The book is based on the 500 piece collection of Henri Fontanier, who brought it back to France in 1867. Francios Thierry is the researcher-writer about the numismatic pieces of East Asia in France. Besides this book, he has produced several other excellent books about Vietnamese pieces that are in my library, and I often correspond with him about the numismatics of Viet Nam and Cambodia and Laos."
Scott Semans also lists the book on his web site as follows: "Amulettes de Chine et du Viet-Nam Catalog of 303 pieces (mostly Chinese) with description, specs, interpretation, and good photo. Essay on typology, functions, inscriptions & calligraphy, casting, dating, and coin-like charms. French text. Bibliography, index. Most informative work in a Western language." His response to my query follows. -Editor.Scott Semans writes: "This is a new work and I have not seen it yet; his earlier work including Vietnamese charms is much more limited, and out of print. I will stock it, but anyone wanting it quickly can get it from the French Amazon site: http://www.amazon.fr.
Thierry's scholarship is top notch and based on his other works, I would expect significant information on the symbolism and uses of particular pieces, while other works are usually just picture books, or Chinese-language works on charm collecting, which are not actually catalogs.
What I usually recommend is a two-volume set from China by Zheng Yiwei et al, Classic Chinese Charms which covers exactly 10 times the number of pieces as the Thierry work and costs a bit less. Classic is bilingual English and Chinese with essays on all aspects of Chinese charms, information which has not been available before in a Western language, BUT the cataloguing of particular pieces is sketchy, which is where I expect Thierry's French-language work to be very useful.
Alex Fang, a Chinese scholar who is quite fluent in English, will have a work in press on this subject within a year, I believe. There has been a publishing explosion in Chinese numismatics since the early 1980s, and though still a sideline, it's particularly evident in the charms because there was so little in print previously, and interest in the subject goes beyond the numismatic hobby."
Many thanks to both Howard and Scott for bringing this work to our attention. -Editor
THE BOOK BAZARRE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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