HomeAuctionsImportant Selections from Bowker East Asian Coin Collection Offered by Champion Auctions

Important Selections from Bowker East Asian Coin Collection Offered by Champion Auctions


By CoinWeek …..
On August 22 at 10pm, Champion Auctions will hold an auction of important Chinese and East Asian coins at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong. Bidders can also register and participate online at Liveauctioneers or through Champion Auction’s website, www.cghka.com.

Highlights from the sale include an 1896 Chihli Province dollar Triangle Variety NGC MS 63; an 1897 Chihli Province half dollar NGC MS 65; an 1898 Fengtien Province 50 cents NGC MS 65; a 1928 Kweichow Auto dollar NGC MS 63; and a Hong Kong 1941 one cent NGC MS 64. Many selections from the sale come from the Howard Bowker Collection.

Proceeds from the sale of the Bowker coins will go towards the promotion of numismatic educational programs. In addition, the Bowker family will make a donation to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

Howard Bowker (1889-1970) was born in Winona, Minnesota and later settled in Oakland, California. One of the founders of Starbuck’s, Bowker became interested in Asian studies while serving as an officer in the United States Navy.

When his navy career took him to China in 1923, Bowker’s enthusiasm for Chinese coins and culture flourished. A self-taught linguist, Bowker learned Chinese and Japanese. These skills helped him become one of the preeminent western numismatists in the field of Eastern coins.

He published books, articles, and papers on a number of these topics, including A Numismatic Bibliography of the Far East: A Check List of Titles in European Languages (ANA Monographs #101), A Bibliography on Far Eastern Numismatics, and Bibliography of Far Eastern Numismatology and a Coin Index (Encyclopedia of Chinese Coins – Volume 1), which was a collaboration with Arthur Coole and Hitoshi Kozono.

Starting in 2010, the Bowker family authorized Champion Auctions’ iAsure Group to donate key pieces from the collection to a number of China’s historical mints, repatriating these artifacts to their home country. The family also donated more than 6,000 Chinese cash coins and machine-made coins to Germany’s Art Museum of Moritzburg Halle in Saxony-Anhalt.

Bowker’s important Chihli 1896 dollar (Lot 017, L&M439, Y65, K1881) is an important one-year type coin, featuring a distinctive large-headed, long horn dragon. Chinese customs reports show a total mintage of 3,000 pieces for this issue; far fewer survive. Of the survivors-to-date, this is the finest known, graded MS 63 by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). The coin exhibits an allover hazelnut coloration with light streaks across the right side of the obverse and the left side of the reverse.

This example is the plate coin in Champion’s book Top Chinese Coins: Silver Coinage (2011). Pre-sale estimate: US$30,000-$60,000.

The highlight Kweichow Auto dollar (Lot 093) comes from the Bowker Collection and traces its pedigree to collector Glendining Von Halle. The plate coin from Champion’s book Top Chinese Coins: Silver Coinage, the dollar is graded MS 63 by NGC and is the two blades variety (Y428, L&M609, K757). The coin exhibits all-over goldenrod toning and has a pre-sale estimated price of $10,000-$20,000.

Five million 1941 one cent coins were struck at The Royal Mint for Hong Kong in 1941, but the war effort caused disruptions in the distribution of the coins. Today, it is believed that fewer than 100 examples of the issue survive, making the issue one of the scarcest Hong Kong issue from the British period. The specimen for sale on August 23 was awarded the grade MS 64 BN by NGC. Estimated Price: $1,000 – $2,000.

Beyond the important issues of the Bowker Collection are a number of major and minor 19th- and 20th-century Chinese coins and an assortment of modern issues, including certified silver and gold coins from China and Japan.

Collectors interested in reviewing the lot offerings can do so on Champion Auction’s website (www.cghka.com) and can direct any queries to [email protected].

中国, 中國, 市, 广州, 广州市, 贵州, 贵阳, 贵阳市, 重庆, 直隸, 直隶, 香港

Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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