Yi Guan Bei He Tong
----An Item To Tell Paper Money Origin


Please see the following photos first:

What is it?
Mr. Anthony M. Lee said as this:
Seals with an external form or forming a silhouette like this are usually Japanese which is also suggested by the bottom character which is probably not really a character but a crest or mark (Kao). Possibly NANKAN KAI - NANKAN organization.

Anthony M. Lee Asian Art Research

(You can see that at this:
http://www.asianart.com/phpforum/index.php?method=detailAll&Id=9892 )

Sound reasonable? Only if he was not kidding.
But it is a pity, he was totally wrong!

Anthony Lee's background includes studies in classical Chinese, Chinese history and historiography. He carved seals as a sideline business for artists in Japan, for both calligraphy and painting and for ceramic artists. For this he studied bronze and early seal inscriptions from the catalogues of major Chinese collections. Mr. Lee's general art expertise comes from working in galleries as a teenager, through University studies and working with the Royal Ontario Museum, and a decade in Asia meeting and communicating with dealers as a collector and independent scholar. As well, he is a licensed instructor of Japanese tea ceremony and has just published a book, The Japanese Tea Ceremony Gift Set : Explore the Mysteries and Traditions of the Ancient Japanese Tea Ceremony, through Bridgewater Books, The Ivy Press, UK.
(You can see that introduction at this:
http://www.asianart.com/phpforum/htmls/anthony_m.html )

Then what is the truth?
Please first see and compare these:

The strokes on the two seals are almost the same.
The picture at the right is a copper seal named: (Yi Guan Bei He Tong).
It was collected by The National Museum Of China, It was defined as: Grade A, First Class Antique, the highest level for cultural relic in chinese museum.
Along with it which have the same level is an engraved copper plate, HuiZi plate:

Also there is a rubbing piece collected there:
It is a rubbing from an engraved plate, the plate was for paper money printing, now it is believed in Japan.

They are all rare items related to paper money origin in Chinese Song Dynasty(960 A.D. -- 1279 A.D.)

(I do not want to compete for Mr. Anthony M. Lee's job, nor do I doubt his expertise or show off here, anyone could make a error sometimes, I only want to express my view and find, we can discuss if you like.)


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