With only a week and half to go before the Stack’s Bowers & Ponterio August 2012 Hong Kong Auction, excitement is mounting over the excellent selection of rarities presented in this sale. This week I would like to highlight a lot which struck me as an excellent group of rare early issues from the Pei Yang Arsenal. Lot 51133 is a full NGC certified five piece denomination set from the 22nd year of Emperor Guangxu (1896), which was the first year of standardized machine minting at Chihli. These early strikings are distinguished by the more rudimentary style of dragon and the much fuller legends and inscriptions. This early style of dragon is rendered a bit more flat and motionless compared to the later style introduced in 1898, which imparts a sense of lightness and movement. Notable too is the face of the dragon on the early model which is wider and, for lack of a better term, furrier, with a wide brow which on most examples is struck very flat. The Dollar piece from this year is a solid rarity on its own with the smaller denominations not normally seen in higher states of preservation. With a nice light tone to the pieces and grades ranging from AU-50 to AU-55, this set has a pleasant uniform appeal. This lot presents a rare and fantastic opportunity to add an entire silver set from an already scarce year to a provincials collection and should not be overlooked.
Lot viewing for this sale has wrapped up in our California office and shortly the sale will be on its way to Hong Kong, where lot viewing will resume on the 16th at the Mira Hong Kong. If you are unable to attend either of these live viewings the entire sale can be found on StacksBowers.com with high resolution images on most lots. Pre-bidding on our website is now open so be sure and lock in bids early. This sale has something for collectors of just about every level and field of interest and we encourage all to check our website, including the online only portion of this sale, for great pieces to add to their collections.