February 11, 2007

For Further Study

Iron Coins
Liang Song Tie Qian

The iron coins of the Northern Song dynasty are given only cursory attention in Kosen Daizen. For this reason I recommend to users of my catalogs this catalog, Liang Song Tie Qian, The Iron Coinage of the Two Song [Dynasties]. This is the catalog I use to reference my collection of iron coins. The arrangement and quality of the rubbings is excellent, and the same tradition of variety names is followed as in Fugo Senshi and Kosen Daizen. The book is hardbound with a dust jacket as shown in the image. It is available from some Chinese vendors on eBay. Cost runs about $50 including shipping from suppliers in China.

Kai Yuan Tong Bao Tu Shuo
Kai Yuan Tong Bao Varieties
Liu Zheng, Zhang Jianzhong, Editors

For those who use my catalogs, I also highly recommend this variety catalog of Tang dynasty Kai Yuan Tong Bao, which lists and has rubbings for about 2000 varieties! The authors follow the same tradition of variety names and his work, though not exhaustive (I have many varieties unlisted in this catalog) is the best I have seen. I got my copy from an eBay vendor, Asia-Coins-Center. The book is nicely printed, softbound, 207 pages. Published November, 2003. Cost was only about $12~$15 USD.

Other Northern Song Variety Catalogs
Bei Song Qian Bi
Coins of Northern Song

This two volume softbound catalog is handsomely produced, but like Ding Fu Bao and most other catalogs produced in China, there is no numbering system (admittedly a Western expectation), the coverage seems not as thorough as Kosen Daizen, and the criteria for establishing varieties seem inconsistent. The variety names seem to follow a different tradition.
Although it's interesting to have these books, they are not systematic enough to use in referencing a serious collection. I have found one or two true varieties in these books that were not in Kosen Daizen, but I think that some of the varieties in these catalogs may be imaginary. The first volume sets out the ground rules and overviews the types. The second volume attempts to record the different varieties. Nicely produced, fun to look at, but not serious enough, for me.

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