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[CHINA - WOOD PANEL WITH ANCIENT COINS AND CHARMS]. - China, probably end of 18th century.

. Wooden panel (59 x 35 cm) with 25 bronze casts of ancient Chinese coins and amulets inserted. A solid piece of wood with small scratches and minor wear, parts of old Chinese label on reverse. Mounted in a later wooden frame. The collection shows examples of old coins and charms in the shape of spades, knives, rings, and two large symbolic figures: a horse and two birds in a tree. China was one of the first countries to use metal coinage and its ancient coin history can be traced back more than two thousand years. The Chinese also produced "coin-like" charms and talismans which were used to suppress evil spirits and to bring "good luck" or "good fortune". During the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC) some of the first forms of money were cast in the shapes of tools, for example as spades, shovels or knives. Thereafter the "round money" appeared and during the Han Dynasty a round shaped coin named "wu zhu" was introduced. It was minted for more than 700 years from 118 BC to 618 AD. This panel contains nine spade-shaped coins or charms which we believe are the earliest examples in the collection. Two pieces have the knife shape. Three large examples of "open charms" are included with illustrations of a dragon, the zodiac and the eight trigrams. In addition there are seven pieces of different kinds of round coins or charms and two pendant charms, all decorated with different characters and symbols. We believe that the panel dates from the latter part of the 18th century and sits firmly in the context of the Emperor QianlongÕs unequalled obsession with Chinese history, art and literature. Reigning from 1735 to 1796, he created and conserved unparalleled collections of all ages and aspects of Chinese culture while honouring Manchu and Confucian traditions. This panel, with a patina consistent with its (likely) date, was probably used as a teaching aid, and reflects the EmperorÕs interest in promoting and preserving the glories and utility of the Chinese past. A most unusual and impressive work.
EUR 4200.00 [Appr.: US$ 4475.99 | £UK 3617 | JP¥ 692059] Book number 120566

is offered by:

Charlotte Du Rietz Rare Books (ILAB)
Sibyllegatan 50A, 114 43, Stockholm, Sweden Tel.: +46 (0)70 4411183
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