Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Yaki-naoshi (焼き直し): How a 19th century craze for East Asian arts propelled imitation Tokugawa coinage into numismatic collections worldwide

Sep 16, 2022, 9:20 AM
Old Library - Hall 115-116

Old Library - Hall 115-116


Emily Pearce Seigerman (Yale University Art Gallery )


Imitation Chinese knife and spade money and Japanese obans are dotted throughout many numismatic collections. The apex of East Asian imitations held in the Yale University Art Gallery’s Numismatic Department is a framed display of Tokugawa era coinage. These object types were not made for coin collectors or enthusiasts, but to satiate a growing Western, middle-class interest in arts of the East. The Western fascination with the Far East known as Japonisme created a market demand for affordable, decorative arts pieces evocative of an idealized Asian or oriental aesthetic. Despite purposeful creation for display in middle-class homes, numerous numismatic collectors, auction houses, and museums acquired similar framed objects. This paper investigates the purpose of material culture created in the image of numismatic objects but unintended for numismatic function through the lens of fake Chinese and Japanese coins.

Primary author

Emily Pearce Seigerman (Yale University Art Gallery )

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