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September 2013

Stringing Cash Coins

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Arthur Henderson Smith was a famous American missionary who went to China in 1872.  He worked in Shandong Province until the Boxer Rebellion forced him to flee and take refuge at the Legation Quarter in Peking in 1900. Smith wrote several books about China including “Village Life in China” which was published in 1899. The [...]


Cycling Across Imperial China

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Two Americans decided to take a trip. The year was 1890 and Thomas G. Allen Jr. and William L. Sachtleben had just graduated from my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. The “ordinary” (“penny-farthing“) bicycle with the very large front wheel and very small back wheel was just beginning to be replaced by the [...]


World’s Largest Copper Coin Sculpture

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In the year 621 AD, Emperor Gaozu of the newly established Tang Dynasty introduced a new coin with the inscription kai yuan tong bao (開元通寶) which set a standard that lasted for some 1200 years. Although the last kai yuan tong bao coin was cast many centuries ago, a new kai yuan tong bao coin [...]