Heritage’s final numismatic signature auctions of 2020, held December 17-19 in Hong Kong, focused on Asian coins and currency, along with a small but significant offering of ancient coins.
The auction of World and Ancient coins raised over $4.5 million, highlighted by an original strike Kuang-hsü silver Pattern Tael from 1906, graded MS64 by NGC which realized $288,000. Struck just six years after the reestablishment of the Tientsin mint, the series ultimately failed to be introduced into widespread circulation. Still, the design would eventually influence the standard layout of the Imperial issues adopted after 1908. This coin is likely amongst the finest, if not the finest, certified examples of the original pattern striking.
A stunning set of patterns for the iconic “Opium” Taels of Yunnan, a set of essais that helped shape one of the most iconic issues of French-Chinese opium trade, sold for $264,000. These patterns, deriving from the engraver’s own collection, are fantastically rare, with only one or two known each.
Additional highlights of this auction included a Kiangnan. Kuang-hsü Dollar ND (1897) UNC Details PCGS, Nanking mint, KM-Y145.1, L&M-210A which sold for $240,000 and a People’s Republic gold Proof “Peacock” 1500 Yuan (20 oz) 1993 PR69 Ultra Cameo NGC, Shanghai mint, KM601, selling for $216,000.
More big ticket items included a Kwangtung. Kuang-hsü Specimen Trial 50 Cents (3 Mace 6-1/2 Candareens) ND (1889) SP64 PCGS, Heaton mint, KM-Y197, L&M-124A, which sold for $174,000, a Republic Yuan Shih-kai Pattern Dollar Year 3 (1914) MS63 NGC, Tientsin mint, KM-Pn32, L&M-72 that brought in $168,000 and a Republic Yuan Shih-kai “L. Giorgi” Pattern Dollar Year 3 (1914) MS61 NGC, Tientsin mint, KM-Pn33, L&M-73, which sold for $126,000.
Full auction results can be viewed at www.ha.com.