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Hung-wu era (1368-98)
Ming dynasty 1 Kwan note

The oldest paper-money that are preserved until today are those from early Ming dynasty, dated year 1375. These notes are the earliest numismatic printings, also the earliest obtainable commercial printing on paper, and nearly the earliest obtainable printing of anything - a full lifetime before Gutenberg. Only a small number of these paper-money are still available for the numismatic collector. The Chinese writing along the top of this Ming note reads 'Da ming tong xing bao chao' from right to left. This translates as 'Great Ming Circulating Treasure Note'. Below this, the denomination is written in two characters 'yi guan' ('one string'). Beneath the denomination is a picture of a string of 1000 coins, arranged in ten groups of one hundred coins. Beneath this are the instructions for use and a threat to punish forgers. Printed on grey mulberry bark paper.

HKD 118,000 / EUR 13,000

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