One form of countermark is the chopmark found on many coins that circulated in the Orient. Chris Chatigny of Stack's Bowers published a blog article this week on an interesting chopmarked Ration Dollar.
For this week’s highlight from the Stacks Bowers and Ponterio August 2014 Hong Kong Showcase Auction, we present a very interesting Ration Dollar from Formosa (modern day Taiwan). The Taiwan Treasury supplied the silver to produce this issue in order to pay for military rations and soldiers. These were issued during a period of uprising in 1853, which lasted several months and struck in the city of Taiwan. Once the uprising was put to an end, minting of this coinage ceased. This would suggest a very low mintage for this type.
The obverse design is dominated by the legendary treasure fountain featuring an inscription of “Never-ending Source.” This treasure fountain has lotus flowers emerging from the top as well. The Chinese legend for “Military Ration” appears to either side of the main design. Four Chinese characters below the main fountain denote: “Pure Pattern (for) general circulation.” This type is normally found with a multitude of chop marks, but this piece exhibits only a few minor chops. The obverse design is surrounded by a Greek border.
The reverse features a highly interesting and iconic design: two crossed Sumi calligraphy brushes with lotus flowers and other decorative symbols. At the right and left hand side of the major design are symbols stating: “Prefectural Treasury.” Just below the crossed brushes appear three characters that indicate its weight and value: 6.8 mace. The character meaning “Ration” is embossed just below the center of the design. A few other chop marks are visible on the reverse as well. Overall this piece is of remarkable quality for the type and displays nicely toned original surfaces.
I'm not sure if this would qualify as a siege piece, but it's certainly a form of emergency money. I wasn't aware of this coin before reading the blog article. Great piece of history!
To read the complete article, see:
Choice Quality Chinese Bi Pao Ration “Sumi Calligraphy Brushes” Dollar
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster