ANCIENT CHINA Large Chinese 10 Cash Tong Zhi, Bao Yuan Beijing Mint Board Works
Tong Zhi Zhong Bao
Bao Yuan, Board of Workers Mint, in Beijing, One Coin Value 10 Cash
Reference: Hartill 22.1133
Weight: 9 grams; Size: 32 mm; Brass
Obv: Tong Zhi Zhong Bao
Rev: Manchurian inscription "Bao Yuan"
Board of Workers Mint, in Beijing
Emperor MU TSUNG
T'ung Chih also issued some larger denomination coins in both brass and copper, in 4, 5 and 10 cash denominations. The 4 and 5 cash are rare and seldom seen, but the 10 cash turn up fairly often.
The Tongzhi Emperor
The Tongzhi Emperor (27 April 1856 – 12 January 1875), born Zaichun of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan, was the tenth emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the eighth Qing emperor to rule over China. His reign, from 1861 to 1875, which effectively lasted through his adolescence, was largely overshadowed by the rule of his mother, Empress Dowager Cixi. Although he had little influence over state affairs, the events of his reign gave rise to what historians call the "Tongzhi Restoration", an unsuccessful attempt to stabilise and modernise China.
The only surviving son of the Xianfeng Emperor and Empress Dowager Cixi, the Tongzhi Emperor attempted political reform in the period of the Tongzhi Restoration. His first regnal name was Qixiang (祺祥; Manchu: Fengšengge Sabingga), but this name was later abandoned by Cixi in favour of "Tongzhi", a contraction of the classical phrase tonggui yu zhi (simplified Chinese: 同归与治; traditional Chinese: 同歸與治), which means "restoring order together". An alternate interpretation reads it as "mother and son co-emperors" (Chinese: 母子同治天下), which fits the state of affairs, as the empress dowager wielded real power and ruled behind the scenes. The traditional Chinese political phrase "attending audiences behind a curtain" (simplified Chinese: 垂帘听政; traditional Chinese: 垂簾聽政; pinyin: chuí lián tīng zhèng) was coined to describe Cixi's rule through her son.
In the fall of 1874, the Tongzhi Emperor got into a clash with his ministers, which included his two uncles, Prince Gong and Prince Chun, largely over the emperor's plans to rebuild the Old Summer Palace at a time in which the empire was bankrupt, and over his dissolute behavior. The emperor reacted by firing the ministers, but Empress Dowagers Ci'an and Cixi intervened, and he had them reinstated. That December, it was announced that he was ill with smallpox, and the empress dowagers resumed the regency. He died on January 12, 1875, leaving no sons to succeed him.