Latest Hong Kong auction shows strength in market for Chinese coins…
April is always an exciting time in Kowloon, Hong Kong, as hundreds of coin and paper money dealers, collectors and enthusiasts gather for a week of world-class auctions and the fastest growing coin and paper money show. This past week Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio brought their semi-annual sale to the Mira Hotel where it attracted spirited bidding from all over the world. This was a very successful Hong Kong offering of coins and banknotes, indicating that the market is on the rise, with many coins and notes exceeding high estimates, and bringing record prices. All prices listed include the buyer’s premium.
Session A: World Paper Money
Session A offering world paper money started with a bang as the opening lot, a mid-grade condition Ming Dynasty 1 Kuan, realized above the high estimate. A few lots later, a 1912 Provisional One Dollar Bank of China note realized $27,485 USD! Offered for the first time by Stack’s Bowers, the note was just one of the many notes that debuted and exceeded expectations.
A strong showing for group lots illustrated Stack’s Bowers’ skill at combining raw or graded notes to create starter sets or great groupings for dealers to purchase for inventory. Lot 70188, a group of 1,000 Yuan PRC banknotes, sold for $80,652.50, well over the estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
Highlights of the sale followed shortly, with the 1951 portion of the Peoples Republic section. The 500 Yuan in Lot 70200 sold for an astonishing $113,525. Another six-figure price was realized in Lot 70302, where $119,500 was paid for a 5 Yen from the Bank of Taiwan. In Lot 70560 Stack’s Bowers offered for the first time a stunning Straits Settlements 100 Dollar 1927 note that brought $38,240.
The most significant note sold in the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio April sale set a record for a single note sold at a public auction in Hong Kong. Lot 70204, a 10,000 Yuan, realized an astonishing $358,500!
The firm’s offering of the Tibet Collection of Alexander Lissanevitch garnered attention worldwide, and brought multiple record prices for the notes, many of which had not been offered in years. Kicking off the collection was a Pick 2 Printing Plate in Lot 70572 that brought $11,950. Shortly after in Lot 70590 was a 10 Tam with outstanding impressions that sold for Alexander Lissanevitch$10,157.50! Another Printing Plate in Lot 70637 realized $10,755. Overall the collection brought above the high estimate on many of the lots; all the notes in single lots certified by PCGS Currency brought exceptional results.
Session B: Hong Kong & Vintage Chinese Coins
Session B, offering Hong Kong coinage brought some nice results, with the total prices realized for the session exceeding the high estimates. Both the vintage material and the large run of modern coinage saw a great deal of action.
Later that same day, the vintage Chinese coins comprising Session C crossed the auction block. The first standouts were a run of Sycee that shattered the estimates assigned. Lot 72013 realized $28,680; Lot 72015 realized $14,340, and Lot 72016 brought $22,107.
Session C: Empire, Republic & Provincial Issues
The next portion of Session C offered Empire general issues with Lot 72029, a fantastic Gem 1908 Dollar (L&M-11), realizing $54,970. Just nine lots later the lovely 1910 Pattern Dollar (L&M-24) realized $62,737 (Lot 72038). Two “Reversed Dragon” Pattern Dollars (Lots 72041 and 72042) brought $86,637 and $50,190 respectively. The end cap on this exceptional run of Empire issues was Lot 72048, a magnificent 1911 Pattern 50 Cent (L&M-39) that brought an astounding $92,612.
Session C continued with Republic general issues and Lot 72054, the finest-certified Li Yuan Hung ‘Missing Crossbar’ Dollar, brought well over its high estimate, realizing $38,240. Lot 72091, a Dragon and Peacock Dollar with vibrant and gorgeous tone realized $62,737. A second Dragon and Peacock Dollar in Lot 72092 also brought a tremendous price of $44,215.
Overall the Republican issues saw incredible results, with many lots realizing over the assigned estimates.
Provincial issues were featured in the next part of Session C with the extremely rare “Teng-Tien” Brass Pattern 7 Mace and 2 Candareen in Lot 72133 realizing $77,675. A similarly rare Hunan 10 Cash Pattern Mule realized $33,460 as Lot 72142.
Kweichow Province provided two great highlights: an exceptional quality Auto Dollar (Lot 72208) realized $34,655 while Lot 72211, a rare 1949 Round Window Bamboo Dollar, realized $48,995. A T’ai Ping Rebellion ¼ Tael in silver realized $26,290 in Lot 72235.
The Fantasies grouping in Session C saw a tremendous opening with Lot 72275, a magnificent and hefty Gold 25 Taels that realized $23,900. Lot 72292, an Order of the Double Dragon Pattern Set, brought well over the high estimate at $43,020.
Session D: Foreign Coins
Foreign coins in the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio April Hong Kong sale (Session D) realized above the listed high estimates, with some exceptional highlights, beginning with Lot 73053, a Korean Order of the Plum Blossoms that brought $19,120. Two Thai lots closed out the session with a Rama IV’s 60th Birthday Commemorative 4 Baht (Lot 73145) realizing $12,547 and a rare 1908 Baht Essai (Lot 73147) bringing $15,535.
Session E: Modern Chinese Coins
The Modern Chinese Coin session–by far the largest coin session in this sale–saw incredible results. Lot 74082, a 12 Ounce gold 1,000-Yuan Panda Issue, realized $45,410 while another massive gold panda (Lot 74128, a full Kilo) brought $95,600.
Among the Lunar Issues, an incredible gem Lunar Completion Silver Kilo (Lot 74228) realized well over estimate at $31,070. Lot 74350, the large and rare gold 500 Yuan commemorating the Centenary of Chairman Mao’s birth, realized $89,625.
Session F: Internet Only
Session F, the Internet Only Coin Session, brought results above the firm’s high estimations, confirming the quality of the sale.
The week of bidding at several auctions culminated with the Hong Kong Coin Show hosted by Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio, Spink, Coin In Coin and Shouxi.com. The bustling bourse floor was packed from the opening on Friday morning virtually until the close of the show on Sunday. The response to this show has been resoundingly positive and exhibits continuing passion in the Chinese coin market. Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio will bring another auction and coin show to Hong Kong in August 2017.
Currently Stack’s Bowers is accepting consignments of world and ancient coins and paper money for the ANA World’s Fair of Money in August 2017 (in Denver, Colorado), the Hong Kong Showcase Auction in August 2017 and their New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) in January 2018. Consignment specialists can be reached at (949) 253-0916 or via email at [email protected].
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