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Obscure info - Chinese notes


XavierZ33
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A very obscure question, but does anyone know the location of the train and station on the face of the Bank of Communications 5 yuan of 1914 (and later) and that of the Chinese Government Post Office depicted on the back? I've been trying to identify the vignettes on Chinese currency with some success but these are two of the more stubborn images.

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The back of the 5 yuan note shows the main post office in Shanghai (上海郵政大樓), or in modern characters 上海邮政大楼.

 

The train station I cannot identify with certainty as only a part of it is visible. I assume (it is not more than an assumption) that it is the Shanghai train station. All clearly visible buildings on the notes of the Bank of Communications are identified (see: E.Beyer, The Bank of Communications and its notes, p.12 and 13).

 

Erwin

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Thanks Erwin

 

Thats cleared one mystery up. It knew it wasn't the current building as that was built in the 20's so this must have been it's predecessor, which assumedly has long gone.

 

It's frustrating knowing that this info is often out there but in relatively obscure sources, so my only option usually has been to painstakingly search through whatever imagery I can find. For example, it took forever to discover what the building was on the Kwangtung Province 10 Dollars of 1918. Amazingly I eventually tracked it down using Google Earth.

With some of the vignettes you never know whether the subject in question still survives.

 

Anyway, thank you again.

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Well what did you find out about the building on that 10 yuan Guangdong note of 1918 (P.S2403)? – Pick says erroneously that the building is a theatre!

 

In Chinese this building is called 廣東咨議局大樓 (or written 广东咨议局大楼 in modern characters)= Parliamentiary Building of Guangdong

 

In march 1909 empress Cixi ordered (under the influence of western states) in a step for democratisation of China that each province had to build a “parliamentary” building for the provincial governments. Immediately the Cantonese began to build this building for the local parliament. It was erected in what the Cantonese called a “Roman style”, with two storeys, columns and a dome.

 

After the Wuchang uprise Guangdong declared its independence from the Qing dynasty and changed to a government with a (Provincial) governor. He and his staff worked in this building.

 

Later Sun Zhongshan (you may better know him as Sun Yatsen) took in this building his oath as president of the Republic of China.

 

Now this building serves as a Museum for History of Guangdong Province and at the same time as a museum for the modern history of the City of Guangzhou (=Canton).

 

Erwin

 

P.S.: If you want to know other buildings on Chinese notes please feel free to ask. In some cases I may be of help, in others maybe not…

(I know my English is not perfect, sorry)

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That's the building I found it to be! I never trusted that theatre label either which is why I kept looking for confirmation.

 

You've given me some useful extra information regarding the history of the building, so thank you again.

 

Your English seems good to me.

 

To take you up on your offer - do you know anything regarding the riverside temple (?) building on the Bank of China 10 cents of 1925, and a similar building which appears on the back of the ABNC 100 Yuan of the Central Bank of China of 1945 (issued 1948)?

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First, I think the two notes do not show the same building...

 

The 1 jiao (=10 cents) note of the Bank of China shows a building at the Beijing Summer Palace, it is called 北京頤和園文昌閣 (beijing yiheyuan wenchangge) = Wenchang Pavillion at the Summer Palace in Beijing.

 

As for the Central Bank 100 yuan note dated 1945 (but issued in 1948) and printed by ABNCo. in Chinese literature the picture is described as a scenery of 大明湖 (lake Daming, in English usually called Lake Daminghu, but “hu” means “Lake”) in 濟南 Jinan, Shandong Province. Unfortunately my sources do not give the name of the building, and it seems to have been destroyed.

 

May I ask you whether you collect Chinese paper money?

 

Erwin

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Thank you again.

 

Yes, I have been collecting Chinese banknotes for around four years. I started off by simply buying the 2 and 5 yuan of the Central Bank of China 1941, (printed by Thomas De la Rue) as part of a more general interest in Chinese history and culture. I never intended to buy anymore but overtime bought another and another, and was very surprised when I began to realise how extensive this topic is. I had taken very little notice of most 20th century Chinese history until I really began collecting and starting to research these notes.

 

Do you have a particular focus on Chinese currency or a more general interest in banknotes?

 

I was wondering whether you had an opinion or information as to the person who appears on the 1912-13 issues of the Bank of China. I keep seeing him referenced as Huang-Ti but this has never seemed plausible. I did discover an article in the New York Times of the period, which states that the personage is Mencius. As they seemed to have this information from the ABNCo itself, and as Mencius seems more of a likely choice given the recent revolution; is there any reason to doubt this information?

 

 

First, I think the two notes do not show the same building...

 

The 1 jiao (=10 cents) note of the Bank of China shows a building at the Beijing Summer Palace, it is called 北京頤和園文昌閣 (beijing yiheyuan wenchangge) = Wenchang Pavillion at the Summer Palace in Beijing.

 

As for the Central Bank 100 yuan note dated 1945 (but issued in 1948) and printed by ABNCo. in Chinese literature the picture is described as a scenery of 大明湖 (lake Daming, in English usually called Lake Daminghu, but “hu” means “Lake”) in 濟南 Jinan, Shandong Province. Unfortunately my sources do not give the name of the building, and it seems to have been destroyed.

 

May I ask you whether you collect Chinese paper money?

 

Erwin

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Sorry for answering late, but I was very busy…

 

The portrait shows without doubt Huangdi, the legendary “Yellow Emperor”. I have a photocopy of an article of a Chinese newspaper dated Jan. 1912 where it was announced that these notes would be issued soon. They are described as having the portrait of Huangdi on obverse…

 

In Chinese literature it is nowhere doubted that this is the portrait of Huangdi. And what the portrait bears on his head is -although small and of unusual form- said to be a kind of crown, symbol of his power…

 

Mencius would never be pictured with a crown. A portrait of Mencius you can see on the 5 Yuan note J131 (Japanese issue in China). The Krause catalog (“Pick catalog”) mentiones only a “man with beard wearing feather crown”, but it is Mencius for sure…

 

Erwin

 

P.S.: I have been collecting Chinese notes for about 50 years…I collect only China from Ching dynasty until 1949... And only paper, no coins...I am especially interested in notes issued locally...

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Thats okay, thanks for replying. It's taken me a few days to respond.

 

Thanks for finally resolving the Huangdi/Mencius problem. Is there any indication as to why they used Huangdi? Perhaps because he's traditionally held to be the ancestor of the Chinese people. I know that his image replaced that of the Qing statesman Li Hongzhang, assumedly as he was tainted with imperial associations.

 

Your clearly very dedicated to the subject - was there any particular event or other trigger that drew you into collecting Chinese banknotes? I imagine that over that period you've managed to gather some fascinating examples. Looking through the Smith & Matravers catalogue, it does seem that 40 years ago many notes that were considered commonplace now seem to be fiendishly difficult to find - though of course the opposite is also true. The internet seems to have brought alot out in recent years. And alot of people selling fakes! Some of the things on e-bay - it's amazing that they seem to get away with it for so long. For example, fake specimen notes of the ABNCo 1914 issues depicting Yuan Shi-kai, that dont even have the clearly visible punch marks removed or actually punched out. On the positive side some very interesting items do appear on there, from good sellers. You mentioned an interest in local notes - I found a couple of block printed local exchange notes of 1939 on there recently, and an excellent vertical "small commercial" note - a 6 strings of cash issued by a 'Ch’ang Hsing Ho,' possibly of Chang-Yi city in Shantung province.

 

Another question - do you know what the temple (?) building on the obverse of the 1 Yuan of the Provincial Bank of Honan (of 1923) is?

 

Kevin

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First to your last question. The building on the 1 yuan note of the Provincial Bank of Henan is a temple called Longting (龍亭) in Kaifeng (開封).

 

Exactly at the place where the Longting Temple is situated there was at the times of the Houliang dynasty (後梁) an imperial palace. (Kaifeng is said to have been “a capital for 7 dynasties”)

 

Later under the Song (宋) and Jin(金) dynasties the building and its sorrounding became a “forbidden city”, where only members of the imperial family were allowed to enter.

 

During the times of the Ming (明) dynasty Kaifeng became a fief (if this is the correct English word), that means Kaifeng was given by the emperor to some local person as a vassal. During this time the original building was pulled down. As the Huanghe regularly overflooded the city, an artificial hill was piled up with a new building on its top.

 

During the Qing period the building was pulled down and at the same place Kangxi (康熙, he reigned for 61 years!) began in 1692 to build a temple where the ancestors (of the imperial family I believe) were worshipped.

 

Later under Daoguang (道光, 1821 – 1851) the temple was completely reconstructed. It became a three storey building with 72 stairs. At the mid of the staircase there was a beautiful large dragon made from stone. From this dragon the name of the temple is derived (“long” means dragon).

 

Now this temple still exists, amidst a public park.

 

Now to your other question re. my collecting interests. At the age of 19 I made a trip to Afghanistan (by train from Cologne to Istambul, by bus from Istambul via Iran to Kabul!) and entered in Kabul an antic shop. On a silver tablet there was a pile of beautiful notes. At the time I had not much money and wanted to buy one of these notes. I pointed to them and asked “how much”. He answered “one dollar”. I gave him one dollar and he gave me… the whole pile of notes. I thought they were Afghan notes, but they were from Bukhara. They were so beautiful and there were so many types that I began to colect banknotes. On my way home I found more cheap notes in the bazaars of Tehran, Tabriz, and Istambul.

From that time on I collected world banknotes. Later I met the famous Albert Pick and he showed me his collection. He told me that I better collect only notes of a special region, not worldwide… So for a few years I collected notes of whole Asia, from Turkey to China. I later realized that even this was a field too large for one collector and as at that time I was fascinated by the Chinese culture I began to learn Chinese and confined my collecting interests to Chinese notes..

 

Erwin

 

P.S.: Kevin, would it be possible to e-mail me a scan of you local note issued by "Ch'ang Hsing Ho"? My e-mail address is Pornpattana.Beyer@yahoo.de. Thank you very much.

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Wow ... you guys answered questions I did not even know I had...

I printed out the conversation and put it in with the Paper Money books.

 

In 2007, I took a history class at my community college, a survey of Chinese history. The prof was new and a bit behind the curve, but she was from Harvard, and talking fast, she got through 4000 years in 13 1/2 weeks. To help ourselves through this, one of the real history majors found Fairbank for us and I bought a copy to go with the other two books.

 

The other influence for me in Chinese banknotes was via aviation. When I flew, I bought some "Terry and the Pirates" reprints and bought a couple of videos from the TV show. The next time I was at a convention, I loaded up on Chinese paper. Now, I'll haul them out and give them another look.

 

Anyway, thanks, guys, you really made my morning!

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@MMMM:

I think your question refers to my upcoming catalog on Chinese local issues 1911-1949. This will be ready in April 2010. So far the manuscript is ready in my PC, but I am still looking for somebody to correct my English...I intend to present this book (several volumes) at the paper money show in Valkenburg.

But don't expext too much: As all my previous books this catalog will be privately printed, not too many copies will be made (probably 100), and there will be only black and white pictures... I do not intend to make any money on them but will sell at my cost. The only purpose of publishing it is that I can get reactions from readers. Usually there are many reactions and I get more information...

 

Erwin

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@Erwin

 

Yes, I hope you let us know when it is available and where we can get it. It will be interesting to see.

 

Speaking of obscure info. Maybe you or someone here can help me with this Chinese note. I think it is a forgery, but not quite sure and I am having bit trouble identifying it and the scene of where this note is from. Thank you.

 

929419A.jpg

929419B.jpg

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@Erwin

 

Yes, I hope you let us know when it is available and where we can get it. It will be interesting to see.

 

Speaking of obscure info. Maybe you or someone here can help me with this Chinese note. I think it is a forgery, but not quite sure and I am having bit trouble identifying it and the scene of where this note is from. Thank you.

 

 

Looks like P-804

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The 20 yuan note of 1948 belongs to the first series of Remnminbi and is clearly a forgery. It is a rather crude forgery, so it can be easily detected. It is probably one of the earlier modern forgeries to deceive the collector. Forgeries of these notes produced recently are much more dangerous and can only be detected by the experienced collector. I saw some of them last weekend at the Valkenburg paper money show, they were offered by several Western dealers, I am not sure these dealers know these notes are forgeries.

 

The scenes on the note cannot be identified. In Chinese literature I only find "donkey with man at left, two trains at right", but no location is given.

 

Erwin

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Erwin,

 

Thanks again for the info. I'm not surprised that you are producing a book - from what you've posted on here it seems a pity that it won't be more generally available. Have you thought of producing a pdf version - though I'm not sure what that would entail?

 

Anyway - hopefully you will have recieved scans of the "Ch'ang Hsing Ho" vertical commercial note. As noted in the e-mail I also attached an image of a mystery note that I've had for a while -

 

The second rather ragged note is a bit of a mystery at the moment. It may be communist and seems to have a similar vignette to that used on issues of the Bank of West Shantung. It is dated to 1941 and may be something like the "Lu Pei Bank of North Shantung" ?

 

I'm very impressed as to how you became interested in banknote collecting - bus and train from Cologne to a Kabul shop, via Istanbul!!!

 

I agree that it's best to focus on a specific area - though chinese banknotes in themselves are allot - do you include the funerary notes? So far I haven't except where they've been issued for a business itself rather than those produced for the ritual.

 

Kevin

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The note pictured by Kevin has a title 魯北行署兌換券 “lubei xingshu duihuan quan” = exchange note issued by the local administration of Northern Shandong. It was printed by the “printing office of the local administration of Northern Shandong” 魯北行署印刷居.

 

This is not really a communist, but an anti-Japanese issue! At that time only parts of Shandong were communist, and consequently the communists founded a bank of their own in Western Shgandong which issued notes with title "Bank of Western Shantung"

 

On back we find the phrase 山東省政府核定 “shandong sheng zhengfu heding” = checked and approved by the Provincial Government of Shandong.

 

In my collection there are several denominations of this bank, and also two serial no. varieties of the 2 yuan note pictured above (“thick digits” and –like in your note- “thin digits”).

 

On back, we find two names written in red. The right signature is that of the chairman (or is director the better word?) of the local administration of Northern Shandong. This right signature looks like “HoSyuYuan”, it is clearly the signature of 何思源 (in pinyin: He Si Yuan). He was born in 1896 and died in 1992. When the notes were issued he was a chairman of the Guomindang Party (in Northern Shandong I think), but after the Peoples Rep. Of China was founded, we find him as a member of the Communist Party holding some high positions and higly estimated by Maozedong (Maotsetung). The internet is full of information about him and his life, but of course all in Chinese…

 

To answer Kevin's qestion: yes, I am also interested in hell notes. Some years ago I even wrote a three volume catalog on all hell notes known to me, but now I think I could write a 6 volume catalog (if I had the time....) They cost practically nothing, on the other hand I sell them, too (in sets of 100, 500, 1000 and more different ones) and can make some money on them...I especially like the older ones (Republican times and before), but I collect all...I even collect the wooden plates from which the old hellnotes were printed.

 

Erwin

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Erwin -

 

Superb! Thank you, and for even more information than I imagined - I never thought as to who the signatures were of.

 

I was wondering about the vignette - a similar mirror image of it appears on at least one of the Bank of West Shandong notes, plus I have seen what appears to be versions of the same scene on numerous small commercial notes. Sometimes with duplications of another version of the vignette on notes apparently produced by different printers. Any ideas as to the subject or why it seems so widely used?

 

I must admit I'm tempted by the older hell notes. I've noticed a few turn up on occasion and have recognised them through the first (top right) character. Having said that, some of the more recent examples have a certain appeal so I may expand my collecting to include hell notes. Why not, after all?

 

I have some more mystery/partial mystery banknotes to show you in the near future. Thanks again for all the help.

 

Kevin

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Have you thought of producing a pdf version - though I'm not sure what that would entail?

 

Perhaps best pursued in detail in a different Topic entirely, the quick facts are that this is not as handy as you might think. You need to look at actual sales of such products, especially the print and CD versions of hte Krause SCWC, but also specialty publications, such as those for Bust Half Dollars. Do you not mark up your catalogs? I penciled in corrections to The Breen Encyclopedia. That's hard to do with a PDF -- and if it is done, then how does the future view his work as differentiable from your changes to it? Another problem is that the print version actually competes against the PDF so you have to think through the demographics of your market -- and as a basic question, just what would be the market for this work?

 

I understand the convenience of a PDF for searching. But that is about it. In any event, it is not an easy decision.

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@Erwin,

 

Thank you. Yes the quality is poor. Someday I will find a confirmed real one so I can compare the two.

 

 

 

The 20 yuan note of 1948 belongs to the first series of Remnminbi and is clearly a forgery. It is a rather crude forgery, so it can be easily detected. It is probably one of the earlier modern forgeries to deceive the collector. Forgeries of these notes produced recently are much more dangerous and can only be detected by the experienced collector. I saw some of them last weekend at the Valkenburg paper money show, they were offered by several Western dealers, I am not sure these dealers know these notes are forgeries.

 

The scenes on the note cannot be identified. In Chinese literature I only find "donkey with man at left, two trains at right", but no location is given.

 

Erwin

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@Erwin,

 

Thank you. Yes the quality is poor. Someday I will find a confirmed real one so I can compare the two.

 

There is one on sale at eBay for $70. Poor condition but I believe it's real.

http://cgi.ebay.com/China-20-Yuan-1948-POOR-RARE-Banknote-P-804-PEOPLES-/250682963299?pt=Paper_Money&hash=item3a5dde7563

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I understand from Kevin that you all or some of you cannot see the Chinese characters in my posts. As I understand very little of my personal computer it never came to my mind that you cannot see these characters... I can see them clearly... So it's useless to include Chinese characters in my posts.

 

Or can this problem be solved?

 

Erwin

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