The Yuan Dynasty

wpe1.jpg (121518 個位元組)No. Yu/1


Weight: 1980 grams/ 50 taels


Date: 1229-1305 A.D.


Inscriptions: 平陽路徵收課稅所銀伍拾兩/濟泉庫監柴汾/庫官壬謙王仲祿/府


Ping Yang Lu (District) Tax Collecting Bureau 50 Tael Silver. Treasury Ji Chuan, Guardian Chai Ji, Treasury Officers-Zen Chien, Wang Zhong Lu



Yu/1 is a rarely seen Yuan 50 tael official salt tax silver. Its place name of "Ping Yang Lu" was specifically associated with the Yuan Dynasty, and referred to the territory of the present Shansi Province. During the reign of Emperor Tai Zhong (Wokotai Khan, 1229-1242 A.D., the son and successor of ChengkisKhan), the Tax Collecting Bureau was founded in the Ping Yang District specifically to collect salt tax. Afterward, more bureaus were established in other districts for the same purpose.


In the 9th year of Da Der (1305 A.D. Emperor Cheng Zhong, or Temur Khan), a major earthquake struck the Ping Yang District and caused serious damage and many injuries. To commemorate surviving the catastrophe, the imperial government that year renamed "Ping Yang District" as "Jin Ning District". (In Chinese, "Jin" has been an abbreviation of "Shansi", and "Ning" means "Peace")


Accordingly, Yu/1 should be cast in the period of 1229-1305.  


Collection of the webmaster

wpe1.jpg (153254 個位元組)          wpe6.jpg (30190 個位元組)No. Yu/2


Weight: 185 grams/5 taels


Date: N/A


Inscriptions: 真花銀記/真花銀記


Genuine Flowery Silver's Remark




Cast in the later Yuan or early Ming Dynasty 

Collection of the webmaster

wpeF.jpg (178462 個位元組)No. Yu/3


Weight: 50 taels


Date: 1301 A.D.

Inscriptions: 真定路/鹽榷胡樞/庫使孫向/庫副陳德/辛丑年/銀匠郭安

Zhen Ding Lu (District)

"Yen Chue" (Salt Monopoly Bureau) "Hu Shu" (Name)

Commissioner of Treasury "Sung Hsiang" (Name) 

Deputy Commissioner of Treasury "Cheng Der"(Name)

Hsin Chou Year (The celestial year of Hsin Chou) (The 5th Year of Da Der Reign of the Yuan Dynasty; 1301 AD)

Silversmith Kuo An


The production and sale of salt were both regulated monopolies during the Yuan Dynasty. It had been customary for merchants to buy a license from the government which gave them permission to obtain an agreed quantity of salt from a salt field and sell it in the markets. But, because too many officials governing the salt production were caught accepting bribes from  merchants who intended to avoid license fees by smuggling salt, the Yuan government changed the policy relating to salt in the 4th year of Da Der (1300 AD). 

The new policy resulted in the abolition of the practice of granting salt licenses;  a number of official salt warehouses were established and merchants were required to make purchases from these locations. All salt produced was distributed to the official warehouses with the result that salt fields no longer had any connection with the merchants. 

This piece was cast from the payments used to purchase salt under the procedure established by the new policy.


Collection of Tony Ma 

wpe1.jpg (58340 個位元組)          wpe6.jpg (56661 個位元組)No. Yu/4


Weight: 180 grams/5 taels


Date: N/A








According to the seller of this piece, it was part of a hoard of  20-30 pieces of similarly shaped sycee excavated in Yunnan. The weight varied from a few taels to 20 taels. Only 3 of them were inscribed, but the inscriptions are no longer traceable, since the person who excavated them sold them before many people had a chance to view them. 


Judging from its shape, we believe this piece was cast in the period between the latter Yuan and the early Ming Dynasty.  


Collection of the webmaster

wpe5.jpg (58941 個位元組)          wpe9.jpg (50049 個位元組)No. Yu/5


Weight: 132 grams/3.67 taels


Date: N/A


Inscriptions: 花銀


Flowery Silver




Collection of Lisa & Dan


More Yuan Specimens in  Museums: National Historical Museum (Taiwan), Hanaga (Hong Kong)

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