An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Qianpu 錢譜

Dec 5, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

There were several texts through the ages that were given the name Qianpu 錢譜 "Notes on Money".

The oldest was Gu Xuan's 顧烜 Qianpu from the Liang period 梁 (502-557). Feng Yan 封演 (mid-8th cent.) wrote a Qianpu (Xu qianpu 續錢譜) during the Tang period 唐 (618-907). Dong Shen 董深 compiled the Xu qianpu 續錢譜 with a length of 10 juan; Li Xiaomei 李孝美 was the author of the overview Lidai qianpu 歷代錢譜, also with a length of 10 juan. The last two were compiled during the Song period 宋 (960-1279). The Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Lu Shen 陸深 (1477-1544) authored a book with the title Qianpu, too.

Most of these texts are lost, but the most important suriving Qianpu is that of Jiang Deliang 江得量 from the Qing period 清 (1644-1911). It has a length of 24 juan and is richly illustrated, but was only circulating in manuscript form. A print of Lu Shen's Qianpu from the Yongle 永樂 (1403-1424) or Hongxi 洪熙 (1425) reign-period has survived. It includes the illustrations of more than 200 coins from all ages.

During the Republican period (1911-1949), the Imperial Palace Museum (at that time called Guoli Beiping gugong bowuyuan 國立北平故宮博物院) published a collection of coin catalogues from the possession of the imperial palace, called Gugong Qing qianpu 故宮清錢譜. It includes the illustrations of 284 zuqian 祖錢 "progenitor coins", muqian 母錢 "mother coins" or yangqian 樣錢 "model coins" that served as the standards for official coins.

Beijing Dongfang Shoucangjia Xiehui 北京東方收藏家協會, ed. (1996). Zhonghui shoucang da cidian 中華收藏大辭典 (Beijing: Bejing Yanshan chubanshe), 240.
Huang Da 黄達, Liu Hongru 劉鴻儒, Zhang Xiaoren 張肖任, eds. (1990). Zhongguo jinrong baike quanshu 中國金融百科全書 (Beijing: Jingji guanli chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1073.
Wang Yi 王益, Bai Qinxian 白欽先, eds. (2000). Dangdai jiinrong cidian 當代金融辭典 (Beijing: Zhongguo jingji chubanshe), 809.
蜀漢 (221-263)