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Incredible “L. Giorgi” Pattern 10 Cash at Stack’s Bowers Hong Kong Auction of Chinese Coins

By Kyle PonterioSenior Numismatist & Cataloguer, Stack’s Bowers ……
 

“L. Giorgi” Pattern 10 Cash. Images courtesy Stack's Bowers Galleries Hong Kong Auction

This week’s Hong Kong Auction highlight from the Q. David Bowers/R.B. White collection of Chinese Copper coins is Lot 40299, an incredible pattern 10 Cash, undated (ca. 1914) and signed by the prolific die engraver and head of the Tientsin Mint, Luigi Giorgi. As head of the mint from 1910 to 1920 he was tasked with preparing and presenting numerous designs, such as the standard Yuan Shih-kai “Fat Man” Dollars and its subsidiaries, including Cash coinage.

The obverse features a somewhat familiar design with crossed flags flanked by curled flowers and vines with Chinese inscription above as “中華民國” (Zhōnghuá mínguó [Republic of China]) and below “共禾口紀念幣” (Gòng hé kǒu jìniàn bì [Commemorative coin of the Republic]). What differentiates this design from others is that the crossed flags are national flags rather than the national and Kuomintang flags. The reverse features a simplistic design displaying a wreath containing the Chinese inscription “十文” (Shí wén [10 Wen {Cash}]) with the English inscription “Ten Cash” below.

It would seem that these short-lived denominations never saw mass production, as even the regular circulation issues are quite scarce.

Even though Yuan Shih-kai was disliked by most of the country, the coinage issued under his regime was quite popular, especially the silver issues. They saw mass production and wide circulation up to 10 years after his demise on June 4, 1916. Some of the provincial mints up through the warlord period continued producing silver issues. The Anking Mint went so far as to debase them to a dismal .560 fine silver.

The outstanding work that Giorgi created while in the employ of the Tientsin Mint is a testament to his expertise and artistic style. Not only did he create numerous patterns destined for mass production and wide use in early years of the Republic, but he was also responsible for creating the last of the Manchu dragon dollars.

The Q. David Bowers/R.B. White Collection of Chinese Copper Coins is offered in a stand-alone catalog in our April 2-4, 2018 Hong Kong auction. All lots in this collection, as well as the rest of our April 2018 Hong Kong auction, can be viewed at StacksBowers.com.

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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.​

Stack's Bowers
Stack's Bowershttps://stacksbowers.com/
Stack's Bowers Galleries conducts live, internet, and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company's 90-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The D. Brent Pogue Collection, The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection, The Sydney F. Martin Collection, and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Pinnacle Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Salton Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Law Collection. The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California with galleries in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Offices are also located in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Hong Kong, Paris, and Vancouver.

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