By Kyle Ponterio – Stack’s Bowers Auctions ……
Another highlight from the Q. David Bowers Collection of Chinese Copper Coins to be offered in Stack’s Bowers April 2-4, 2018 Hong Kong auction as a standalone catalog. Here are featured the Impressive Kiangsu-Chingkiang “Huai” Pattern 20 Cash – the only known example in private hands. The only other specimen known is permanently impounded in the Shanghai Museum (the example plated in most reference works). This extremely rare pattern is easily identified by the raised mintmark in the center of the reverse. The Chingkiang Mint where this piece was manufactured was initially set up to strike 10 cash size pieces, so additional equipment was needed for the larger denomination. Once ready to start production, the equipment was tested and upon inspection it was discovered that the pressure needed to strike these larger-size pieces was insufficient. Later the equipment was disassembled and sent to the Nanjing Mint.
The obverse features the standard Imperial dragon in the clouds with flame ball at center all within a beaded border. The obverse legend reads “TAI CHING-TI-KUO COPPER COIN” in English letters with Chinese inscription “Guangxu nian zao” (Guangxu era).
The reverse displays both Chinese and Manchu script with the central legend that reads from top to bottom and right to left as “Da qing tong bi” (Qing copper coin) with the raised mintmark “Huai” at center within beaded border. The outer legend consists of both Chinese and Manchu inscriptions; the latter is the equivalent to the central Chinese inscription, flanked by the cyclical date “Bing wu” (1906). The central outer legend “Hu bu” (Board of Revenue) and the lower outer legend reads as “Dang zhi qian er shi wen” (Value of 20 Cash).
Though short lived due to technical difficulties, the strike is well executed. The opportunity to acquire an example of this important issue should not be missed as it may not occur again for many years.
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), our 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) contact one of our consignment directors.