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Reversed Dragon Pattern Dollar

By Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & Cataloger

Author: Chris Chatigny / Thursday, February 02, 2017 / Categories: World Coin of the Week

Our inaugural preview of the upcoming Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio April Hong Kong Showcase Auction is a vintage Chinese coin that always performs well at auction; the Reversed Dragon Pattern Dollar. 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 widespread production.

The obverse design for this coin 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 (the standard pattern is just the opposite). The regal and imposing Dragon is suspended midair amid wisps of clouds, and 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 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, which separates 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.

While we are no longer accepting consignments for our April Hong Kong Showcase Auction, we are accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 2017 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. In addition to this, we are taking consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world paper money for our May 2017 Collector’s Choice Online Auction and August 2017 ANA 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.