Just a few days ago the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August 2014 Hong Kong paper money session took place on August 20th, attracting vigorous participation from collectors and dealers. The 400-lot session comprised mostly Chinese banknotes with a sizeable group of other far eastern issuers as well. Important Empirical issues started the night with the first lot being an unusually high grade Ming Dynasty note, certified by CMC as About Uncirculated 50 OPQ. The lot realized well above the presale high estimate of $7,000, ultimately costing the new owner $10,456. Many scarce Republic era specimen notes were then sold with strong bidding throughout, as many of these important designs are unavailable in issued form.
Chinese foreign banks were the next highlight of the auction. A pleasing group of American Banknote Company specimen and proof banknotes were offered and met with strong bidding. The top lot of the sale was a rare 19th century dated Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation note from 1887. A One Dollar piece of a large format with artistic styling courtesy of the English printing company Bradbury Wilkinson was offered. We have not seen or handled this design in any form and the bidding certainly proved how truly special the note is. A presale estimate of $8,000 to $12,000 was far surpassed with the note opening at $16,000 to the floor and ultimately selling for an impressive $50,788.
The results of the auction certainly indicate that the market for Chinese and far eastern paper money remains strong. A large audience of bidders was present, both on the floor and via the internet. Further bidding will ensue as the 192-lot Internet only session is still open, closing Tuesday August 26th at 8:00 PM Pacific Time. We encourage those who have banknotes of this area to call us and discuss details of consigning to our inaugural Macau auction. The auction will be alongside a major numismatic show taking place this December. It will certainly be an exciting venue for both buying and selling rare coins and paper money.