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Spink sees strong bids for Chinese notes

Spink China’s August numismatic sale was the largest the company has held in Hong Kong in terms of volume. Despite some recent turbulence in the market, many high-value lots sold well above pre-sale expectations. These were predominantly historic Chinese items.

Highly collectible “Running Horse” 10,000 yuan ((P-858Aa) graded PCGS Gold Shield 40 Details Extremely Fine that sold for an easy $107,773 in Spink’s August sale. (Image courtesy & © Spink China)

Yet again, an issue from the People’s Bank of China first renminbi series of 1951 took top honors. This was a rare “Running Horse” 10,000 yuan (P-858Aa). It came graded PCGS Gold Shield 40 Details Extremely Fine albeit with “a touch of restoration.” One of only two examples graded PCGS Gold Shield, it bolted away to take $107,773 [HKD1,080,000].

A $500 of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia & China dated 1st June 1934 (P-59a) in PMG 58 Choice About Unc managed a most satisfactory $48,919 [H.K.$384,000] – a price just above upper estimate.

The rare Russo Chinese Bank 300 cash of 1898 (P-S504) that realized $25,990. The note imitates contemporary Chinese issues. The top borders contain the Chinese characters for Fu (Happiness), Lu (Wealth), and Shou (Longevity), with the Eight Immortals in the left and right borders and “He He Er Xian” (The Immortals of Harmony and Union) at the bottom. SCWPM describes the note as having “Medieval characters in frame.” (Image courtesy & © Spink)

A $10 of the same bank of 1st May 1923 (P-59a) had no problems realizing $35,161 [H.K.$276,000] despite grading just PMG 35 Choice Very Fine. Notes of this issue have become quite popular, and collectible examples are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

And there would be no Hong Kong show without at least one high roller from the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation. In this case, a $500 specimen dated 1 January 1909 (P-164s) took the honors. That date is rare, and grading PMG 62 Uncirculated, it easily fetched $39,746 [H.K.$312,000].

From the last days of empire came a vertical format Russo Chinese Bank 300 cash of 1898 (P-S504). This is an extremely rare example of an unusual denomination. Priced at $6,500 in Fine in SCWPM, a grading of PCGS Gold Shield Grading 45 Details saw it rapidly bid up to $25,990 [H.K.$204,000] on an estimate of H.K.$80,000-$100,000.

But there is more, much more. Collectors of Chinese specimen notes would do well to check out prices realized in this sale.

Full catalog details and hammer prices are available from www.spink.com. A premium of 20 percent has been included in all prices shown. These have been converted at a rate of 1U.S.D. = 7.85H.K.D.

Spink’s next Hong Kong sale is scheduled for Jan. 4-5.


This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.


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