Primal Trek

Unknown Charms

I am seeking your assistance in helping me identify and better understand a few of my old charms, coins and tokens.

Please contact me if you can provide information on any of the following.

Chinese erotic
            coin or charm showing a man and woman engaged in sexual

This is a very unusual Chinese coin or charm which appears to show a man and a woman engaged in some type of sexual activity.

The charm has no Chinese inscription
and is unlike any of the Chinese marriage charms with which I am familiar.

This may simply be an erotic bedroom scene.

Or, perhaps, the couple is just involved in some type of harmless activity which is not obvious to this observer.

Reverse side
            of Chinese erotic coin or charm

The reverse side is smooth with only a small spindle depression in the center.

The charm has a diameter of 28.5 mm and a weight of 14.7 grams.

Charm with horse
          and running man

This is another unusual and interesting charm.

A horse with long reins is shown above the square hole.

Below the square hole is a man who appears to be running toward a hut or house at the left.

This may be a Japanese charm since I am aware of Japanese charms which depict a monkey dragging a horse.

However, this charm seems to have a different theme.

Other side
            of unknown charm with horse and man

The other side of the charm appears to have two Chinese characters with one character above the square hole and the other below.

There is considerable wear on the charm and I am unable to discern what these two characters are.

The charm has a diameter of 24 mm and a weight of 5.9 grams.

Reverse side of
            "sheng cai ru yi" charm

The symbols above the square hole on this charm appear to be a ruyi sceptre and a Chinese halberd with its shaft extending downwards into a vase.

There appears to be a writing brush at the lower left corner of the square hole.
However, I am unable to identify the other symbol or symbols displayed below the square hole.

            charm with inscription "sheng cai ru yi"

For reference purposes, this is the obverse side of the charm.

The inscription reads sheng cai ru yi
(生财如意) which means "become wealthy according to your wishes".

This charm is discussed at Auspicious Inscriptions.

The charm has a diameter of 21.3 mm and a weight of 3.6 grams.

          token reverse side
This Chinese token is displayed at Chinese Tokens and has clearly seen much use.  It was probably cast in Jiangsu Province in the middle to late 1800's.

Because of the wear, I am still trying to decipher the characters.

The character at the top looks like qian (前) meaning before, front, forward, etc.

The character to the left of the center hole appears to be mao (茂) which means "rich and splendid".

I cannot make out the characters to the right and below the center hole.

            token with good luck inscription

For your reference purposes, this is the other side of the token.

The inscription reads
yi bai wen zheng (一佰文正) which means "one hundred cash coins only".

The token is 27 mm in diameter and weighs 6.7 grams.

Chinese charm or game
      piece with inscription "bai xian chang shou"

This may be a charm or, perhaps, a game piece.

The inscription reads bai xian chang shou (百仙长寿).

Bai xian (百 仙) means "hundred immortals" or "hundred fairies".

Chang shou (
长寿) means "long life" or "longevity".

I am unclear as to the reference to the "hundred immortals" and am hoping that someone can provide some guidance.

Reverse side of
        charm or game piece displaying a deer and a Chinese characterThe reverse side of this piece depicts a deer.

The deer symbolizes "longevity".

The deer also represents success in attaining an official government position which brings with it honor and wealth.

Another example of a single deer on the reverse side of a charm may be seen at "Men Plow, Women Weave".

You will also notice that between the legs of the deer is a Chinese character which, unfortunately, is difficult to identify because of the wear.  The character may be dao (道) or tong (通) or ???.  I am hoping a visitor can help identify this character.

One last characteristic of this piece is that it has a round hole instead of a square hole.

The diameter is 27 mm and the weight is 9.5 grams.

Qing Dynasty charm
      with inscription yu jin deng qing

The inscription on this old charm reads yu jin deng qing (玉禁澄清).

However, I am having difficulty understanding the hidden meaning of this inscription.

Reverse side of yu
      jin deng qing charm

The reverse side of the charm displays a dragon on the right and a phoenix on the left.

The charm has a diameter of 34 mm and a weight of 11.8 grams.

Again, I would very much like to hear from you if you can provide information on any of the above charms and tokens.

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