Very Rare 1911 “Reversed Dragon” Pattern Dollar

Our April Hong Kong Showcase Auction previews continue with this lovely rare pattern Silver Dollar from the final period of the Chinese Empire and the Qing (Ch’ing) Dynasty. The Central Mint in Tientsin – operated by the Board of Revenue in Peking – minted a multitude of coinage types in the later portion of the Empire, in an attempt to unify the currency system of China. Unfortunately, China’s administrative disorganization (as well as a lack of sufficient funds) inhibited the reforms from gaining traction. Certainly the revolution overthrowing the monarchy later that year also prohibited their widespread use.

The obverse design for this coin bears the distinctive Asian serpentine Dragon, in this case the “Reverse Type” as it runs head to tail counterclockwise with its tail pointing to the right. The regal Dragon is suspended in midair amid wisps of clouds, and a fiery pearl appears near the bottom. The long wavy whiskers issuing from the Dragon’s nostrils look like a curly moustache. Two vertical Chinese characters appear signifying the denomination (1 Yuan) and along the periphery the English legend states: “ONE DOLLAR.” The toning is magnificent, featuring an even light gray with wisps of golden-amber. The reverse design contains an all Chinese legend. Between the outer crenulated border and the inner pearled ring the Manchu and Chinese characters form the outer legend. Four Manchu characters appear above, and four Chinese characters below which state: “Hsuen Tung, 3rd Year” (1911), and these sets of characters are separated by ornate floral sprays. The leaves in these floral designs contain a raised vein pattern, separating this coin from other varieties of the type (this is an example of Type II). The central Chinese inscription states: “Ta Ch’ing Yin Pi” meaning: Great Ch’ing (Dynasty) Silver Coin. Wispy amber toning highlights the reverse legends. PCGS has bestowed upon this piece the grade of Specimen-62.

Look for this and other Asian and world numismatic rarities in our upcoming April Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our sale this March at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. While our Stack’s Bowers Galleries April Hong Kong Showcase Auction is no longer open for consignments, we are currently taking consignments of ancient and world coins for our August 2015 ANA World’s Fair of Money Showcase Auction and Asian coins and currency for our August 2015 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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