Our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August Hong Kong Showcase Auction is now live! You can browse the auction here. We are excited to share with you today an example we are offering of the ever popular 1911 “Reverse Dragon” Pattern Dollar, a rare pattern Silver Dollar from the twilight 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) kept the reforms from gaining traction. Certainly the revolution overthrowing the monarchy later that year also prohibited their widespread use.
The obverse design bears the distinctive Asian serpentine Dragon, with this coin known as the “Reverse Type” as it runs head to tail counterclockwise with its tail pointing to the right, while the standard pattern is just the opposite. The regal and imposing Dragon is suspended in midair amid wisps of clouds. A fiery pearl appears near the bottom of the design. The long wavy whiskers issuing from the Dragon’s nostrils appear like a curly moustache. Two vertical Chinese characters appear which signify the denomination (1 Yuan) and in English along the periphery the English legend states: “ONE DOLLAR.” The toning for this piece is magnificent, an even light gray with orange highlights accenting underlying luster. 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). These sets of characters are separated by ornate floral sprays. The leaves in these floral designs contain a raised vein pattern, differentiating 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. More lovely orange toning highlights outline the reverse legends. PCGS has graded this coin Specimen-62. This attractive coin should perform tremendously when it reaches the auction podium, so be sure to follow it closely.
Look for this and other Asian numismatic rarities in our upcoming August Hong Kong Showcase Auction and Sale. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this July and August at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at www.StacksBowers.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. While our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August Hong Kong Showcase Auction is closed for further consignments, we are currently taking consignments of Asian, world and ancient coins for our April Hong Kong auction, our November 2014 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo and our January 2015 New York International auction. Time is running short, so 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.