Ivan Skušek Jr. and His Collection of Chinese Coins
Keywords:Ivan Skušek Jr., numismatics, numismatic collection, ancient Chinese coinage, collecting history
Ivan Skušek Jr. (1877–1947), whose collection of Chinese and Japanese objects has been the subject of research and interest in recent years, can be considered the first collector of East Asian objects in the Slovene ethnic space to have built his collection systematically, examining and verifying the provenance, value, and significance of each item. His extensive collection can compare to Western European collections of East Asian objects while at the same time bearing a stamp of local uniqueness pertaining to the European periphery. Skušek’s legacy includes an important collection of Chinese money from all periods of Chinese history, which is introduced in this paper for the first time.
A crucial distinction between this and other collections of Chinese coins is that evidence exists that tells us how Skušek collected the coins, and reveals a lot about his sources and advisors. It has long been known that during his stay in Beijing Skušek befriended many influential and knowledgeable people, including a Franciscan missionary, Fr. Maurus Kluge, who assisted him in assembling his numismatic collection. The paper presents the cooperation between the two in the light of a recent find––the original list and summary appraisal of the most valuable part of Skušek’s numismatic collection and Kluge’s letters to Skušek.
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