By Richard Ponterio – Executive Vice President, Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio Hong Kong Auction ……
Welcome to the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio April 2018 Hong Kong Auction Showcase Auction!
I am pleased to present our latest auction catalog. The dedicated staff at Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio toiled for months to prepare this sale, which is full of incredible examples and extraordinary rarities. As the numismatic treasures arrived in our office, excitement grew as we anticipated bringing them to auction and sharing them with you. As you browse the Hong Kong Auction catalog I am sure you will also experience this excitement as you encounter coins that offer the highest quality and include some exceptional rarities.
In addition to the exhilaration of the auction, I am pleased to promote the next installment of the Hong Kong Coin Show, which will be held the weekend following our sale, and for the first time will feature academic presentations. We opened this show in August of 2016 to tremendous success and we expect even more participants to attend. Once again, coin dealers from around the globe will be in attendance offering coins and currency to meet every numismatic interest. This event is well on its way to becoming a world-class numismatic event, so be sure to attend!
On behalf of everyone here at Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio I wish you happy and successful bidding in the Hong Kong Auction and hope to see you at the show.
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Near Gem Reversed Dragon Pattern Dollar
By Chris Chatigny – Numismatist & Cataloger, Stacks Bowers ……
Today’s first preview from the upcoming Hong Kong Showcase Auction is a fantastic and ever popular vintage type: the Reversed Dragon Pattern Dollar. The Central Mint in Tientsin – operated by the Board of Revenue in Peking – minted a multitude of coinage types in the latter period of the Empire, in an attempt to unify the currency system of China. Unfortunately, China’s administrative disorganization (as well as insufficient funds) hindered the reforms from gaining traction. Certainly, the revolution overthrowing the monarchy later that year also prohibited widespread production.
The obverse design for this coin bears the distinctive Asian serpentine Dragon, with this coin known as the “Reverse Type” as it runs head to tail counterclockwise with its tail pointing to the right (the standard pattern is the opposite). The regal and imposing Dragon is suspended midair amid wisps of clouds, and a fiery pearl appears near the bottom of the design. The long wavy whiskers issuing from the Dragon’s nostrils appear like a curly moustache.
Two vertical Chinese characters signify the denomination (1 Yuan) and in English along the periphery the English legend states: “ONE DOLLAR”. The reverse design contains an all Chinese legend. Between the outer crenulated border and the inner pearled ring the Manchu and Chinese characters form the outer legend. Four Manchu characters appear above, and four Chinese characters below which state: “Hsuen Tung, 3rd Year” (1911), and these sets of characters are separated by ornate floral sprays. The leaves in these floral designs contain a raised vein pattern, separating this coin from other varieties of the type (this is an example of Type II). The central Chinese inscription states: “Ta Ch’ing Yin Pi” meaning: Great Ch’ing (Dynasty) Silver Coin.
Nanking Cargo Gold Ingot
Today’s second and final Hong Kong Auction preview is a treasure in the purest sense of the word. It is a Gold Ingot, cast as a bar in a slight boat shape, that spent nearly two and a half centuries at the bottom of the South China Sea.
The Dutch East India Company (abbreviated in Dutch as VOC) was an early multinational company and the first company to be formally listed. The VOC is one of history’s most powerful companies, though not impervious to the whims of nature.
The merchant ship VOC Retouschip Geldermalsen – built in 1742 – foundered on a coral reef in the South China Sea in 1752. Eighty crew members died in the wreck, with just 32 survivors. A total of over 800,000 Gulden in commodities was lost: 147 10 Tael gold bars, over 100,000 pieces of Chinese blue and white porcelain, tea, spices, textiles, lacquer wares and other trade goods. The wreck was recovered in 1986 by English divers and auctioned later that year by Christie’s Amsterdam.
The piece offered in our April 2018 Hong Kong auction includes the original Christie’s box and lot tag (#1863). The bar displays the Chinese character for “Treasure” at either end of the face, with “Yuan Ji” (the name of the private bank that produced the bar) in a gourd shaped stamp at the center. This shipwreck bar is destined for a place of prestige in the next collection it enters, rightly earning the descriptive “treasure”.
Hong Kong Currency Overview
By Aris Maragoudakis – Currency Specialist, Stack’s Bowers ……
As always, our April 2018 Hong Kong Auction of paper Money will feature an exceptional amount of scarce and high-quality material. Included are a few pieces that have never been offered in public auction, and others that are among the finest graded for their type.
Among the strong selection of Straits Settlements rarities is the 1901 Straits Settlements 100 Dollar note (lot 60182), a perfect example of a rarity we have never offered. Very few pieces of this type are known in any form, issued, specimen, or otherwise.
For collectors focused on Malaya and British Borneo, a complete type set from 1953 is offered that includes Pick 1 through 6 in issued form, and Pick 7s, the 10,000 Dollar note, in specimen form.
We always have the privilege of presenting great condition Ming Dynasty notes. However, in this sale, we also offer a 2 Kuan from the Yuan Dynasty in incredible condition (lot 60226). A 1907 Ta-Ching 1 Dollar note, Pick A71J is found in lot 60242, while lot 60359 offers a large size 10 Yuan from 1953 Peoples Republic of China graded EF40 by PMG.
In addition to rare notes, we have a plethora of Fancy Serial Numbers, Sheets, and Errors that are sure to please collectors of eccentric pieces, or oddities.
There are many other desirable items throughout the Hong Kong Auction catalog, and we anticipate quite a few collectors will be able to fill some gaps in their collection with notes they have been waiting for. For any questions regarding bidding or registering for the sale, please contact [email protected]. To consign World paper money to a future sale, please email [email protected].
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While we are no longer accepting consignments for our April Hong Kong Showcase Auction, we are accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. In addition, we are taking consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world paper money for our May 2018 Collector’s Choice Online Auction and August 2018 ANA Auction. Time is running short. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.