As we near the August Hong Kong Showcase Auction, Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio will continue to preview rare and high value coins that are featured in the sale. For this week, we have a brilliant Mint State example of a Hupeh Provincial Dollar. This coin was minted by one of the inaugural modern mints purchased by the Chinese government. Located in the city of Wuchang in Hupeh Province, this mint was sanctioned in 1893 and began producing coinage in 1895. This coin represents the largest denomination for the regular coinage series struck at this mint between 1895 and 1907. The example offered here is tied for finest certified for its type, and its visual excellence makes it a highlight of the auction.
The obverse design features the archetypal symbol for China, the eastern serpentine dragon. The dragon displays a fearsome visage, its great scaly form winding and twisting in flight. Its four limbs, tipped with fierce claws, appear equidistant from each other in a square pattern. Wisps of clouds surround the dragon, providing visual markers of its presence in the sky. The dragon’s tail ends in seven sharp spikes, with a ridge of spikes along its back culminating in a veritable crown of barbs atop its head. Long whiskers drape down past its open mouth, with an ornate flaming pearl (containing seven flames) issuing forth from its mouth. Around the motif of the dragon, the English legend: “HU-PEH PROVINCE” appears above, with “7 MACE AND 2 CANDAREENS” (denomination) appearing below. The upper and lower legends are separated by two six-petalled rosaces.
The reverse design features an all Chinese legend, which follows the usual pattern, the upper portion stating: “Made in Hupeh Province” and the lower legend indicates the denomination of 7 Mace 2 Candareens (Dollar). A pearled border separates the legend from the central inscriptions. The central inscription states: “Kuang-Hsu Yuan-Pao” meaning “Valuable Coin (of the) Kuang Hsu (regime),” with a smaller Manchu inscription in the direct center. This piece displays pristine visual appeal, with lovely peripheral toning surrounding highly lustrous and exquisite surfaces. Certified by NGC at Mint State – 66, this coin is tied with just one other coin for the finest certified for its type.
Look for this and other Asian numismatic rarities in our upcoming August Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Preview this impressive 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 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.