By Kyle Ponterio – Senior Numismatist & Cataloguer, Stack’s Bowers ……
Today we feature another highlight from the Q. David Bowers/R.B. White Collection of Chinese Copper Coins to be offered in our April 2-4, 2018 Hong Kong auction as a standalone catalog. It is easy to see why this fabulous style dragon Hunan 10 Cash is so popular with specialists. Its artistic style and execution far surpass that of any other 10 Cash struck in China during this period. Clearly the engraver paid special attention to detail when cutting this die. The clear, well-defined details from the background to the foreground of the face and body offers a perspective not normally seen on these coins.
The state of preservation, coupled with the excellent rendering of the dragon, clearly displays Chinese artistry.
Like all Imperial 10 Cash of this type, this piece features a curled facing dragon among clouds, waves below, flame ball at center – all within a beaded border, bearing the standard outer legend “TAI-CHING-TI-KUO COPPER.COIN” in English lettering and Chinese inscription “Guangxu nian zao” (Guangxu era).
The reverse displays both Chinese and Manchu script with the central legend that reads from top to bottom and right to left as “Da qing tong bi” (Qing copper coin) and incuse mintmark “Xiang” at center on a raised disk all within beaded border. The outer legend consists of both Chinese and Manchu inscriptions; the latter is the equivalent to the central Chinese inscription, flanked by the cyclical date “Bing wu” (1906). The central outer legend “Hu bu” (Board of Revenue) and the lower outer legend reads as “Dang zhi qian shi wen” (Value of 10 Cash).
Though similar in many ways to other standardized Imperial issues, the fine style of the dragon with its excellent rendering sets it apart from its contemporaries.
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We are no longer accepting consignments for our April Hong Kong auction. We are however taking consignments of world and ancient coins and world paper money for our May Collectors Choice Online (CCO), our August 2018 Hong Kong, August 2018 American Numismatic Association (ANA), October 2018 Collectors Choice Online (CCO) and our 2019 New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) auctions. 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.