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Journal Articles Études Chinoises Year : 2018

The Forger and Numismatist: Li Baotai and Bao Kang

Le faussaire et le numismate : Li Baotai et Bao Kang



“What lengths the forgers go to! They produce items as large as yi and ding vessels; and as small as coins.” These are the bitter facts that greet the reader on the first page of Guanguge quanbian 觀古閣泉辨 (Identifying the coins from the Guanguge), a pamphlet from 1873 which deals exclusively with the question of forgeries. Written by the eminent numismatist and collector Bao Kang 鮑康 (1810-1881), it gives the names of several forgers of the Xianfeng and Tongzhi reign periods, and details of their particular techniques. These forgeries, aimed at collectors, circulated through the hands of antique dealers. We learn that some dealers availed themselves of the services of forgers. For example, the brothers Su Zhaonian 蘇兆年 (dates unknown) and Su Yinian 蘇億年 (dates unknown) in Chang’an worked together with a certain Zhang Erming 張二 銘 (dates unknown). The manufacturing techniques varied, and some were more sophisticated than others. The simplest method was to make casts of existing coins; but sometimes an old coin might be given a new inscription, and some fantasy pieces were created too. One forger in particular attracted great attention. He was Li Baotai 李寶臺 († ca 1875), who earned the respect of the most important collectors of the time—Liu Xihai 劉喜海 (1793-1852), Ye Zhishen 葉志詵 (1776-1861), Li Zuoxian 李佐賢 (1807-1876), Chen Jieqi 陳 介祺 (1813-1884), and Yang Jizhen 楊繼震 (1820-1901) —who called on his talents at making rubbings and entrusted him with their private collections of coins. They even bought old coins for him, although they were aware of his forgery business. The quality of his rubbings rendered him indispensable to them and at the same time afforded him direct access to rare pieces, which he could copy at leisure. The relationships between the collectors and forgers were thus ambiguous. Bao Kang frequently met with the forgers, whom he named, and whose skills he acknowledged. The sale of such forgeries did not worry him as much as the possibility that they might be published by collectors who did not know better.
《甚矣作偽者之勞也。大而彛鼎,小而泉幣》。以此尖銳的評價作為全 書開端,《觀古閣泉辨》(為辨認觀古閣錢幣而作)寫於1873年,是一本專 注於介紹偽幣的小冊子。作者鮑康 (1810-1881),是一位傑出的古幣研究者 和收藏家。該書揭曉了自咸豐(1850-1861)至同治 (1861-1875) 年間幾位偽 幣製造者的名諱及他們(製造偽幣)的特殊技法。這些偽幣以古董商為媒介 最終流入收藏家之手。據此亦可解釋一些古董商和偽造者之間的合夥關係。如長安的蘇兆年,蘇億年兄弟曾與某位名為張二銘的偽造者合作。製造偽幣 的手段多樣甚至堪稱精細。最簡單的是複制模澆鑄工藝,此外,亦可見一種 經由多道工序,將新字樣加在舊幣上的手法,還有些偽幣製造者不憚去創造 新的、從未存在過的錢幣樣式。一位名為李寶台的偽幣製造者尤其引人注 目。他受到當時幾位最大的收藏家器重。劉喜海 (1793-1852)、葉志詵 (1776- 1861)、李佐賢 (1807-1876)、陳介祺 (1813-1884)、楊繼震 (1820-1901) 都把他 們自己收藏的錢幣拿出來讓他作拓片。他們有時甚至去給他購買一些古幣, 儘管知道他製造偽幣。高超的壓印水平讓李寶台成為不可或缺的人。他因此 得到了一條可以直接獲取那些稀有錢幣的途徑,在充足的時間裡對它們自由 地複制。因此,收藏家和偽幣製造者處在一種“含混不清”的關係中。鮑康 會定期和他指定的這些偽幣製造者會面,了解他們的一些專長。比起這些假 幣的銷路,鮑康更擔心它們可能會被一些經驗不足的收藏家們編目。
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hal-03085181 , version 1 (08-01-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03085181 , version 1


Lyce Jankowski. Le faussaire et le numismate : Li Baotai et Bao Kang. Études Chinoises, 2018, XXXVII-2, pp.139-166. ⟨hal-03085181⟩
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