Dr.T.D.Yih, J. de
Sep, 25, 1998
Xian Ping Yuan Bao|
The collection of Javanese cash pieces from the EMR consists of about 270
pieces. They belong
to the so-called Van Rede collection and they are reported to originate from
the region of Tegal, east
of Cheribon on the northern coast of Java. It is quite possible that a
number of pieces are identical to the ones from the collection of the
Batavian Society for Arts and Sciences as described by van der
1898. They have a yellowish-white appearance and are very thin and fragile.
A number of pieces are broken.|
Four main types can be distinguished:
The weight ranges from 0.11 to 1.2 grams and varies considerably within the main types. The lightest pieces are found in the blanc series and the reduction in weight is mainly caused by the extra-ordinary size of the central inner hole. The Tegal pieces are much more fragile than the lead and bronze javanese pieces described by Mitchiner (1986).
The fragility of the Tegal pieces complies with the data on the picis, the cash pieces circulating in the archipelago at the arrival of the Europeans. The corruption of the characters is not in line with the supposed production in southern China and export to Java, but rather suggests a local production on Java itself.
The authors are grateful to Dr.Ross and Dr.v.d.Meiracker for providing the opportunity to study and analyse the coins.
Additional notes on 30-Aug-2000:
The exact date of Tegal coins issues is not known. It is reported that with the arrival of the Europeans in the Indian archipelago at the end of the 16th century so called leaden pitjes circulated in large quantities. They were described as of low quality and very fragile. The Tegal cash corresponds with this description.
On the other hand it is mentioned that later under the Dutch VOC regime on Java also pitjes were made some hundred years later.
From my XRF-analysis it appears that the Tegal pieces consist of a mixture of lead and tin with only a trace of copper. Home page