Shao Shih T'ung Pao
(or Thieu Tri Thong Bao)
Legend on the reverse with 4 Chinese characters
"Chieh Yun Fu T'sai"
|I received an e-mail from Mr. R. Trieu of U.S.A. on 11 Nov 1999. When I looked at the attached images of his coin, I felt ashamed that I did not know the meaning of the four Chinese characters "Chieh Yun Fu T'sai" on the reverse. What I knew is that these four Chinese characters are come from "Sze-Shu Wu-Ching" [The Four Books and The Five Clasics which were compiled by the famous scholar, Chu Hsi of the Southern Sung Dynasty ] Therefore, I spent almost two hours to find out the meaning of this idiom.
I post below is the email from Mr. R Trieu of U.S.A.
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 21:47:33
From: Mr. R. Trieu
Subject: Unknown Large Chinese Cash Coin
I was hoping you could help me in identifying a large Chinese cash coin. I
don't know exactly what it is. My grandfather gave it to me. It was my
grandmother's. She brought it over from China. Before that I think my
grandmother's grandfather gave it to her. My grandfather says it is at least
100 maybe 200 years old. It is about 52 mm in diameter and the square hole in
the middle is about 8 mm wide. Enclosed are pictures. Thank you for your time.
Marks of Rareness of the Collected Currencies
Extremely Rare A ~
Very Rare B ~
Rare C ~
Not So Many D ~
|Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This Annamese cash is not only a rare coin, but also the coin itself appearing in an extremely fine condition. I have never seen an Annamese cash (big cash) appearing in such a perfect way.
This cash coin is known as Shao Shih T'ung Pao (or Thieu Tri Thong Bao).
The legends on both side of this cash are read in the normal manner, top, bottom, right and left.
On the obverse of this cash is a four-characters legend "Shao Chih T'ung Pao" (Shao Chih Current Coin). On the reverse of this cash was also inscribed with a four-characters legend of ancient Chinese proverb, "Chieh Yun Fu T'sai" . This cash was cast in the 6th year of the Shao Chih (or Thieu Tri) reign (1846AD) of the Yuan (Nguyen) Dynasty of Dai Nam (Vietnam). This cash seems to have been cast for only one year, as the Shao Chih (Thieu Tri) period is from 1841AD to 1847AD.
The cash of this type were cast in 40 different legends. For eight-characters legends are 23 types, and for four-characters legends are 17 types. There are about 7 different legends more than the Ming Mang T'ung Pao cash. (for four-characters legend).
The cash of this type, diameter from 51mm to 54mm and weight from 26 to 42.28 grams were found. The thickness of cash of this type normally is about 2 mm, but I am surpriing that this cash is 1.5 mm.
According to "Dai Nam Shih Lu", the third Yuan (or Nguyen) Emperors ordered to imitate the Ming Mang big cash in 40 different legends.
For eight-characters legends are 23 types, and for four-characters legends are 17 types.
Cash inscripted with 4 Chinese characters on the reverse, they are same as the Ming Mang T'ung Pao cash, including : ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; and . The last two legends in red are cash that I have never seen. The seven additional legends of Shao Shih T'ung Pao cash on the reverse with 4 Chinese characters are :
All these large cash were believed serving as the same as the Ming Mang T'ung Pao big cash. This means that they are given as gifts or bestowed as rewards and circulated to some extent although they do not carry any designation of weight or denomination. The cash of this type were intended to circulate as one hundred normal cash, same as the Ming Mang big cash.
Chemical analysis of "Shao Shih T'ung Pao" coins reveals that copper formed 65.86 per cen of the alloy. Tin formed 0.8 per cen and Zinc 21.31 per cen. The amount of lead was 7.5 per cen. Iron formed only 0.04 per cen.
The inscriptions on the reverse of this large cash are four Chinese characters "Chieh Yun Fu T'sai"
"Chieh" means avoid; escape; exemp from or free from.
"Yun" means indignant fellings; repress anger or supress anger.
"Fu" means making rich.
"T'sai" means wealth or riches
"Chieh Yun Fu T'sai" means Harmong bring wealth.
I hardly guess the current value of this cash as it is not common in Hong Kong and Mainland China. I think this cash is at lease worth about US$120 in fine condition. This cash should be rarer than the Ming Mang T'ung Pao big cash. It is very strange that the small Shao Shih T'ung Pao cash (one cash) are very common in Hong Kong and they are worth about 0.25 to 0.5 US dollar each.
More about Annamese big cash
Ming Mang T'ung Pao
- Tang Kuo Yen & Chang Shih Chuan : Lieh Su Dong Tien Viet Nam, 1993 ISBN 7-5049-1118-6/F.710
- Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler Colin R. Bruce II. : Standard catalog of World Coins 1991, 18th edition.
- Coins in The Collection of The Shanghai Museum, Foreign Currencies, Shanghai Calligraphy & Painting Publishing House, 1995, ISBN 7-80512-668-2/J.551
Any additional comment would be much appreciated, you can send it to Y K Leung.