It is finally here – our 10th Anniversary Hong Kong Auction! Before I share some of the wonderful numismatic items that have been entrusted to us for this auction, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past and, perhaps more importantly, offer a heartfelt “thank you” to those who have participated in our auctions over the past decade.
While the Stack, Bowers and Ponterio names have been spoken about alongside great coins in the Americas for many decades, it’s no exaggeration to say that this was not the case in Asia just 10 years ago. Seizing on an opportunity, we held our first Hong Kong auction in December 2010, buoyed by the now legendary Wa She Wong Collection. It was our hope that the same professional, down-to-earth and transparent approach that had earned us the trust of so many would translate into this new market for us.
Obviously, it worked! Since that first sale, we’ve had the honor of selling some of the most incredible Asian rarities. Perhaps it is a cliché, but we couldn’t have done it without you. And, with your continued patronage, we hope to celebrate this prideful occasion again 10 years from now!
As you browse the sale, I’m sure that you’ll agree that we’ve assembled an auction that is fitting for a celebration; not only are the rarities being offered truly staggering, but the sheer number of items may be nearly as impressive. In fact, a quick check confirms that this is our largest Hong Kong auction to date, with over 3,800 lots between our coin and currency catalogs.
While individual highlights are truly too numerous to detail, a few favorites include three extremely rare modern Dragon & Phoenix concept designs, each dated the year prior to commercial production; a newly discovered brass pattern Dollar struck for Anhwei, and an immaculate, satin-finished pattern Dollar from the Rome Mint depicting their proposed Sun Yat-sen / Junk Boat design.
On the paper money side, a rare issued Ta-Ching Government Bank 10 Dollars offers an amazing depiction of a dragon emerging from the clouds with the Great Wall below.
Among items that hail from outside mainland China, it’s hard to overlook a stunning proof Hong Kong Half Dollar from 1866.
From Thailand, an imposing gold and platinum bimetallic medal, struck in celebration of Rama IX’s 50th year on the throne is sure to attract attention.
The earliest dated 10 Dollar note from the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, which also happens to be the only example of the Pick number certified by PMG, is sure to capture the attention of the specialist banknote collector.
Numerous named collections add considerably to the dynamic nature of this sale as well. These include the Mas Fera Collection, the Trident Collection, the MBMY Collection, the Ta-Han/MCC Collection and the Charles Tanant Collection.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the COVID-19 virus with respect to the collecting community at large. In many ways, it would be impossible for this global fight to not cast almost everything in a new light. In an instant, it has trivialized many things previously considered to be of importance to modern life. However, it has also turned a spotlight back to things that we may have grown accustomed to taking for granted—the health and well-being of ourselves, our families and our friends perhaps being at the top of this list. While collecting might seem initially lost among these new realities, a deeper look certainly yields greater than anticipated importance. For many, numismatics provides a sense of community, while for others, it helps to provide goals that lead to a sense of accomplishment. Still others find the connection to history a valuable tool for personal growth and reflection. Whatever the reason, it’s clear to me that collecting does have its place and, perhaps, that place is more important now than ever.
Stay safe and happy collecting!
Matthew M. Orsini
Director of World & Ancient Numismatics, Stack’s Bowers Galleries
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Lot Viewing Schedule
Hong Kong Office: April 30-May 3, 2020
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Unit 1603, Mira Place Tower A
132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Thursday, April 30: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM HKT
Friday, May 1: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM HKT
Saturday, May 2: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM HKT
Sunday, May 3: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM HKT