The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 18, May 1, 2011, Article 7


Bruce W. Smith submitted these notes on Daniel K. E. Ching and Arthur Coole. Thanks! -Editor

Attached is some biographical information on Daniel K. E. Ching which I found online. This is from the website of the Chinese Historical Society of America, 965 Clay Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 ( Dan's collection of Chinese coins and paper money was sold in a Scott Semans auction in June 1991 (with less valuable material appearing in later fixed price lists). I wrote most of the catalog for that sale. The catalog can still be purchased from Scott (

Dan had passed away on 26 July 1990, while the catalog was being written. We knew that he had donated other parts of his collections to various museums, and that his Vietnam tokens were auctioned by a token dealer, but his collection of Chinese-American memorabilia was still looking for a home in the early 1990's. Now we know that it went to the Chinese Historical Society in San Francisco ( in 1994.

The well-known collector of Chinese coins, Arthur B. Coole (1900-1978), sold his collection of Chinese coins and paper money to Kansas City coin dealer Jack Klausen in 1964. In the fall of 1963 he prepared an inventory of the collection, and published about 15 copies for Klausen and various friends. Coole asked Klausen to agree not to break up the collection -- that is, if Klausen sold it he should sell it intact. Klausen agreed and hoped to sell the collection to a museum. He was unable to do so, and during 1977-1978 sold the collection to Taiwan coin dealer, J. S. Lee.

Years later it turned out that Lee did not buy all of the collection. There were some parts on which apparently they could not agree on a price. In 1988 Klausen consigned the coin trees, coin molds, and paper money printing blocks and seals to a Taisei sale, but they did not sell (despite published prices realized for those lots). I believe he consigned them to a different sale in the early 1990's (perhaps Pacific Coast Auctions). Whether they sold at that time or not is unclear, but the material was donated to a museum in Texas, either by the 1990's buyer or by Klausen's estate after his death in 2006.

The collection has now been consigned to Kansas City coin dealer, Lyn Knight, and will be offered in his Memphis Paper Money Show auction in June 2011. I have been cataloging part of this collection, which includes 22 Ch'ing Dynasty banknote printing plates (dating to the 1850's to 1912); about 40 seals, at least some of which were used on paper money of the late 1800's or early 1900's; a Yuan Dynasty (1280-1368) printing plate (of which perhaps 10 are known, but only 2 or 3 in private hands); and about two dozen coin molds (some in bronze, some clay and some in stone) dating to about 300 BC to about 200 AD.

In addition there is a lot of paper money, which I don't believe has appeared in those two previous sales. There are also three artist's drawings for proposed dragon coins, done in 1911, which originally had with them two passes to the imperial palace and a biography of the artist. These drawings have never been published before, and may be the work of Luigi Giorgi, the best known engraver of Chinese coins. Also in the sale are some items Klausen added to the collection after he bought it, including hundreds of Sinkiang silver coins, and I believe some gold pieces, though I haven't seen these.

Previous writers in The E-Sylum have stated that part of Coole's collection was donated to Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas. This is not true. Coole's father, Thomas Coole, was also a Methodist missionary in China and also a coin collector. Thomas Coole left his collection to Baker University, and Arthur mounted it and presented it to the university in 1930. I was hired to appraise the collection in the 1980's, and it was later donated by the university to the ANA Museum in Colorado Springs.

Arthur Coole had left his library to the ANA, and it may be seen there today. Strangely, though Arthur Coole and his father and his daughter and various other members of his family graduated from Baker, he did not leave his papers (correspondence, articles written, and probably diaries) to Baker University. Instead they are now at the Knight Library at the University of Oregon (1501 Kincaid, Eugene, OR 97403). This library has the papers from many other Methodist missionaries in China, which may explain why Arthur Coole's papers are there.

Lyn Knight may be contacted at for more information.

Below is the information on Daniel K. E. Ching. -Editor

Daniel K.E. Ching Biography

Daniel Ching's first family ancestor to come to America was Chinn Mook, who was born in approximately 1861 in Huizhou (now Huiyang), Guangdong Province, and who emigrated to Hawaii in 1881. Daniel K.E. Ching (Chen Jingyuan) was born in Honolulu on June 11, 1931, and went to Napa, California, in 1940 after living with relatives when his parents separated. He graduated from Pacific Union College in 1955 and moved to Denver. Ching returned to California in 1969 to work for Pacific Bell Telephone Company in Los Angeles as an accounting executive in public communications. In 1989 Ching was given a medical disability retirement because of a degenerating health condition caused by hemochromatosis, a genetic blood disease. His anemia added to his health complications, and he passed away on July 26, 1990.

When Ching lived in Denver, he met Reverend Arthur B. Coole, a Methodist missionary who introduced him to Chinese Numismatics. Ching eventually became nationally known in the numismatic world not only as a collector, but also as a writer of over thirty articles, mostly published in World Coin News, and as the Chinese coin cataloger for Krause Publications in Iola, Wisconsin. In addition to Chinese coins, he collected Chinese stamps and had an extensive collection of military badges, flags, souvenir items, books, picture postcards, and paper money from Manchukuo.

While working at Pacific Bell, he also acquired a collection of telephone tokens. Of most value to Chinese American studies is Ching's collection of popular American artifacts that depicted the Chinese in China or America, images that disturbed him until the day he died. Ching's coin collection has been auctioned and his Manchukuo collection has been donated to a museum in Manchuria. As for his Chinese American collection, he wanted it to go to a museum or historical society that would not keep it in storage but would ensure that future generations would not forget how the Chinese were portrayed in America's past. Through the recommendation of Emma and Paul Louie, the Chinese Historical Society of America was chosen to be the recipient of the collection.

In April 1994, CHSA joined forces with the SFSU Asian American Studies Department to work on the Ching Project. Philip P. Choy, Loraine Dong, and Marlon K. Hom are the project coordinators. To date, over sixty volunteers, students, and work-study students have begun to preserve and catalogue the collection, which is currently estimated to comprise over ten thousand items dating from the 1800s to the present. They include postcards, trade cards, sheet music, piano rolls, records, books, magazines, newspaper, prints, posters, paintings, photographs, stereocards, toys, dolls, games, household items, and souvenir trinkets.

In March and May of 1996, three graduate students from SFSU's College of Ethnic Studies introduced the Ching Collection at CHSA's March meeting and at two Association of Asian American Studies conferences held in Hawaii (regional) and Washington, D.C. (national). What follows is a portion of the conference presentation, focusing on one of the major genres found in the Ching Collection trade cards. In the conference, James Chan introduced some of the themes found in trade cards, Dina Shek discussed the Asian female images in sheet music, and Dennis Park reviewed the depictions the Chinese male in these historic images.

To read the complete article, see: Daniel K.E. Ching Biography (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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