Known Heaviest Saddle Sycee
Weight: 247 grams/ 7 taels
Date: Approx. 1884 A.D.
Inscriptions: 胡寶豐號/公議紋銀Hu Bao Feng Firm
Publicly Agreed Fine Silver
Assaying chops: 公議胡記/公議胡記
Publicly Agreed Hu's Firm
Saddle Sycee is distinguished by its particular shape (it looks like a Chinese traditional gateway or a western saddle), its uniform weight of 5 taels, and consistent fineness of 98%. We still can, however, find many specimens do not follow all these rules. The weight standard of 5 taels per piece was not strictly complied with on all occasions. A good example is the specimen shown above, a Type O-A of 247 grams or 7 taels, which weighs 40% more than the standard Saddle.
This piece and others like it illustrate that even though local Yunnan banks endeavored to unify their weight and purity standard, Saddle Sycee did not completely depart from the nature of traditional Chinese sycee which had to be measured for their actual weight and fineness while being used in trade, due to either the local bank's, or users' custom.
It is reported that the People's Bank of China houses in its treasury a 242 gram Saddle sycee which was the heaviest known until we found this one.
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