Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio to Showcase Major Chinese Rarities in December at Hong Kong Collectors Choice Online Auction
Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio are pleased to announce that extremely rare and recently identified numismatic treasures will be auctioned off at their Hong Kong Collectors Choice online auction, December 1-3, 2021.
Costa Mesa, California –
Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio are pleased to announce that extremely rare and recently identified numismatic treasures will be auctioned off in their Hong Kong Collectors Choice online auction from December 1-3, 2021. The former is a Superb Empire Dollar (L & M-11; KM-Y -14) from 1908, noted SPECIMEN-64 + by PCGS. These immensely popular dollars capture the enthusiasm of collectors when found at Mint State. As a specimen they are almost unknown, this is only the second that PCGS has classified and the first to appear on the market. Showcasing reflective fields and an incredible blue tone, this coin offers a level of refinement not present on standard circulation strikes. Alongside this incredible rarity will be presented the only provincial dollar of Chihli (Pei Yang) certified PCGS of Specimen quality year 34 (1908) (L & M-465; KM-Y-73.2). The proposed example is classified SPECIMEN-64 by PCGS and offers a quality and a nice toning similar to the Empire Dollar.
Little is known about the past ownership of these magnificent objects, the only record found being a pedigree linking them to a Lester Merkin auction on December 7 and 8, 1973 of “foreign gold and silver coins“. In this sale, both were classified as “Gem Unc”, with the Chihli issue in lot 226, and Empire Dollar in lot 228. Given their great rarity, it is difficult to fault Merkin for do not identify them as exhibits; however, his attribution of the “Gem Unc” used sparingly, expresses his opinion on their quality. Off the market since then, their appearance in the Hong Kong Collectors’ Choice Auction in December, correctly attributed and described, will mark the first time in nearly half a century that these pieces will be available to the general public.
As with any such special numismatic coin, does the question remain as to why these special strikes were produced in the first place? Were they exhibits or samples? Were these gifts to a politician or to a dignitary? While any answer is only educated speculation, what is not speculation is the story surrounding these coins. At the turn of the 20e
century, China, ruled by the Qing dynasty since 1644, was losing ground in the race for Asian hegemony in favor of rapidly industrializing Japan. The Boxer Rebellion failed in its attempt to expel all foreigners from China, and the imperial rule that had ruled China for two millennia began to crumble. The death of Emperor Guangxu, the symbolic ruler of China, in 1908 marked the beginning of the end of the Qing Dynasty. The next day, China’s de facto ruler, Empress Dowager Cixi, passed away, plunging China into a succession crisis. Two-year-old Puyi, nephew of Emperor Guangxu, was appointed emperor, although his abdication was forced less than three years later, before he officially ascended the throne. War followed, and conflict for China – one way or another – never completely ended until the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
These dollars tell the story of an Empire at a crossroads and are museum-worthy historical gems. Both survived the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the era of warlords, the Chinese Civil War, and the Second Sino-Japanese War in pristine condition. They are among the many highlights of the upcoming Hong Kong Collectors Choice online auction in December, which features a wide range of Chinese and Asian coins and banknotes. This online auction, running from December 1-3, is sure to grab the attention of anyone interested in Asian numismatics and will be the culmination of a pivotal year of global coin auctions. presented by Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio.
About Stack’s Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, internet and specialty auctions of rare US and World coins and coins and antique coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s 85-year heritage includes cataloging and selling many of the most valuable collections of US coins and currencies to ever cross an auction block – the D. Brent Pogue Collection, the John J. Ford, Jr., the Louis E Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection – for n ‘ to name a few. Global Coin and Currency Collections include the Pinnacle Collection, Louis E. Eliasberg Collection, Senior Global Gold Coin Collection, Kroisos Collection, Alicia & Sidney Belzberg Collection, Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Law collection.
The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the official auctioneer for several major numismatic conventions, including the events of the American Numismatic Association, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its auctions. April and August in Hong Kong.