Price for bundle of Chinese notes stuns observers at auction

Final bid was nearly 35 times the bundle’s estimate in Denmark sale
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 11/20/17
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The estimate of 40,000 Danish kroner, the equivalent of $6,260, was right on the money for a bundle of 50 circulated Chinese Chi’ing Dynasty 500-cash notes of 1854. When the auction lot sold for 1.4 million kroner ($219,000), the highest price ever for a coin auction in Denmark, the auction house, Bruun Rasmussen of Copenhagen, was as shocked as anyone. 

Part of the explanation is the notes were in a bundle. As the catalog explained, “At one point, they returned to the bank, where they were tied together with a string that has been sealed with a tag. What makes this bundle so desirable is that the string is unbroken and the bundle of banknotes is intact. It may well be the only example of its kind found outside a museum. The value of the bundle itself far exceeds the value of each banknote as it is the sealed bundle that is so valuable to collectors.” Whether an astute collector spotted a rarity in its midst is anyone’s guess.

Mysterious zinc cent discovered in antique store. A 1982 Lincoln cent and cent blanks encased in acrylic are possibly employees’ souvenirs from when the Ball Corp. began supplying the Mint with cent planchets.

Also playing a part was the pedigree to the Danish art collector and engineer Sophus Black (1882 to 1960), who was stationed in China for the Great Northern Telegraph Company from 1902 to 1931. He built a varied collection of Chinese art that included pieces now in the Danish National Museum.

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