The Family Documents of the Fu Tai Heng Gold Shop

The first edition of 'The Family Documents of the Fu Tai Heng Gold Shop' (福泰亨金號家族文書) by Fu Weiqun (傅衛群) was published by Shanghai Century Publishing (Group) Co., Ltd and Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers in June 2023. The book is 889 mm in width and 1194 mm in length. ISBN 978-7-5478-6172-1/G.1164. Priced at RMB 198.

In the 1930s, there were over 300 financial institutions in Shanghai. Most were concentrated in the area around the Bund in Puxi, and Shanghai gradually became the largest financial center in the Far East. Fu Weiqun (傅衛群) is a researcher at the Shanghai Museum of History and standing director of the Shanghai Numismatic Society. He has been very productive in the study of finance and currency in modern Shanghai. He has published books 'History of Notes Issued by Old Money Changers in Shanghai' (《九府裕民-上海錢莊票圖史》), 'Old Shanghai Pawnshops And Pawn Tickets' (《老上海當鋪與當票》), 'Records of Modern Civil Finance' (《近代民間金融圖志》) and 'Old Shanghai Gold Records' (《老上海黃金圖志》). These books provide extremely rich and valuable information for understanding the financial history of Shanghai in the Republic Period and researching Shanghai's financial institutions and objects. 'The Family Documents of the Fu Tai Heng Gold Shop' reflects the business and commercial operation of the gold market in modern Shanghai from another side through the family documents such as contracts, accounting records, letters, and transaction manuals of a gold company's owner. 

The book is divided into six chapters. I. Founding of the Fu Tai Heng Gold Shop; II. Regulations, Meetings, and Notices of the Gold Exchange and the Gold Association; III. Entrusting Agents to Buy and Sell Standard Gold Bar; IV. Lists of Accounts and Dividends; V. Other Financial Businesses and Industrial Activities; and VI. Social Welfare and Daily Family Life. With rich pictures of documents and objects, as well as explanations and introductions by the author, the book covers the ink stamp molds for the founding contract of the gold shop, the notices of election and regulations of the enterprise association, letters in response to changes in the international price of gold and bidding for standard gold bar, and even children's report cards and invoices for telephones, etc. It makes a clear and detailed account of all aspects of the founding process, business dealings, and daily family life of the Fu Tai Heng Gold Shop. At the beginning of the book, there are two articles, namely, 'The Gold Market and the Gold Bar in Modern Shanghai' and 'The Formation of the Far East Financial Center in Modern Shanghai', which systematically describe the formation and growth of finance in Republican Shanghai and the trading and varieties of gold bars in the gold market. The last chapter, the Appendix, introduces the underground gold exchanger of the Communist Party of China, that is, Ding Yuan Money Exchanger, with precious historical photos shown in the book.

Most of the research on coins has paid attention to the coin for a long time and paid little attention to the letters, accounts, and bills. The research and display of so many documents from the Fu Tai Heng Gold Shop opens up a new perspective and direction for financial and monetary research.