catalogues can be…  The Nicholas Rhodes Collection of Tibetan Coins  (羅寶士收藏 : 中國西藏錢幣 中國西藏紙幣), sold by Spink China, 21 August 2013, in Hong Kong – is available online.  (more…)