This week Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio has another exceptional coin to share from our upcoming December Macau Showcase Auction. The auction catalog can be found online here. Offered as lot 32263 is an outstanding Kweichow Province “Auto Dollar” with an interesting story. During the tumultuous Warlords Era of China a group of generals and other military leaders ruled factions of militias. One such individual was Zhou Xicheng, who ruled Kweichow (Guizhou) Province from 1927 to 1929. As the provincial governor (read: Warlord) of Kweichow, Xicheng focused heavily on education and modernizing the province through public works, including the construction of a highway. To commemorate this monumental construction project Xicheng commissioned a special coinage issue adorned by an image of his personal automobile, at the time an important symbol of status and wealth.
The automobile dominates the obverse design, a well-rendered image with nice details. The car rests upon a road, with blades of grass depicted just below. If viewing the coin’s obverse and then rotating it ninety degrees clockwise, the blades of grass form two Chinese characters for “Xicheng.” The car’s design appears within a beaded border, with an upper legend stating: “Made by the Kweichow Government.” A four petaled rosace divides this from the lower legend that enumerates the denomination of “7 Mace (and) 2 Candareens.” The reverse features an all Chinese legend, with four characters stating: “Kweichow Silver Coin.” The symbol between these characters is found on most of the Szechuan Province Republican Era coins, leading Kann to believe that this issue was minted at the Chengtu Mint. A beaded border divides the central inscription from the outer, with the upper legend providing the date “17th Year of the Republic of China” which equates to 1928. The lower characters provide the denomination, namely “One Yuan.” This example is beautifully toned and NGC has given it a grade of AU-55, a very solid grade for this issue, as you can count on one hand the number of Mint State examples that have been certified. This lovely example provides an opportunity to own one of the most desired Provincial Issues, a piece with an intriguing history and incredible eye appeal.
Look for this and other Asian and world numismatic rarities in our upcoming December Macau Showcase Auction and Sale. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this November 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 Galleries December Macau Showcase Auction is no longer open for consignments, we are currently taking consignments of Asian and world coins for our April 2015 Hong Kong Showcase Auction and our August 2015 ANA World’s Fair of Money Showcase 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.