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Fantastic Gem Chinese 1910 Pattern Dragon Dollar

This week’s preview for our upcoming August Hong Kong Showcase Auction is
a lovely Dragon Pattern Dollar from the final period of the Chinese Empire and
the Qing (Ch’ing) Dynasty. The Central Mint in Tientsin – operated by the Board
of Revenue in Peking – minted a multitude of coinage types in the later portion
of the Empire, in an attempt to unify the currency system of China.
Unfortunately, China’s administrative disorganization (as well as a lack of
sufficient funds) inhibited the reforms from gaining traction.

The obverse design is attention grabbing: a fearsome Asian serpentine
Dragon differs from the somewhat more docile iterations found on most Chinese
coinage. On this pattern, the mythical beast bursts forth vigorously from the
stormy sea and corkscrews in mid-air to roar at the viewer. The fiery pearl and
cloud wisps invoke the powerful nature of the creature, and when viewed
collectively it stands as one of the most energetic and memorable of the
Chinese Dragon designs. The upper legend states: “Made during the reign of
Hsuen Tung” with seven-pointed rosettes and floral bursts found in the outer
design, with the denomination of “$1” found at six o’clock. The reverse is more
muted, featuring the necessary Chinese and Manchu legends, beginning at the top
with the four Manchu characters, floral bursts at three and nine o’clock, with
two Chinese characters stating “1 Yuan.” The four central characters denote:
“Great Ch’ing (Dynasty) Silver Coin.” A single point from the finest graded at
NGC, this is a beautiful example of a rare short-lived proposed design and
features a highly stylized dollar symbol in the denomination. Brilliant and
lustrous white surfaces lay full claim to the assigned gem grade. The razor
sharp strike and immaculate fields, totally free of significant marks or
abrasions, combine to produce a stunning numismatic treasure. The art nouveau
influence in the dragon is unmistakable, with the overall design reflecting
European influence. This is a coin missing from all but the most advanced collections,
the pristine state of preservation seen here will launch the collection it
enters to a new level of sophistication and prestige.

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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West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

info@stacksbowers.com
 

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

infohk@stacksbowers.com

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