Spink China’s first Numismatic Collector’s Series sale of the year is scheduled for Mar. 27-28. Consignments were still being accepted at the time of writing, but already several spectacular paper money rarities were contending for top billing.
Among the main candidates is a renowned Chinese rarity in superb original condition: a Honan Yu Chuan Official Bank 1 tael of 1905 (PNL; SM-Y20). A pair of dragons squabble over a pearl of great price within the soft blue border to provide the distinctive design feature at top center.
This is a note for the connoisseur. It would provide a central highlight for any Chinese collection. Graded PMG 30 Very Fine (Annotations), the estimate is a not unreasonable $85,000-150,000.
The Pei Yang Tientsin Bank is represented by a rare 1910 $100 remainder lacking a serial number (P-S2530r). An increasing number of collectors have been chasing Pei Yang issues in the last few years, and the prices in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money are in need of revision. In PMG 53 About Uncirculated, the example on offer carries a $50,000-65,000 estimate.
Early PRC renminbi continue to be in a demand. This sale offers a rare 1st series 500 yuan ‘Zhan De Cheng’ (P-857a). Graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine (Minor Restoration), the estimate is $30,000-50,000.
Those into solid serials need to check out the Standard Chartered Bank $1,000 of 1 January 1979 on offer (P-81a). It carries the serial A777777. Given that B777777 was sold for $33,800 a while back and that the present note comes in PMG 58 Choice About Uncirculated, the estimate of $25,000-40,000 appears far from unreasonable.
Among other desirable notes being cataloged, there were three rare Russo Chinese Bank specimens drawn on the Tientsin branch c. 1907. None are priced in SCWPM.
The first is the $1, P-S546s, graded PMG 55NET About Uncirculated, with an estimate of $13,000-19,000. The second is the $5, which is absent from my copy of SCWPM but is shown as P-S547s on the PMG label. In PMG 55 About Uncirculated (Spindle Hole), its estimate is $15,000-23,000. The third is the $10, P-S548s. It comes in PMG 50 About Uncirculated (Spindle Hole) with an estimate of $19,000-25,000.
In January, Spink China sold “The Big Roman.” The March sale sees them offering “The Old Roman,” a Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China $500 true color specimen dated 1 November 1930 and drawn on the Tientsin office (P-S220s). The Roman soldier at lower left sports a grizzled beard. He is clearly a veteran and a survivor, as is this note, which is a great rarity and unpriced in SCWPM. Given its aUNC condition, the estimate of $13,000-19,000 may well prove insufficient.
The sale will be held in Spink’s Hong Kong Office, 4/F Hua Fu Commercial Building, 111 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Public viewing takes place on Mar. 22-26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Details given above can be confirmed, along with the estimates in HKD, in the printed catalog or at www.spink.com. Those wishing to participate via the Spink Live bidding facility should ensure they are registered on the company’s website well in advance.
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