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)
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.