Cast Chinese Amulets (Hardcover)
For over 2,000 years, the Chinese have been producing amulets in the shape of flat metal objects, usually cast in brass or bronze, some shaped like the traditional square-holed cash coins, others in a variety of fancy shapes, promising good luck in various fields, the turning away of evil influences, or conveying religious sentiments. Some have inscriptions taken from the Classics of 500 BC.
Previously, catalogues of these amulets were arranged in various different ways - by shape, size, meaning, Emperor's name, or a common feature. However, this made it difficult to locate a particular piece - it would not be immediately clear to a non-expert whether a piece was "Lucky", "Religious", "Family" or "Coin".
This catalogue is designed for ease of identification. It is divided into four sections - Openwork, Pictorial, Zodiac, and Inscriptions. Preceding the detailed catalogue for each section is a Finding Guide which is arranged by salient features, or by the first character of the inscription. There is also a section which lists inscriptions that might not be clear as they are in non-standard scripts or lay-outs. In the catalogue there is a brief description of the piece, the inscription (if any) in Chinese characters and Pinyin, and a translation, explanation, and source.
Over 5,000 amulets are included in the catalogue. Together they provide a fascinating insight into traditional Chinese beliefs and aspirations.