Chinese Proto Money Ming Knife, Bronze, 400-200BC

Denomination: Bronze ming proto money 

Period: Late Zhou

Date: 400-200 BC

Origin: Possibly Xiandu, Peking

Condition: VF for type, corrosion and patina commensurate with age

Obverse: Knife-shaped 'coin' with bend in blade, lettering in Chinese on flat of blade which reads 'Ming' hence the name. Ribbed handle and large suspension loop at end.

Reverse:  Similar to obverse but lettering of legend is indistinct 

Size and Weight: 135mm, 15.91g

Features and Provenance: In the 4th century BC, isolated China was still largely using barter whereas Greece had been using and spreading the use of coinage since 700BC. Eventually, their form of money was based on everyday implements that were miniaturised such as spades, sword and knives; numismatists call this proto money. Our example is the knife form, made of about 40% copper and was cast rather than struck. Multiple 'coins' could be roped together via the loop at the end of the handle and used for exchange but it unsure if they had a denominational value. They were, however, officially made and the legend on the reverse probably proclaims this.   



Condition Summary. This varies with the age of coin and there are grades between

Uncirculated (U). As struck with no traces of wear

Extremely Fine (EF). Very slight traces of wear, all parts of legend etc present, visible and clear

Very Fine (VF). Some signs of wear on the higher parts of the relief, all parts of legend etc present, but maybe worn

Fine (F). Wear on the coin and parts of legend etc may be missing or not visible






Write a review

Note: HTML is not translated!
    Bad           Good
  • Product Code: RNC005
  • Availability: Sold
  • £150.00

The Hoard Limited ( ) © 2023 | Designed by Jarilo Design