The Qianlong Emperor 1761 AD
Mule coin, Xinjiang Aksu Mint and Kashgar mint
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The Qianlong Emperor 1711 – 1799 AD
Material Red Copper
Chinese inscription: 喀十 (Kashgar)
But Manchu inscription: Aku and Urgur also: ئۇچتۇر (Aksu)
These coins were made by the Aksu mint for circulation in the Kashgar area.
This sub-contracting was a feature of the period, but the principal records make no mention of it.
Red Cash (Qing Imperial Cast Coins)
China's Qing (Manchu) dynasty began casting coins in the far-Western region of "Xinjiang" (Chinese for "The New Frontier," sometimes transliterated as "Sinkiang") in 1760, only one year after the emperor Qianlong's generals conquered the region's capitols of Kashgar and Yarkand. Not only did this primarily Muslim and Turkic-speaking region represent a distinct cultural landscape for the empire, but also a special economic environment. The many differences between the coinages of Xinjiang and the rest of China reflected the special demands of governing this area. The coins cast in Xinjiang were made from copper, rather than the brass used for the rest of the empire's coinage, leading to the nickname "red cash." These copper coins were valued at five of the standard cash, and provided some continuity with the monetary system used under the region's previous rulers, the Dzungar Oirat Mongol Dzungar Khanate. Most of the red cash also displayed mint names in the local Turki language. Lying far from the empire's center, Xinjiang was somewhat loosely governed by the court, and this is reflected in the great variety of coin types produced, some of them quite innovative. In spite of frequent rebellions and invasions, the coinage of red cash continued on and off through the nineteenth century and into the beginning of the twentieth. The final examples of red cash were cast in 1909 in the name of the last emperor, Xuantong (Puyi), using the same casting technology employed by Chinese mints for 2,000 years.
The red cash of Xinjiang are quite popular among Chinese collectors for their abundance of unusual types, and for their connection to the "Silk Road" and "Western Regions" history/mythology. Some of the coins of Qing Xinjiang represent surprising breaks from Chinese coinage traditions. Most types are trilingual, and errors were abundant. Among the numerous types of red cash there are both great rarities and common pieces with strong historical significance.
The Qianlong Emperor (25 September 1711 – 7 February 1799), formerly romanized as the Chien-lung Emperor, was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. Born as Hongli (formerly Hung-li), the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796.1 On 8 February, he abdicated in favor of his son, the Jiaqing Emperor – a filial act in order not to reign longer than his grandfather, the illustrious Kangxi Emperor. Despite his retirement, however, he retained ultimate power until his death in 1799. Although his early years saw the continuation of an era of prosperity in China, his final years saw troubles at home and abroad converge on the Qing Empire.
Red Cash was a special currency, because it was made of pure copper with Urgur and Han inscriptions on the reverse. During the later period of Qing Dynasty, some of the red cash were inscribed with Manchu scripts on the reverse too. Actually, Sinkiang Standard Cash of IIi Mint and Tihwa Mint were made of copper, present Chinese collectors accustomed to call them "Red Cash" too.
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