Finest Certified 1900 Peking 3 Mace 6 Candareens Restrike

The Peking series of
coinage is easily among the rarest of all Imperial era, machine-struck coin
series. Restrikes (as offered in our August Hong Kong auction) are also quite
rare. Initiated in 1900 as a central mint series, these pieces were intended to
circulate alongside the provincial dragon coinage. The dragon coinage had been
the normal currency throughout most of China for roughly the preceding 12
years. The dies were prepared in England and sent to the Peking mint where a
small number of five denomination sets were struck with plain edges and incised
serial numbers on the edge. After this initial striking, references on the fate
of the Peking series diverge slightly, but all seem to agree on the following
series of events. During the chaos of the Boxer Rebellion (1900-01) the Peking
mint was destroyed after only about two years of operation, and a set of dies
(accounts differ, some say it was a full set of five dies some say it was only
four dies) was “saved” by a worker there. From here the dies were
sold, traded and passed through a few sets of hands before landing with a coin
dealer in Shanghai who began striking small quantities of restrike sets, by
most accounts up through about the middle of the Republic era. The restrikes
are identified by their reeded edges and pitting that is evident on the surface
from rusty areas on the dies (as can be seen in various spots on this piece).

The obverse features an
impressive flying dragon design, amidst wisps of clouds. The style and form of
the dragon is very similar to other provincial and Imperial dragon designs yet
this series has a distinct dragon’s face surrounded by ornate frills. The
remarkable artistry is flanked by “PEKING” above and “3 MACE AND 6 CANDAREENS”
below. The reverse provides an exclusively Chinese and Manchu legend.
a beaded circle four Chinese symbols denote: “Valuable Coin (of the) Kuang Hsu
(regime).” Four Manchu characters appear between the four Chinese characters
and convey the same meaning as the central inscription. A beaded border
separates these inner inscriptions from the outer legends. The upper-most outer
legend of four characters states: “Made in the Peking Mint.” The two characters
at nine and three o’clock state the year (1900). The lower six characters state
the denomination, and mirror the obverse English legend. This handsome and
dynamic design is quite different from other dragon coinage of the time and is
similar in form to the later “dragon in clouds” design of 1911. The
offered example  stands alone as the
single finest graded at either NGC or PCGS and features light attractive old
toning with a hint of mauve in the peripherals of the obverse. This outstanding
piece is sure to be a highlight of even the most advanced collection.

Though our Stack’s Bowers August Hong Kong Showcase Auction is no longer
open for consignments, we are now accepting consignments of world and ancient
coins for our January 2017 New York International Auction as well as Chinese
and other Asian coins and currency for our April 2017 Hong Kong Showcase
Auction. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency
(whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our
consignment directors.

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Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

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