Other vignettes display images of ancient walled cities, temples, pagodas, pavilions, towers, memorial arches, bridges, etc.
Xian, formerly known as Chang'an (长安), has a history that extends back 3,100 years and served as the capital city for the following dynasties: Zhou (1046 BC-256 BC) Qin (221 BC-207 BC) Han (206 BC-9 AD and 190-195) Sui (581-618) Tang (618-904) Construction of the first Chang'an city wall began in 194 BC. The city wall shown here was built during the reign of Zhu Yuanzhang (Emperor Taizu, Hongwu Emperor), the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who greatly enlarged the existing Tang Dynasty wall.The city wall stands 12 meters (40 feet) high and has a total length of 13.7 kms (8.5 miles).True paper money became a major form of currency during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) with the issuance of the Jiao Zi (交子) and Qian Yin (钱引), and paper currency then continued under the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) which issued the Hui Zi () and Guan Zi (关子).The Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) issued paper money known as Jiao Chao (交钞) and Bao Quan (宝券), and the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) continued the issuing of paper money with the Bao Chao (宝钞).There are even examples of Chinese paper money that retain the image of historical sites which no longer exist due to natural disasters, wars or acts of revolution and rebellion.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of standard catalogs and reference books on Chinese paper money seem to ignore these vignettes.
What is most interesting about this banknote is that the vignette (enlarged detail above) was based on a painting (detail above) by a 19th century English artist.
The illustration "Cotton Plantations in Ning-po" by Thomas Allom (1804-1872) (Chinese name: 托玛斯阿罗姆) was published in in 1845.
China is not only credited with having invented paper but it is also generally recognized to have been the first country in the world to use paper money.
The inspiration for China's paper money actually came from the "white deerskin" money (飞 钱) of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).
Paper money provides a canvas upon which images of ancient Chinese historical sites are displayed and preserved.