As we move closer to our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August Hong Kong Showcase Auction, we continue to offer highlights from the sale. This week’s preview coin features the effigy of Li Yuan Hung, prominent in early Republican China, who served as the third President of the Republic of China. Li Yuan Hung first served as Vice President to Sun Yat-sen and Vice President to Yuan Shih-kai. He was then elected as President of the Republic of China after Yuan Shih-kai’s death. Nearly five years later, he would return to the office and attempt to counteract the government corruption of the Warlords Era, but he was unsuccessful.
There are two main, distinct types of Li Yuan Hung coinage. In both he is presented in military dress, but the inclusion of his military cap differentiates the two. The example we will offer in Hong Kong in August is the type without a cap. Li Yuan Hung is presented in a three quarter left facing bust, in a military outfit, which is surrounded by a beaded border. The upper legend states: “Republic of China” with two branches of peach blossoms separating the upper and lower legends. The bottom inscription enumerates: “Coin commemorating the Change of Regime.” The reverse design sets this piece apart from seemingly similar and more numerous mintages. This example bears an error in the English inscription: in “TIIE REPUBLIC OF CHINA” the crossbar of the “H” in “THE” is missing. With its stellar grade of NGC-MS 65, this example stands as the highest graded example of this variety, as well as gaining it inclusion among some of the highest graded for this type. Below the upper legend, the lower inscription states: “ONE DOLLAR,” which is separated by a five-petalled rosette. The inner design – separated by a beaded border – shows two vertical Chinese characters (One Yuan) encompassed by an open wreath of rice and bean stalks. This wreath and its component plants symbolize the unity between North and South. The pleasing light amber toning and full attractive luster combine to create a visually superb coin that is sure to draw enormous attention when it crosses the block.
Look for this and other Asian numismatic rarities in our upcoming August Hong Kong Showcase Auction and Sale. Preview this coin along with the rest of our auction this July and August at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link on our website. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. While our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August Hong Kong Showcase Auction is closed for further consignments, we are currently taking consignments of Asian, world and ancient coins for our April Hong Kong, November Baltimore and New York International auctions. Time is running short, so 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.