currency tallies

Two varnished bamboo tallies, each worth 1000 cash coins. The denomination and issuers are either handwritten in black ink or impressed into the body on both obverse and reverse. One has a label with the number '391 pasted onto it. This tally is inscribed on the front with the name of a currency manufacturer “發城天增利記 fa cheng tian zeng li ji”, while on the back it is carved with the name of the manufacturer, which is followed by the authorised number “義字第壹百捌拾號yi zi di yi bai ba shi hao” and the amount of the money “壹千文yi qian wen” , meaning one thousand cash coins. The other tally is inscribed with seven Chinese characters. The first character cannot be recognised, but the other characters “街市大錢壹吊jie shi da qian yi diao” represent one thousand Chinese cash coins at the time where the tallies was made. The characters “桃林 聚長記tao lin fu ju chang ji” carved underneath show the name of the currency manufacturer in Tao Lin city, Shandong province, China. On the reverse six characters are inscribed: “海字第伍拾號 hai zi di wu shi hao”, which might be the authorised number of the manufacturer. This is followed by the name of the manufacturer carved again.

Used as token forms of money in gambling parlour or market.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: