A strong selection of Asian and related coins will be offered in Heritage Auctions’ Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair (HKINF) World Coins Platinum Session and Signature Auction on December 9 through 11, 2023.
Among the highlights are the Treasures from the W&L Collection, which includes various Wen Zong denominations and mints, including Mother, Trial and Pattern Types. Some of the top Wen Zong lots are:
- A Qing Dynasty coin. Wen Zong (Xian Feng) Trial Piece 20 Cash ND (1853-1855) Certified 80 by Gong Bo Grading. Exceedingly rare as a Trial and distinct from Patterns and Mother types. Few have come to market over recent decades.
- A high-grade Qing Dynasty coin. Wen Zong (Xian Feng) 1000 Cash ND (March-August 1854) Certified 88 by Gong Bo Grading. Among the finest to come to auction.
- A Qing Dynasty coin. Wen Zong (Xian Feng) 100 Cash ND (1853-1855) Certified 80 by Gong Bo Grading. Largest of this scarce series.
Sycee specialists will be drawn to a number of intriguing lots, including:
- A rare unidentified Fangbao (“Square”) Sycee of 10 Taels ND Certified MS62 by Gong Bo Grading. Largest of these handled at Heritage Auctions; they are typically encountered in 1 and 5 Tael sizes.
- A Jin Dynasty 49-1/4 Tael Sycee that can be a prize in any collection, especially those assembled by dynasty. This magnificent offering includes four stamps, reading “Wang De Bin Liu Zi Yan” (Officers’ names: Wang De Bin and Liu Ziyan) upper right, “Si Shi Jin Liang You Er Fen Ban” (Forty Nine Tael and Quarter) lower right, “Song You Qian Ren Mao Shi Xing Ren” (Offers’ names: Song You Qian and Ren Mao Shi) upper left and “Ku Cheng” (Weighing Scales) lower left.
- An Anhui Erqibao Sycee of 50 Taels that is an absolute rarity, as any issue of Anhui origin is considered a highlight and/or trophy of numismatic and historical collections.
THere is also a selection of seven Kiangnan dollars:
- A Kuang-hsü Dollar CD 1900 MS65 PCGS, an example of a type rarely encountered in “straight” grades, let alone in Mint State. The condition censuses reveals only two specimens out of more than 750 at the Gem level: the specimen offered here and a staggering MS66+. An MS63 was the finest to come to market in the last 20 years.
- A Choice Mint State 1897 Kiangnan Dollar, from the J.R.S. Affra Collection, features a dragon design that is a symbol of power, luck and prosperity. The example offered here has the second-highest grade in the PCGS census.
Besides the Qing dynasty coins above, there is also a Hsüan-t’ung silver Specimen Pattern “Long-Whiskered Dragon” Dollar Year 3 (1911) SP64+ NGC that is among the finest Pattern Long-Whiskered Dragon Dollars existing. This coin is the finest ever offered by Heritage. Only one other of this variety has certified finer than the offered example, which is already the finest to come to market in more than two decades.
A Republic Yuan Shih-kai silver Pattern Dollar Year 3 (1914) MS64 NGC, Tientsin mint, KM-Pn32, L&M-72, Kann-643, WS-0166, Wenchao-858 (rarity 3 stars), from the Rulin Wei Collection, is the second-highest graded specimen submitted to either NGC or PCGS. NGC designates all examples as Mint State, while PCGS calls them Specimens.
A “Dragon & Phoenix” 10 Dollars is a good example of the very rare Pattern by the colorful warlord Zhang Zongchang, and likely required a series of unlikely events to allow this piece to remain in Gem state. The previous Gem Mint State coin offered at Heritage Auctions was an MS65 NGC that sold in 2014 for $94,000 USD. The example offered in this auction is an MS65+ NGC — the highest grade across PCGS and NGC.
A Republic Chu Yu-pu Pattern Medallic Dollar ND (1927) MS63 NGC, L&M-962, Kann-690, WS-0125 is one of 22 specimens that have been submitted to the major grading services and only make it to auction every few years. This example is the first offered through Heritage.
Highlights from other countries include:
A Rama V (Chulalongkorn) 6-Piece Uncertified “Bullet” Presentation Set CS 1242 (1880) UNC, struck in commemoration of Chulalongkorn reaching the same age as his mother, Deb Sirindhra, when she died at 28, is arguably the most famous and coveted sets in all of Thai numismatics. As the first dated silver “coins” of Thailand, the historical significance of the set can not be overstated: the offered set is one of just three intact sets, out of an estimated population of eight sets, to reach the auction market. The set includes two of some of Thailand’s largest pieces of bullet money: the Chang (80 Baht) and 1/2 Chang (40 Baht). This is the first time Heritage has offered anything larger than a 1/4 Chang (20 Baht) from this series.
A Victoria gold Proof “Una and the Lion” 5 Pounds 1839 PR62 Ultra Cameo NGC is a popular icon of British numismatics, struck in the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign. This prized design is an unrivaled 19th-century example of mastery by Royal Mint Chief Engraver William Wyon.
Another design by William Wyon is the George III silver Proof Pattern “Three Graces” Crown 1817 PR63+ NGC, one of the most popular and illustrious types in the British series. Of an estimated 50 produced “Three Graces” Patterns this example ranks among the most finest specimens extant. The “Three Graces” is is considered the pinnacle of numistmatic artistry under George III, and marked the arrival of William Wyon as a tour-de-force at the Royal Mint.
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