Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio’s biannual Hong Kong-based auctions continue to attract tremendous enthusiasm and participation, as illustrated by their April 2021 event. Featuring over 5,100 lots of coins, tokens, medals, and currency, this monumental sale broke numerous records on its way to realizing a total of over $35.55 million, with 96% of the lots selling. With that impressive realization, the auction house has now conducted the highest-grossing auction hosted outside of the United States, along with the second highest-grossing auction of non-U.S. coins regardless of location.
Setting the tone from the start was the rarity-filled Pinnacle Collection, which contained five lots that realized at least $1 million, and two that surpassed the $2 million threshold. The firm’s previous record for million-dollar lots was the fabulous Pogue Collection Part II sale in September 2015, which featured four such lots.
Leading the way was the 1825 Russian Ruble of Constantine, which became the firm’s most valuable non-U.S. coin selling for $2.64 million.
Meanwhile, other records were shattered, such as a 1928 “Mukden Tiger” Silver Dollar Pattern—now the most expensive Chinese coin ever–at $2.28 million, and a Tensho era Hishi Oban similarly becoming the most expensive Japanese coin ever at $1.92 million.
Rounding out the million-dollar items was the most valuable modern Japanese coin or set, the rare 1870 Pattern Set that crossed the block for $1.56 million, and the impressive 1911 Silver Long-Whisker Dragon Pattern Dollar, which sold for $1.02 million.
An additional record was established for the most expensive Filipino coin ever when a Mexican Iturbide 8 Escudos bearing the countermark of Isabel II brought $180,000, obliterating the previous record for the market.
Among other portions of the sale, Republic-era Chinese was a clear leader, with the finest certified “Flying Dragon” Dollar and the finest certified “Peaceful Unification” Dollar–both graded PCGS MS-68–each bringing $504,000.
An attractive Large Characters Pattern Dollar achieved $300,000 and a “Tall Hat” Dollar realized $210,000.
Imperial dragon types remained immensely popular, with an 1898 Anhwei Dollar selling for $384,000, while the finest certified 1907 Gold Pattern K’uping Tael reached $324,000.
Outside of Chinese numismatics, strong performers were a 1906 Korean 10 Won that brought $72,000 and a large and rare Iranian 25 Toman from 1883/4 that garnered $52,800.
Currency had an incredibly strong showing as well, with the two highest prices brought by notes from outside the Far East. A Merchants Bank of Canada 5 Dollar note bearing serial number 1 and a Republic of Panama 10 Balboas each sold for $48,000. Early 20th-century Chinese notes also performed well, with a Deutsch-Asiatische Bank 25 Dollars bringing $33,600 and a Specimen 50 Dollars from the same bank garnering $26,400.
The firm is now planning for the remainder of what has already been a robust and record-breaking year. Upcoming World and Ancient Coin and World Currency auctions at Stack’s Bowers include the increasingly popular Collectors Choice Online (CCO) sales, the next of which will occur in May (Currency only) and June (World and Ancient Coins). In addition, consignments of all types are being accepted for their always-impressive ANA World’s Fair of Money auction slated for August and in September, the year’s second Hong Kong sale will be conducted.
For more information on including your items in an upcoming event, call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].
中国, 中國, 香港, 袁世凱