Spink China welcomed 2019 with more than the average bang. Their Jan. 4-5 sale demonstrated that the Chinese paper market is not only alive and well but positively thriving in Hong Kong.
Paper money lots were split across three catalogs: Chinese bank notes, World & Macau, China and Hong Kong.
The top-selling lot was the Big Roman: a Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China $500 false color specimen dated 1 August 1930 (P-58cs). No issued notes are known extant, and specimens are rarely seen. In November 1996, Spink hammered another example for HKD230,000. That on offer was in a superior PMG 64 Choice Uncirculated and raced away from its HKD350,000-400,000 estimate to take HKD936,000 [USD119,465].
Not far behind came an issued Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation $50 of 1 January 1921 sporting another classical male bust. Only a handful of this issue are believed to exist. Graded PMG 25 Very Fine, it had no problem in scoring HKD888,000 [USD113,338] on a HKD350,000-450,000 estimate.
And by now the China watchers among us know there is no show without Punch. In this case, Punch is a People’s Republic of China 1st series renminbi 10,000 yuan of 1951. That’s the fellow with a herd of running horses (P-858Aa).
An offer came from an old-time collector in Europe for the note that presumably had not seen an auction block for many a moon, if ever. Graded PCGS Gold Shield 12 Details Fine with minor thinning, it took HKD744,000 [USD94,959], putting it well over its HKD550,000-650,000 estimate.
Other top-selling lots included a People’s Bank of China 1st series renminbi 50,000 yuan of 1950 (P-855) that fetched HKD648,000 [USD82,704] in PMG 66EPQ Gem Uncirculated; a Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation $5 of 1 March 1898 (P-139) that realized HKD456,000 [USD58,200] in PMG 30 Very Fine (minor rust); and an HKSBC $1 of 1 October 1872 (P-111) that made HKD336,000 [USD42,889] in PMG 30 Very Fine.
That ultra-rare Russo-Chinese Bank 25 kuping taels specimen of 1909 (NIP) described in the last issue also shot past upper estimate to take HKD372,000 [USD47,481] in PMG 35NET Choice Very Fine.
Full catalog details and hammer prices are available at www.spink.com.
A premium of 20% has been included in all prices shown. These have been converted at a rate of 1USD =7.83HKD.
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