NAVIGATION - CHINESE SAMPAN (SERIES II)ID92890058
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
The obverse reproduces, in colours, a detail of the work entitled "Marina of the Far East. Chinese boats Modern war rush. Champatian ", made by Rafael Monleón y Torres, which is preserved in the Naval Museum of Madrid.
On the reverse (common to all the pieces), the face value of the coin 1.5 EURO and the inscription HISTORY OF THE NAVIGATION appear. Out of the central circle there are six dolphins jumping.
|Series||History of Navigation|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||10,000|
Period: Fifteenth to nineteenth centuries.
Length: Approx.30 m Beam: Approx. 8 m.
Propulsion: Sails and oars.
Weaponry: Generally small-calibre artillery (snaphaunce muskets, demi-culverins, falconets). Less commonly, larger weapons of the ladle-type. Rigging: Two masts, the foremast leaning heavily towards the bow. Sails of fine matting, with multiple, trapezium-shaped spinnakers, the upper side attached to a lateen yard raised on the mast, and the halyard at one third of the length of the lateen yard. One row of oars per side.
Description: Common in China and Japan, the Chinese coast guard cutter is a variation on the sampan, a boat which is smaller than the junk. Designed for both coastal waters and even for use as a riverboat, this cutter was usually lighter than the sampan.
The cutters were used as coast guards in the fight against piracy, where they played a particular role in the struggle against opium smuggling, specifically on the Pearl River. While their missions went on to include the collection of taxes and the occasional protection of the large junks, they were also deployed in naval campaigns. However, as the cutters were so light, the campaigns usually ended in defeat, leading more often than not to their destruction. As a result, very few Chinese coast guard cutters have survived to the present day.
The vessel shown on the coin is based on a model at the Madrid Naval Museum and is a good example of the generic Chinese coast guard cutter. Built in the nineteenth century, the model has no sides as such but a thick canvas railing-like structure supported by uprights and planks to enable the oars, nine per side, to pass through. The bow is an open platform and the stern may have had a cabin originally covered with a canopy. Running the entire exterior length of the vessel, slightly separated from the gunwale, there is a pole or rod from which wicker shields are hung. The vessel is also armed with eight high-calibre deck muskets, to be used in the manner of small-calibre culverins. For boarding enemy vessels, the cutter has several bundles of lances, halberds etc. Many features are riveted or finished in brass. The decoration on the stern is polychrome, with two birds and a red circle.
Key events: The Opium Wars of the mid-nineteenth century proved to be particularly destructive for the Chinese coast guard cutter. In the twentieth century, China opened up to Western technology and the cutter ceased to be built and used.