A Single Groove in Yunnan Pattern but Inscribed with A Place Name of Jiangsu
This is a piece of sycee which identifies its place of origin as Jiang Ning County of Jiangsu, but which is cast the pattern of another province--The Single Groove of Yunnan. The inscriptions further indetify it as a tax silver of that county. The typical shapes of Jiangsu sycee were 5 tael Round or 50 tael Boat, and this kind of small Single Groove was not previously associated with the sycee of the province.
Sometime ago, we also found a Square Trough in Kuangtung pattern but with an obsolete place name of Jiangsu.
Obviously, Jiangsu was used to acquiring and circulating the sycee of other provinces, and its local government was also willing to accept them as tax payments. Our expanation of this strange phenomenon is that since sycee had been replaced by silver coins and were difficult to obtain in Jiangsu, the local government had to source sycee from other provinces in order to obey the decree that all official payments submitted to the imperial government must be in the form of sycee.
It is very likely that in the future we may be able to find more Jiangsu pieces cast in various patterns of different provinces, not only in the Kuangtung Square Trough or Yunnan Single Groove.
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