Heritage’s Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair Auction, taking place December 5-6, includes both individually spectacular items as well as important collections which will serve as a point of reference for a worldwide audience of collectors for many years to come. Below you will find just a small sampling of what awaits.
Headlining the auction is what promises to be one of the most exciting lots ever sold by Heritage World & Ancient Coins – an 1897 Szechuan Double Specimen Pattern “Ferracute” set. This set is one of only a small handful in existence and represents an early effort to modernize Chinese coinage, aided by the use of the latest technology produced by the New Jersey-based Ferracute Machine Company, the contemporary supplier of minting equipment to the Philadelphia Mint. The set is nearly entirely composed of the finest certified examples of each included type and indisputably ranks among the greatest rarities of all Chinese numismatics.
The ancient section continues to increase in popularity, and for this auction, we have chosen some magnificent examples of popular types to pique your interest.
The Athenian owl tetradrachm is easily one of the most recognizable of ancient coins, and we have seven very attractive pieces available in a variety of grades. Gold is always on collectors’ want lists, which we have covered from the beginning of ancient coinage with the Lydian Kingdom stater and fractions, toward the end of the Byzantine Empire with a Basil II histamenon in Choice Mint State. A Syracuse decadrachm and Lysimachus tetradrachm, both in Fine Style, are sure to please connoisseurs of large silver issues. If spectacular toning is your cup of tea, don’t miss the Ptolemy II tetradrachm, graded AU by NGC with star for exceptional eye appeal.
Preserving a remarkable account of the variety of money used through the history of southeast Asia, we are extremely pleased to present an intriguing selection of odd and curious monies from the Charles J. Opitz Collection. Best known for his general survey An Ethnographic Study of Traditional Money on the subject, this assemblage is particularly strong in the “bullet money” coinage of Thailand and Chinese sycee.
The prize piece of the former is likely an extremely rare silver 20 Baht presentation piece produced on the occasion of the cremation of Rama V’s mother, though a nearly complete set of gold bullet pieces from the reign of his predecessor, Rama IV, is also sure to pique specialist interest. From China, we find an incredible 8 50-Tael sycee, including an “axe-head” type piece from the Southern Song Dynasty with a pedigree dating back over 100 years, in addition to many other odd and unlisted types. The collection is further rounded out by several large money trees and what is likely one of the most extensive private collections of Russo-Chinese tea brick money.
Viewing the auction as a whole, one will find an impressive presentation of Chinese offerings bound to astonish by their combined beauty, rarity, and condition. Among the very earliest of these is an incredibly rare example of Warring States Period gold Block, or Cube, money, incredibly preserved in the form of a larger conjoined block of 18 squares and representing the earliest gold coinage of China, produced between 400 and 220 BCE.. Collectors of more modern coinage will be compelled to explore in greater detail a number of specimens, including a superb Mint State example of the famed Kweichow “Auto” Dollar, certified MS61 by NGC, and an MS65-certified Mausoleum Dollar from the Republic of China.
We are excited by what this auction holds in store and are confident that you will be too when you see the material presented. Bidding on this auction starts soon at HA.com/coins.