Hou Zi Xin - Name of Silversmith Diameter: 30(L) x 48(W) x 25(H) mm Weight: 192g (5 taels)
Qi County Diameter: 33(L) x 48(W) x 26(H) mm Weight: 185g (5 taels)
During Ching Dynasty and early Republican Period, there were 2 kinds of
sycee employed in Honan Province, i.e. Shoe Sycee in 10 or 50 taels, and
Waisted Sycee Kidney, with which, Chinese people used to call it
Yiao Ding. Such name may be interpreted in two ways, one is like Joe Cribb
did in his book* as Waisted Sycee, and another is Kidney Sycee. In
Chinese, the word Yiao contains the meaning of Waist and Kidney both.
HonanWaisted Sycee can be found in market with quite many amount at
present days. All Waisted Sycee were inscribed with one stamp, but they can
be further classified into two major types; one type with the inscription of
name of silversmith (as No.1 exemplified), and another type inscribed with
name of place (as No. 2 exemplified). The former type was privately issued
by then local banks or silversmiths, most of the Waisted Sycee we have found
are this type. The latter type was cast by local governments with their
authorized silversmiths mainly for the purpose of tax collection, its
specimens are respectively scarce.
Note: * A Catalogue of Sycee in the British Museum — Chinese Silver Currency
Ingots C. 1750-1933. British Museum Press. 1992.