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Wedding charm in the form of a silver coin and ingot

 

CM 1983-10-17-15

Room 33: Asia

    Wedding charm in the form of a silver coin and ingot

    From the Chinese world
    19th century AD

    Wishing for good luck

    This silver good luck charm is in the shape of a coin resting on a Chinese silver ingot. The inscription on the coin is arranged in four Chinese characters (top-bottom-right-left) around the square hole. It translates as 'long life, good fortune and honour'.

    Coins instantly convey the idea of money and wealth. With their compact designs and concise inscriptions, they can be seen as portable power. There is a long tradition in East Asia of coin-shaped charms to ensure good fortune, or to drive away evil spirits. Sometimes they were carried about the person; some, such as this wedding charm, were prepared for special occasions.

    J. Cribb, 'Chinese coin-shaped charms', Europe and China: Information (March-April 1986)

    F. Thierry, Amulettes de Chine et du Viet- (Paris, Le Léopard d'or, 1987)

    J. Williams (ed.), Money: a history (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

    K. Stevens, Chinese gods: the unseen world (London: Collins and Brown, 1997)

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    On display: Room 33: Asia

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