Zhan Tian Dimensions: 48(L) x 32(W) mm x 27(H) Weight: 150 g (4 Taels)
This is a 4 tael sycee in typical shoe shape as of late Ming period.
It has a small but evident waist, and the edge lower than the average
Ch'ing's shoe sycee.
It deeply inscribed with two Chinese characters: (Zhan
meaning unknown, could be the name of silver shop or silversmith who made
this sycee. It is also possible that it is name of owner who instructed to
cast it; silversmiths at that time when casting sycee for their clients
sometimes inscribed client's name on the sycee per their requests, this
custom can be seen from many novels written in late Ming till early
Dynasty. However, no matter whose name the inscription stands for, this
sycee apparently was a private sycee.
For the average people at that time, this 4 tael sycee would mean a
big fortune, for it was about one whole month's salary of a lower ranking
official in the Ming's Empire.