Obverse. Photo © Heritage Auctions
  • 1 Dollar 1837-1845, C# 25-3, Taiwan (Formosa), Daoguang
  • 1 Dollar 1837-1845, C# 25-3, Taiwan (Formosa), Daoguang
  • 1 Dollar 1837-1845, C# 25-3, Taiwan (Formosa), Daoguang, Heavily chopmarked
Description

The Daoguang Emperor (1782–1850) was the eighth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty and the sixth Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1820 to 1850. His reign was marked by "external disaster and internal rebellion," that is, by the First Opium War, and the beginning of the Taiping Rebellion which nearly brought down the dynasty.

The Old Man Dollar was issued during the rebellion of 1836-1840 by the revolutionist Chang Wen to pay his troops which were stationed on the Island of Taiwan (Formosa).

Generally, these pieces are found covered with an important number of chops. Specimens with a few chops are much scarcer. The chop marks were tests that the coin was silver and not just silver plated. Struck in order to alleviate the silver coinage shortage in the mid-19th century, this type was set roughly to the standard of the Spanish 8 Reales, and became very popular. This was primarily due to its high silver content, approximately 98% fine.

There are four major varieties of the Old Man Dollar. One has the Chinese words "kuan chu" (official mint) on the man's chest; the second lacks these characters; a third has two tiny characters near the lower right rim on the reverse, "fa erh" or "erh fa"; and the fourth has three tiny characters on the reverse.

Obverse

Depicts Chinese God of Longevity, half-length facing; to the left, 4 seal script (Cast in the time of Tao Kwang); to right, 4 letters in seal script (seven two on the treasury scales); on the god, 4 letters in Chinese script (Silver cake of the standard purity or Pure Sycee generally current).

Shou, the God of Longevity, is a symbol of a long healthy life. He is a popular deity, and his image is kept within the household to promote good health and long life to the occupants. Often Shou is placed in the centre sector of the house, facing the main breadwinner of the household, who should face his or her Tian Yi direction as much as possible, for better health luck.

道光年铸 足纹银饼
库平柒弐

Reverse

Depicts sacrificial tripod; around, 4 Manchu letters, above and below signify Formosa; on right: Hoo (possibly: Treasury); on left, Kyahi (a town 39 miles north of Tainan).

A sacrificial tripod is a three-legged piece of religious furniture used for offerings or other ritual procedures. As a seat or stand, the tripod is the most stable furniture construction for uneven ground, hence its use is universal and ancient.

Tripod pottery have been part of the archaeological assemblage in China since the earliest Neolithic cultures of Cishan and Peiligang in the 7th and 8th millennium BC. They are often referred to as "dings" and usually have three legs.

Edge

1 Dollar

Old Man Dollar
C# 25-3 Kann# 1
Characteristics
Material Silver
Fineness 0.98
Weight 26.8 g
Diameter 39 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal

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