General Ma Zhao Charm with horse

Vladimir Belyaev
Apr.26, 1998
Obverse: Shu Jiang Ma Chou - Shu's general Ma Chou
Historical person of Shu Dynasty. But what Shu - I don't know.
There were six Shu Dynasties during China history at the district Chendu, Sychuan province:
  • From ancient times until Qin dynasty;
  • From 249 b.c. to 36 a.d.
  • 226-263 a.d. - one of Three states
  • 304-347 a.d. - Latest Shu, one of Sixteen states
  • 907-925 a.d. - after Tang dynasty Earliest Shu state
  • 934-965 a.d. - after Tang dynasty Latest Shu state
    Reverse: Horse
    Diameter: 28.3 mm
    Weight: 7.1 g

    Information from Hao Sun (26-Aug-99):
    Ma Chou was a general of "Three States" period. There are many different horse charms exist, and said were to commemorative the brave generals.

  • Message from Francois Thierry (Chief-curator in Cabinet des Medailles, French National Library, Paris) - 31-Mar-00:
      I can give more details:
      the inscription is Shu jiang Ma Zhao - Ma Zhao, the general of Shu. Ma Zhao (176-222) was a very famous cavalry general of the Kingdom of Han of Shu (Shu Han, now Sichuan) and symbol of loyalty and courage; he died just at the beginning of the new established Kingdom.
      We can find many paintings or printing images with Ma Zhao (conf. Maurice DURAND, "Imagerie populaire vietnamienne", Paris EFEO, 1960, pl. 284). This charm is a play token for the Da ma chess or Horses chess, a chess form very popular during the Song dynasty. Later these token where turned in charms. This piece is published in my book Amulette de Chine et du Vietnam, Paris 1987, under number 276.
    More about General Ma Chao - Chao
    Chinese Coinage Web Site