Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio to Offer 5 Goats in April Hong Kong Auction

In the classic Chinese coin series, gold and silver issues often get a disproportionate amount of the shine and collector interest. This, however, distracts from the interesting copper issues of this period. There are copper issues that occasionally reach out and grab attention. To this group, lot 40086, a Kwangtung “Five Goats” Copper Cent Pattern from Year 25 Graded Specimen-64 Brown by PCGS, certainly belongs.

The intriguing motif features five goats grazing on a pastoral landscape, with mountains rising in the background. The reverse provides a simplistic rice stalk, standing in juxtaposition to the intricate and ornate reverse. This Pattern was produced under the aegis of Governor Chen Chi-T’ang, the military ruler of Kwangtung immediately preceding the outbreak of war with Japan. Known as the “celestial king” in the South of China where he held sway, Chen sought to modernize China and introduced schools and universities in Kwangtung. Among the jockeying for power in China and to maintain his position, Chen attempted to balance the Nationalistic Government forces against the growing Communist front. This left him vulnerable, and after his biggest supporter, Hu Hanmin, died in 1936 Chen sought to overthrow the Nationalist government. This was a miscalculation, as the rising Japanese threat led other provincial powerbrokers to align with the government and Chen was forced to flee to Hong Kong. 

Given the ouster of Chen, this piece never reached full production, and is only known as a pattern. This is only our fourth offering of this type, with the last being in our 2018 offering of the Q. David Bowers Collection of Chinese Cash coinage. That specimen, graded a very similar Specimen-64+, reached a final price of $48,000, and this example figures to approach that number. As one of the finest pieces of medallic artistry in the classic Chinese series, we expect much excitement for this example.

To view our entire April 2024 Hong Kong Auction visit To consign to an upcoming auction call 800-458-4646 or email

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