Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Denomination

    • cash, 1000
    • guan, 1
    • string, 1
  • Description

    Banknote: 1 guan (1 string of 1000 cash).(obverse) Six-character inscription giving name of banknote across the top. Below this a border of dragons. At the centre is an illustration of 1000 coins (strung as 10 groups of 100 coins). The two-character inscription above this gives the denomination; there is also a four-character inscription (in a folded style of writing) at either side. The longer inscription below gives further details and warns against counterfeiting.


  • Authority

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1375
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 340 millimetres
    • Width: 218 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        大明通行寶鈔 (across top)
        壹貫 (across middle)
        大明寳鈔 (right)
        永遠通行 (left)
        戶部 / 奏准印造 / 大明寳鈔與銅錢通行 / 使用僞造者斬告捕 / 者賞銀貳百伍拾兩 / 仍給犯人財產 / 洪武年月日 (below)
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Da Ming tongxing baochao (across top)
        yi guan (across middle)
        Da Ming baochao (right)
        Yongyuan tongxing (left)
        Hubu / zou zhun yinzao / Da Ming baochao yu tongqian tongxing / shiyong weizao zhe zhan gao bu / zhe shang yin er bai wushi liang / reng gei fanren caichan / Hongwu X nian X yue X ri (below)
      • Inscription Translation

        Great Ming circulating treasure note (across top)
        one string (across middle)
        Great Ming treasure note (right)
        Circulating forever (left)
        The Imperial Board of Revenue having memorialised the Throne has received the Imperial sanction for the issue of Government notes of the Ming Empire, to circulate on the same footing as standard cash. To counterfeit is death. The informant will receive 250 Taels of silver and in addition the entire property of the criminal. Hongwu period X year X month X day (below)
  • Bibliography

    • MacGregor 2010 72 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G68/dc9/p2

  • Exhibition history

    2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    On loan from ifs School of Finance (previously Chartered Institute of Bankers) between 1987 and 2009.

  • Department

    Coins & Medals

  • Registration number


Banknote: 1 guan (1 string of 1000 cash).

Reproduced by permission of the artist. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Image description



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Object reference number: CIB241539

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