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From Our Collection:
Chinese Coin Sword
While cataloging and storing objects, a sword composed of Chinese coins was found in Col. Andrew’s curiosity room on the third floor of the Thompson mansion. The sword, constructed from an iron rod at its core, and the coins are tightly strung together to the rod in two rows with red cords, hiding the iron rod from view. The handle, made of coins is threaded onto the iron rod through the square holes in the center. Coin swords were used as a form of talisman to ward off evil influences and bad spirits. They were commonly given to newly married couples to hang above the marriage bed for bliss and harmony. The coin sword would hang on the inside of the bed curtain to aid those who were suffering from a fever.
The coin sword from the Thompson collection is composed of coins or “wen” of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and dated to the Guangxu Emperor (also known as Dezong). The machine made, copper coins produced from 1875-1908 are from the Guangdong province of China. The red cord that fastens the coins in place has faded significantly. Col. Andrew Thompson would have hung the sword in his curiosity room as another treasure acquired from around the world. The provenance of the museum’s sword is unknown, and with further reading of the family letters, we may discover how the Thompson family came to own the Chinese coin sword talisman.
Kelly Dixon, Curatorial Intern
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Be Our Valentine
Celebrate Valentines Day on Sunday, February 12, 2017, at 2 pm.
Tea will be served along with “delectables” in Ruthven’s stone Coach House.
A short talk on Valentine Trivia and a small display of cards from our collection will complement the event.
Pre-registration is required: Adults $15, Seniors $13, Children $5
P.S. Bring your Valentine!
“My Dear Papa,
I was very much pleased with the lovely Valentine you were so kind as to send me, it is the prettiest I have. Walter and Davy like theirs very much also …as ever dear papa
Your affectionate daughter,
Bessie Thompson” ca1870
Valentine Cards from Gretchen Thompson’s Scrapbook c. 1910
Marilynn Havelka, CAO
Monday, March 13 – Friday, March 17, March Break Tours of the Mansion will be offered from 1pm-3pm (last tour at 3).
Enjoy a tour of the Greek Revival Mansion – home to 5 generations of the Thompson Family.
Admission “break” half price.
The Welcome Centre and Grounds: Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday closed or by chance.
The Mansion: Reminder that our regular tours of the Thompson Mansion season have come to an end. 2019 season will begin again May 18th. Tours will be offered 7 days a week from May 18 – September 2, tours times 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm. Give us a call today or check out our website for more information 905.772.0560 or www.ruthvenpark.ca
Phone: (905) 772-0560
243 Haldimand Hwy. #54,
Cayuga, ON N0A 1E0