Reading Museum Town Hall

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Coin sword

Metal

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Model sword made from Chinese coins

This model sword is from China or Japan. It was made by tying coins together onto a rod, taking advantage of a feature of Chinese coins which had a hole in the middle.

These swords were used as a talisman to drive away evil influences, deriving their power from the virtuosity of the emperor who minted the coins.

Museum object number REDMG : 1973.103.1

See related topic: Money and Medals

See related topic: World Collection: Belief

See related topic: World Collection: Unusual Materials

See related topic: World Collection: War and Hunting

See also this example in the British Museum.