Inscription: [Blank] Xi (Double Happiness) month
[Blank] year of Hsieng Feng Period (1851-1961). Ping Yao County.
[Cast by Silversmith] Jao Wan Gong Dimension: 115 (L) x 65 (W) x 103 (H) mm Weight: 1832 g (50 taels)
Shansi 50-tael sycee are more easier for us to find, if compared to
other 50-tael sycee of elsewhere. Shansiís were all made in the shape of
Yuan Bao, which looks like a boat or shoe.
Shansi Yuan Bao still having respectively large quantity in today,
mainly because of Shansi Banks, who had successfully established a near-modern
banking system for China since Tao Kuang period (1821-1850), and then
dominated Chinese banking business, until the very last years of Ching
During the golden period the riches, merchants, and governments,
including local and central, saved their incomes and capitals into
Banks, and the governments even assigned them to remit official payments,
all and all had made Shansi Banks become the richest and the most powerful
economic group in the Chinese society.
For their banking business Shansi Banks had to prepare many sycee as
to pay to their customers whenever they demanded. Thus, countless of Yuan
Bao were cast at that time.
The shown one, without inscribing specific month and year, could be
used as a reserve for local governments, which did not need to be submitted
to the central. Another possibility is, it was just made for the payment to
an ordinary customer, who needed it for a wedding, therefore, the character
of Xi (double happiness) was stamped on.