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Rare Chinese Coin Pattern Highlights from Stack’s Bowers April Hong Kong Auction

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

Chinese Coin Pattern: An Amazing “Fang Kong” Pattern 10 Cash

Chinese Coin Pattern

This week’s first highlight from the Q. David Bowers/R.B. White Collection of Chinese Copper Coins is the amazing An-hui “Fang Kong” coin pattern 10 Cash. Struck in the style of the earlier square-hole type 10 Cash and displaying a beautifully executed “Water Dragon” that is far more refined than seen on later issues.

These extremely rare Chinese coin patterns were struck in small quantities, with about 20 examples known bearing the characteristic die break at 11 o’clock on the obverse. The limited number of specimens available coupled with collector demand has raised these amazing issues to legendary status.

The obverse depicts an elegant rendition of the “Water dragon” with English spelling of province name as “AN-HUI” above, “TEN CASH” below widely spaced. While the reverse displays a central inscription as ”光緒元寶” (Guang Xu yuan bao [Guangxu era]) within beaded border, outer legend as “安徽省造” (An Hui sheng zao [made in Anhwei province]) above, “每元當制錢十文” (Mei yuan dang zhi qian shi wen [Equal to ten Cash]) below and Manchu inscription “Boo Wan” at sides.

The masterful execution, fabulous state of preservation and fantastic provenance of this rarity certainly makes it one of the top pieces in this collection. It offers connoisseurs of Chinese coin rarities a chance to obtain a truly excellent example.

Extremely Rare Pattern Wen

At a time when small change was sparse, several mints, including the central mint at Tientsin, were tasked with preparing a new copper coinage to alleviate the coin shortage. One such example is this week’s second highlight from the Bowers/White collection.

Lot # 40279 offers an extremely rare pattern Wen struck at the Tientsin Mint around 1903, one of only about four known examples. It features a simplistic design struck in the style of the old monetary system, with the characters in relief surrounding a central square with a round hole, all within a wide rim border.

The obverse inscription reads from top to bottom and right to left as “光緒通寶” (Guāngxù tōng bǎo [Guangxu era]) while the reverse inscription reads from top to bottom and right to left as “銅幣一文” (tóngbì yīwén[Copper coin equal to one Wen{Cash}]).

The shortage of copper coins affected many in the country and though the manufacture of these patterns was far superior to their cast predecessors, they were rejected because they followed the old system.

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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