A Treasure Trove - A Selection of Exhibits at the Shanghai Bank Museum

A Treasure Trove - A Selection of Exhibits at the Shanghai Bank Museum (《金融歷史的饋贈—上海市銀行博物館藏品精粹》, hereinafter referred to as A Treasure Trove) is a book published sixteen years ago. It was edited by Sun Chiping (孫持平) and published by China Tong Publishing House (Hong Kong) in August 2007. ISBN: 962-7872-42-3.

At that time, the Shanghai Banking Museum was still located in the building of the Shanghai branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Lujiazui. The preparation for its construction began in 1998 and it was officially opened in April 2000, with more than 2,000 exhibits displayed in a 1,500-square-meter exhibition hall. The Shanghai Banking Museum, with the history of modern banking in China as its main area of focus, reproduces the changes in China's financial history, its turmoil over the past hundred years, and it displays China's financial culture and numismatic objects, making it the financial industry museum with the richest collection and the largest number of financial numismatic artifacts in China. It has become an important window on Shanghai's financial culture.

The book presents the precious collections in the Shanghai Banking Museum in different financial categories. Through these historical and cultural materials, the pictures and explanatory texts are used to describe the vicissitudes of modern finance showing both the stormy years and periods of great advances. The book is divided into chapters about early Chinese cast coins, early Chinese paper money, early Chinese bank notes, early Chinese banking instruments, and other items of early Chinese banks. The collection includes ancient Chinese coins such as ying yuan (郢爰) gold cakes, Western Han gold cakes, shrugged-shoulder pointed-foot hollow-head spade coins, yi dao ping wu qian (一刀平五千) knife coins, spade coin molds, 50 taels silver ingots from the Southern Song dynasty, 50 taels silver ingots from the Ta-Ching Bank, and 1856 Shanghai silver cakes. As for notes, there are zhi yuan tong xing bao chao (至元通行寶鈔), da ming tong xing bao chao (大明通行寶鈔), Beijing coupon notes from the Qing dynasty, Grain Coupons issued by the ministers of the Qing dynasty, Hupoo notes of the Qing dynasty, exchange certificates of Ta-Ching Bank, banknotes issued by China Commercial Bank and the branches of foreign banks in China. There are also the specimens issued by the Central Bank of the Republic of China, manuscripts of notes, gold coin certificates of the Republic of China, currencies issued in revolutionary bases, the first set of Renminbi of the People's Bank of China, and other early banknotes and other rarities. Among them, the archival specimens of Chinese banknotes printed by the Banknote Corporation of America are particularly valuable.

It also includes and introduces cashier's checks from the Bank of Communications, the Central Bank, the Great Wall Bank, and the Guangdong Branch of the People's Bank of China, early checks from the Hupoo Bank and the Bank of Communications, bank bills, bank stocks, public bonds, money changers' passbooks, private banknote plates, and early credit cards. Also, bank seals in the category of banking instruments have Chinese characteristics, and early bank apparatus such as book-keeping machines, banknote tying machines, scales, hand-cranked computers, touchstones, and gold medallions document the history and development of bank apparatus. Bank signs, bank publications, savings jars, and other objects reflect the rich and colorful financial culture. A Treasure Trove includes all the collections of the museum and draws a multi-angle and panoramic picture in China's history and the changes of modern finance through artifacts, photographs, documentation, and textual descriptions.

The Shanghai Banking Museum, built in 2015, is located at No.301 Middle Fuxing Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, the former site of the Shanghai Bar Association, with an exhibition area of nearly 4,000 square meters and over 5,000 pieces of various precious financial history artifacts on display. The exhibition uses various technical means such as multimedia and installation art to make the content and art perfectly unified. It is expected that the Shanghai Banking Museum will continue to produce new books with the newly added collections and the exhibition contents of the new museum, so as to better present the financial history of Shanghai and promote the financial culture of China.