Sulu Patterns of British North Borneo

Our October 2023 Hong Kong auction contains many special numismatic treasures from all over Asia including a British North Borneo Pattern denomination set produced by the Birmingham Mint in 1878. Included are:

Lot # 33436 – Copper Cent Pattern, AH 1295 (1878)

Lot # 33440 – Copper 1/2 Cent Pattern, AH 1295 (1887)

Lot # 33441 – Copper 1/4 Cent Pattern, AH 1295 (1887). 

These interesting issues were struck to similar specifications of the then-current Sarawak and Straights Settlements coinage and are related to the Mexican Dollar which was also in circulation at that time. According to James O’Sweeny, an Englishman by the name of Alfred Dent and his associate, Baron von Overbeck, acquired a large area of northeast Borneo by grant from the Sultan of Sulu in January 1878.  Their first step in planning for the administration of their newly acquired territory was to establish distinctive coinage for the region. They approached the Heatons regarding this project, and this resulted in the present pattern coins. In 1879, Baron von Overbeck withdrew from the venture leaving Dent and other associates in London seeking support from the British Government.  They were formally recognized in 1880 and a formal recognition of the British North Borneo Provisional Association Ltd. followed in March 1881.  In November of that year a Royal Charter was granted and by May 1882 it had become the British North Borneo Company. 

The October 2023 Hong Kong auction is available for viewing and bidding at For more information about the sale email [email protected] or [email protected].

We are always seeking coins, medals, and paper money for our auctions, and are currently accepting submissions for our January 2024 Official Auction of the NYINC and our spring 2024 Hong Kong auction. Additionally, we are accepting submissions for our Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auctions. If you would like to learn more about consigning, whether a singular item or an entire collection, please contact one of our consignment directors today and we will assist you in achieving the best possible return on your material.

Join our mailing list

Don't miss an auction!

Subscribe to our newsletter.


Contact Us

West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

[email protected]

Hong Kong Office • +852 2117 1191

[email protected]

Global locations

Additional representatives
available worldwide.

* Walk-ins welcome

Follow Us

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter

There was an error signing you up to our newsletter.
Please enter a valid email address

I'm Interested In...

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Stack's Bowers Galleries e-newsletter.