Classic Chinese rarity highlights Stack's Bowers and Ponterio auction

Firm offers sale in conjunction with NYC convention in January
Published : 12/21/11
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A Year 33 (1907) silver tael from Chihli Province, struck at the Tientsin Mint as part of emperor Kuang Hsu’s unsuccessful efforts to introduce a standard Tael coinage, highlights Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio’s New York International Numismatic Convention auction.

The majority of some 7,000 examples were melted when the emperor died shortly after launching the project, and today the coin “is considered one of the classic rarities of Chinese numismatics,” according to the auction catalog.

Graded Mint State 63 Secure Plus by Professional Coin Grading Service, the coin has an estimate of $100,000 to $125,000.

A total of 2,087 lots of coins and 776 lots of paper money are offered in the auction, which will be conducted during three different sessions Jan. 6, 7 and 9.

All successful bids are subject to an 18 percent buyer’s fee, with a discount to 15 percent for certain payment methods.

All lots are posted at the auction firm’s website,, or catalogs may be ordered from the firm for a fee. Contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries or Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio by telephone at 800-458-4646 at the West Coast office or at 800-566-2580 at the East Coast office. Write the firm at 1063 McGaw Ave., Suite 100, Irvine, CA, 92614, or 123 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. Email it at or visit its website.

Some additional highlights:

Greece, Sicily, Agrigentum, circa 415 to 400 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 17.2 grams, “reportedly only about a dozen examples of this type are known, nearly all of which seem to be struck from the same obverse and reverse die pairing,” this example using a slightly different reverse than the majority, Lot 72, “lightly toned,” Very Fine.

Greece, Sicily, Leontini, circa 466 to 422 B.C. silver tetradrachm, 17.42 grams, Lot 87, Extremely Fine.

Greece, Sicily, Syracuse, circa 467 to 405 B.C. silver decadrachm, Euianetos type, 43.11 grams, Lot 113, “light smoothing on cheek,” Good VF.

Greece, Syracuse, Fifth Democracy, 214 to 212 B.C. gold 60-litra coin (decadrachm), 4.3 grams, “only the second specimen known,” Lot 130, “virtually as struck,” Fleur de Coin.

Austria, Salzburg, 1594 Counter Reformation gold 8-ducat coin, Wolf Dietrich Von Raitenau, Friedberg 674 (Gold Coins of the World by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg), Lot 457, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Mint State 63.

Brazil, Joao V, 1729/8-R gold 12,800-real coin, F-40, Lot 484, NGC About Uncirculated 58.

Brazil, Pedro III and Maria I, 1781-B gold 3,200-real coin, F-78, Lot 507, NGC AU-55.

Chile, undated (1833) gold 8-escudo coin, countermarked with the Tecenia de la Serena stamp of a volcanic range with SER below it, on an 1813 Sun Face 8-escudo coin of Argentina, unlisted in Friedberg, “until the discovery of this coin, the survival of countermarked gold was totally unknown,” “unique,” Lot 552, NGC Extremely Fine 40.

China, 1994 silver 150-yuan coin, Unicorn series, “from a mintage of only 500 pieces,” Lot 2279, NGC Proof 68 Ultra Cameo.

Cuba, 1915 gold 20-peso coin, F-1, dies engraved and prepared by Charles E. Barber, struck at the Philadelphia Mint, mintage estimated at “less than a few dozen,” Lot 645, “a few trivial handling marks,” NGC Proof 63.

Germany, Anhalt, 1914-A silver 5-mark coin pattern, Friedrich II and Princess Marie of Baden wedding commemorative, Lot 2416, NGC Proof 61.

Germany, Wurzburg, 1707 gold 10-ducat coin, Johann Philipp II, Von Greiffenklau, F-3679, Lot 692, NGC MS-61.

Greenland, 1803 1 rigsdaler paper money, Kongel, Gronlandske Handel, Pick A4 (Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, edited by George Cuhaj), serial No. 2, “from Greenland’s first emission of paper currency,” “the earliest known note from this North American country,” Fine-VF.

Greenland, 1911 50-ore note, Den Kongelige Gronlandske Handel, Serial No. 1, P-8a, Lot 4344, AU-Uncirculated.

Greenland, 1911 5-krone note, Den Kongelige Gronlandske Handel, P-10a, Serial No. 1, Lot 4345, AU-Uncirculated.

Islamic Kingdom, Umayyad, A.H. 107 (725 to 726) gold dinar, Damascus Mint, “key date to the series,” Lot 798, About EF.

Peru, Philip V, (1)712-M gold 8-escudo coin, F-7, Lot 949, “matte surfaces from ‘sand washing,’ ” Nearly Mint State.

South Africa, 1902 Veld gold pond, F-4, “mintage of only 986 pieces ... authorized by acting president Schalk Burger,” Lot 993, NGC AU-55.

Uruguay, Montevideo, 1854-Mo 40-real coin pattern struck in gold, F-1, “reportedly only a few samples were ever struck,” Lot 1039, NGC AU-58.

Yap Island, undated (circa 19th century or earlier) Fei, Pre-O’Keefe type, 18 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches thick, 54 pounds, Lot 3029, “complete, unbroken and attractive.” ■

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