Throughout the last year we have been thrilled to see sustained and growing interest in ancient and world coins, especially pronounced in the Asian market, which continues to show impressive results time and again. Our December Hong Kong auction alone demonstrated a 50%+ sales increase from the prior event in June of 2017. These results are a true testament to both mounting collector interest and to the exceptional quality of material we are able to offer. Our June 28-29 auction, in connection with the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair, promises to be one of the numismatic highlights of the year.
First and foremost, and certainly worthy of this auction’s spotlight, is an unquestionably extraordinary selection of specimens from the W&B Capital Collection. This collection was assembled with the lofty aim of reaching the apex of both rarity and grade and contains some of the very finest Chinese coins available today. Included in this group we find a stellar Kuang-hsü Dollar (1898-99) of the Chekiang Province, certified at what was a hitherto unheard of grade of MS66 by NGC. The next-highest example of this type grades a full two points lower, with only three examples total graded by NGC and PCGS combined.
Also in this collection are a Prooflike Kiangnan 50 Cent piece from 1899 graded MS62 PL, a 1929 Sun Yat-sen Matte Proof Pattern “Junk” Dollar graded PR65, and more, including some absolutely sublime large Mint-State gold pieces from the earlier years of the Republic of China. The fact that other $100,000+ pieces cannot be included here, for brevity’s sake, truly speaks to the immense gravity and importance of this collection.
There are so many other interesting Chinese pieces in the sale, and certainly the list of even “the best” is too long to mention in full. However, some of our favorites include a choice example of the coveted “Long-Whiskered Dragon” Dollar from Year 3 (1911). This L&M-29 example grades a remarkable MS63 and is, in our opinion, perhaps the most visually alluring of all known examples of this type, demonstrating a mesmerizing patina and an unmatched overall appearance. A Kwangtung Province 50 Cents piece (1890-1905), graded SP65, is also quite impressive, coming close to the finest ever graded, and representing the finest example of the type that we have ever offered. In addition to many other coins which cannot be overlooked, we find a quite special and beautifully toned 1912 “High Stars” variety Memento Dollar, which enjoys the admirable distinction of being not only the finest graded, but also the only example of its type grading a lofty MS66.
Despite the focus on Chinese coins, there is plenty of other material from around the world to excite. Among pieces in this category you will find a Korean Kuang Mu Year 6 (1902) 5 Chon, currently the highest graded at NGC, highly graded Proof and Specimen 20 Cent pieces from the Straits Settlements, and both early and later date Mint-State Indian Mohurs from the reign of Queen Victoria.
Finally, and to the great excitement of many of our bidders, this auction represents our first Hong Kong event to feature coins from the Ancient world. Accordingly, you will see several outstanding selections from this broad realm of coinage, including an MS Kingdom of Macedon Philip II Stater, a “Star”-designated Domitian Aureus, and much more.
This auction will open for bidding soon at coins.HA.com.