Martin Purdy of New Zealand offers these thoughts on the mystery "Chinese" Civil War token discussed in recent issues. Thanks!
Some thoughts on the mystery "Chinese" item in last week's E-Sylum, just by way of adding to the brainstorming - I don't pretend to have resolved the question of what it is!
As far as I can make out, CONSULERE GENERI HOMINUM means "look after the interests of mankind" (Consulere + a noun in the dative case means "study the interests of, provide for, promote the welfare of", according to my old Latin dictionary, Generi is the dative form of Genus (kind, type), and Hominum is a plural genitive ("of men") - genus hominum seems to be a compound expression meaning "mankind".)
MAGI GENII also seems to be a genitive ("of the magic spirit" - someone else with better Latin than mine may pick better words, but that's the idea), or it could be a simple plural ("magic spirits"). It doesn't seem to tie in with anything else on the token. But then all of the elements on it seem to be in isolation anyway. The words themselves could be in isolation, too - THE MAGI and SPIRITS/DEITIES.
B.C. - I think it's a stretch to assume this refers to a date (BC normally comes after the numerals, just as AD precedes them in correct usage), especially in the context of a 6-digit number. No possibility of a reference to British Columbia here? Are there Canadian tokens known from that Province in the period in question? Could the numbers be code, or even a registered design number? (I've seen one such on a 1919 'Peace' token that was sold in New Zealand, so the idea isn't totally impossible)
QUBO is weird, but KUBO exists as a Japanese surname, and I actually found a KUBO DAIRI as the name of a holder of various recent patents (individual or company name? Not sure). But someone of the same name appearing on a presumably North American token 120 years earlier? Doubtful.
WHANG is an odd spelling if it's a Chinese name, as has been noted, but then conventions for transliteration would have been less strict at the time. The spelling is still around as a surname, as Mr.
Google will confirm.
The idea that it was deliberately conceived to be mysterious is probably the most likely explanation, rather like the assemblage of charms and symbols that one sees on Masonic tokens - if you know what they are, they make sense; if they don't, they're a bunch of symbols.
To read the complete article, see:
MORE ON THE HO HI WHANG TOKEN MYSTERY
Wayne Homren, Editor
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