China Ming Dynasty


1 Kuan, 1367-1398 (Circa 1800 Forgery)

1 Kuan, 1367-1398 (Circa 1800 Forgery) front
1 Kuan, 1367-1398 (Circa 1800 Forgery) back


Emperor Hongwu

Emperor Hongwu
Hongwu (1328-1398), Emperor of China Ming Dynasty 1368-1398.


This note is part of a group of five notes purport to come from German collector George Pflumer of Hameln. In 1926 Pflumer sold his entire collection to the Marquess of Bute of Great Britain who in turn, sold the collection to Spink's in 1970. It was later acquired by Ted Uhl, a reputable paper money dealer. Around 1983, George D. Hatie, General Counsel and Immediate Past President of the American Numismatic Association, bought it from Ted Uhl. The note eventually ended up in the collection of William H. McDonald, Founder and Past President of Canadian Paper Money Society.

For over 150 years, the note was believed to be genuine because it is documented in the General History of China published in French by P. Du Halde in 1736.

In the early 1980s, however, many numismatists began to question the accuracy of this chapter of book. It's now a general knowledge that both the facsimile drawing shown in the book and the note are bogus. Read The Story of Five Ancient Chinese Notes on my blog.

I bought this note from William H. McDonald's son-in-law through Joel Shafer of Lyn Knight Auctions on September 17, 2010.

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