7th April 2011
Far Eastern coins, world coins, medals and banknotes
A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd, London
Ma Tak Wo Numismatic Co. Ltd, Hong Kong
Held in conjunction with
The Hong Kong International Coin Convention and Antique Watch Fair
Crystal Room, Level B3
Holiday Inn Golden Mile
50 Nathan Road, Kowloon
China-People’s Republic: Gold Proof 2000-Yuan 1-Kilogram Coin, Year of the Rabbit, 1999, 32.117 Troy oz AGW. Mintage: 15 pieces (KM 1238). With certificate no. 8 and in original case of issue. Brilliant mint state. A modern rarity with a most auspicious number.
Perhaps the luckiest piece in the auction, not only does the lot include the certificate Number 8 it is also a coin of the year of the Rabbit. In Chinese culture the number 8 is regarded as the most auspicious of all the numbers, signifying wealth and prosperity; while the rabbit is deemed to be the most fortunate of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, bringing luck to individuals and businesses alike. With a number of rabbits amongst the Baldwin’s staff we are hopeful that this piece will prove to be a good omen for the Hong Kong auction and for the lunar year to come.
China-Empire, General Issues: Peking Mint: Silver Pattern 50-Cents, CD1900, old restrike from original dies (Kann 234; L&M 7A). Weak-strike on dragon’s head, lightly toned, uncirculated and very rare.
Little is known about the Peking mint other than it did function briefly before it became entangled in the Boxer Rebellion, 1900-1901. The mint designed steel dies for the production of coins in the denominations $1, 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents. During the hostility the mint was looted and later destroyed completely by the Boxers who were fighting Western Imperialism and Christianity. An unnamed mint worker managed to save 4 of the dies. These were later sold to a well-known Chinese numismatist, along with 8 sets of the Peking coins all struck at the Peking Mint. It is believed that the dies were later shattered when workers in a civilian workshop tried to use them.
Hupeh Province 湖北省: Silver “Ben Shen” 本省 20-Cents, Chinese date 1895 (Kann 37; L&M 178). Attractively toned extremely fine, very rare.
This classic rarity is missing from all the major Chinese collections sold in recent years. The distinctive variety is in the two Chinese characters, meaning “this province”, either side of the dragon, below the English provincial name. 1-dollar and 10-cents denominations also exist.
Fengtien Province 奉天省: Brass Pattern 20-Cents, undated (1897), Rev “TENG-TIEN PROVINCE” (sic) above dragon (L&M 469). About extremely fine and extremely rare.
These brass pattern coins were struck from dies prepared at the Anking Mint in Anhwei Province, but the coinage was never adopted. There are 1-dollar, 50-cents and 10-cents patterns known, in addition to the present 20-cents. All are extremely rare.