Mint 21 adds the third century Ancient Chinese warlord Lu Bu to its range of high-relief silver coins
While the greatest volume of coins in the antiqued, high-relief ancient world coin genre are produced by the Mint of Poland, followed some way behind in numbers, although certainly not in quality, by Numiscollect, there are still others issuing coins that can hold their own against these established presences. Although relatively new to the genre, Mint 21 have proven adept at bringing their own artistic style to market.
Following their Apocalypse issue, and the stunning Spartan Hoplite coin, the mint has focused its eye on Ancient China, a region garnering more attention of late after several years of a decidedly Eurocentric view. It’s a fascinating period in time, and comparatively unknown outside of China. Case in point is the third-century warlord Lu Bu.
Depicted on horseback, loosing an arrow at some foot soldiers, it’s a good close-up view of warfare at the time, at least how we imagine it today. It’s quite a different artistic style to the Mint of Poland issues and everyone will have their own preferences, but we’re glad the different styles are both available at all. We’d have moved the Lu Bu title to down between the horses legs perhaps, but other than that, this is crammed with some excellent detail, and the coloured landscape in the background makes a change from the usual – a nod to a visual style often seen in Chinese art..
Onto the obverse, and it’s quite gorgeous. We’ve seen dragon coins that don’t look as good as this on their main face, and even with the necessary effigy and issue details, it looks brilliant. It certainly helps that being a 3oz silver coin, the diameter has expanded to a nice 55 mm, giving plenty of space to bring the design to life, while maintaining the expected levels of high-relief that are needed to compete in this packed genre.
The mintage is capped at 500 pieces and the coin will come boxed with the usual certificate of authenticity. It should ship from the middle of November and seems to have debuted with a price around the €299.00 mark. You can pre-order one from Top World Coins, or from participating dealers now.
Lü Bu (died 7 February 199), courtesy name Fengxian, was a military general and warlord who lived during the late Eastern Han dynasty of Imperial China. Originally a subordinate of a minor warlord Ding Yuan, he betrayed and murdered Ding and defected to Dong Zhuo, the warlord who controlled the Han central government in the early 190s. In 192, he turned against Dong Zhuo and killed him after being instigated by Wang Yun and Shisun Rui, but was later defeated and driven away by Dong Zhuo’s followers.
From 192 to mid-195, Lü Bu wandered around central and northern China, consecutively seeking shelter under warlords such as Yuan Shu, Yuan Shao and Zhang Yang. In 194, he managed to take control of Yan Province from the warlord Cao Cao with help from defectors from Cao’s side, but Cao took back his territories within two years. In 196, Lü Bu turned against Liu Bei, who had offered him refuge in Xu Province, and seized control of the province from his host. Although he had agreed to an alliance with Yuan Shu earlier, he severed ties with him after Yuan declared himself emperor – treason against Emperor Xian of Han – and joined Cao and others in attacking the pretender. However, in 198, he sided with Yuan Shu again and came under attack by the combined forces of Cao and Liu, resulting in his defeat at the Battle of Xiapi in 199. He was captured and executed on Cao’s order.
Although Lü Bu is described in historical and fictional sources as an exceptionally mighty warrior, he was also notorious for his temperamental behaviour. He switched allegiances erratically and freely betrayed his allies, and was noted for his poor planning and management skills. He was always suspicious of others and could not control his subordinates. All these factors ultimately led to his downfall. In the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the details of his life are dramatised and some fictitious elements – including his romance with the fictional maiden Diaochan – are added to portray him as a nearly unchallenged warrior who was also a ruthless and impulsive brute bereft of morals. (Source: Wikipedia)
|DENOMINATION||$5 NZD (Niue)|
|MODIFICATIONS||High-relief, gilding, colour|
|BOX / C.O.A.||Yes / Yes|
Like their 4 Horsemen coin, it carries a different style but it is an appealing design for sure.
I agree that moving the gold plated Title & Symbol would have given its look a better balance.
I would have looked better down below the horse as you said,
but I would have preferred it a bit smaller in size and placed into the similar colored area on the upper right side keeping the antique finish unbroken.
Overall, a nice coin with a superb obverse
Yeah, the obverse is very nice. Proof you can have the effigy and still make something worth looking at.
I suggested moving the gilded title to between the horses front legs because I’d like to have seen it incused into that rock face rather than done in relief. Would have balanced out the yellow colour around the coin a little more as well. I’m being picky though. Neat coin and subject.
I did not like their Mercury coin and 4 Horsemen, Spartan Hoplite was nice, this one is beautiful.
They improve (as for me) from coin to coin.
Gold-plated part on the background – is it fire?
If it does, I would like to see that close to orange color, and the letters also ‘fired’, something like here:
If you ask me(and you didn’t),Mint 21’s releases are on a par w/MOP coins-equally stunning & beautiful w/a differing & unique style all their own. Four Horsemen was great & Mercury is actually quite cool in its own right. Hoplite was fantastic & so is this one. Not enough room between the horse’s legs to fit the print though Mik. There’s room for more than MOP releases & Mint 21 is really coming on man.
The yellow backgrounds (mountains & trees) are digitally colored.
The only gilding appears to be done on just the his name & the Chinese symbol.
The yellow backgrounds (mountains & trees) are fully gilded with digitally printing on the top.
I agree Mik,, incusing it into the rock with a smaller font would have definitely been an improvement to its look and balance.
Are we not all” wanna-be designers” ?
I always enjoyed nit picking coin designs.
It is always nice to hear opinions from others on how their thoughts of the design would have given a certain coin more appeal to them.
However, there are always some coins that I wouldn’t change one thing on them, but they are few.
After seeing the first images of most of the new releases I still enjoy “thought tinkering” with the design a bit to suit my taste, (key word being .. “my”)
It’s a Yin/Yang design! Sometimes imbalance in the design equals something unique. I would not change a thing-and I bought it “as is.”
Just received this one-in hand, it’s even more beautiful. The gold coloring in the background is uniquely done & really adds to the effect. Mint 21 is quickly becoming one of my favorites & this mint has created a unique & appealing style.