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Press Release - 28 August 2013

+44 (0)20 7968 4180| Caroline Newton | carolinenewton@baldwin.co.uk

SUNGAREI DOLLAR PROVES ITSELF IN HONG KONG

The 55th Baldwin-Ma Tak Wo Hong Kong Coin auction, held at the Holiday Inn, Kowloon, on the 22nd August, proved to be one of the most exciting in the Groups history. 1187 lots went under the hammer, including lot 580, a sensational Sinkiang Province, 1898 Sungarei Silver Dollar. One of the rarest of the Chinese milled dollars, and missing from most major Chinese coin collections, this lot contributed a great deal to the hammer total of US$1,182,897 (inclusive of Buyer’s Premium at 18%).

Amid much speculation about the coin, a disclaimer in the auction catalogue stated that the coin had not found favour with the two main grading companies, lot 580, sold for an outstanding US$206,500 (inclusive of Buyer’s Premium), over double the pre-sale estimate. Recent research reveals that the Sinkiang “Sungarei” dies were made using generic punches and hubs in common with the Anhwei, Chekiang, Fengtien and Heilungkiang series of dies manufactured by Otto Beh during the period 1897-99. As a total of 260 dies were made, not counting the rejects, the wear and tear on the punches and hubs explains the softness or lack of details on some of the patterns of the above series. The smaller denominations of the Sungarei series have been found in heavily circulated condition. The coin was bought by a mainland Chinese buyer present in the room.

508 bidders in the room, online and on the book participated in the auction where Baldwin’s auctioneer, Graham Byfield, took to the rostrum for the first time at a Hong Kong auction. No other Chinese coin came close in price to the Sungarei Dollar. It was clear that more common coins were not in great demand, though many sold for sensible prices, including lots 641 – 644, a selection of 1932 Silver “Junk” Dollars which all sold well at just over high estimate.

Chinese paper money was in limited demand, with the local trade clearly not investing in stock. A good quality run of the mill material sold erratically but exceptional prices were achieved for selected items including lot 208, a 1953 People’s Bank of China, 10-Yuan note. Estimated at US$2,500 – 3,000 the banknote sold for US$15,000.

A small selection of Sycee proved popular with lot 407, a Yuan Dynasty Silver 50-Tael Sycee selling online to bidder from Europe for US$34,000. The collection of Chinese orders and decorations also sold well, as did the specialist collection of SE Asian plantation tokens. The highest prices were for Indonesian locations, while Borneo found less favour. Lot 704, the Good Luck Fantasy Tael, featured on the cover of the auction catalogue, was inspired by ancient Chinese design. Depicted on the reverse is a ring of bats surrounding a central symbol which signifies longevity, whilst the bats are representative of good fortune. The Tael brought a strong US$3200 against an estimate of US$400-500, such is the price of good luck and longevity!

Edward Baldwin, Chairman and Oriental specialist at Baldwin’s commented after the sale:

“Our 55th Hong Kong Coin auction was one of the most exciting since Baldwin’s first became involved in the venture. To have achieved such a fantastic response to our Sungarei Dollar, from a range of potential buyers and coin collectors, was a hugely encouraging.”

The catalogue and full results from this auction can be found online at www.baldwin.co.uk/hkca55.

~ENDS~

Notes

With a history dating back to 1872 Baldwin's is one of the largest and longest established Numismatic dealers and auction houses in the world. Our dedicated team of specialists have over 300 years combined experience covering all areas of numismatics including English, Ancient and Foreign coins, military and commemorative medals, tokens, books and banknotes.
Launched in 1993 Baldwin's auction department has grown from strength to strength hosting more than eighteen prestigious international auctions each year in London, New York and Hong Kong.
The merger of A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd with our parent company Noble Investments (UK) PLC in 2005, and the subsequent acquisitions by them of Apex Philatelics in 2008 and Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in 2012, has seen the company expanded to become a formidable player operating at the forefront of the global collectibles market. Together we hold a diverse calendar of over 150 international auctions each year across all collecting disciplines.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a leading UK auctioneers of Fine and Contemporary Art, Antiques and Antiquarian Books. The firm’s history dates back over 250 years to 1759. Through Dreweatts we offer a diverse calendar of specialist sales for fine Antique Furniture, Paintings, Jewellery, Silver, Watches, Clocks, Asian Art, European Ceramics, Wine and many other Collectors categories. Bloomsbury Auctions is one of the world’s leading auctioneers of Antiquarian Books, Ancient Manuscripts, Modern First Editions, Contemporary Prints, Photographs, Prints and Maps. The group operates from two flagship salerooms, one located at Bloomsbury House in the middle of London’s Mayfair, and the other in the beautifully picturesque ‘Country House’ setting of Donnington Priory near Newbury and less than 1 hour from Heathrow Airport. In addition the group operates a saleroom in the classical city of Rome in Italy and has further salerooms in the English towns of Bristol, Godalming and Tunbridge Wells.

The merger of A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd with parent company Noble Investments (UK) PLC in 2005, and the subsequent acquisitions by them of Apex Philatelics in 2008 and Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in 2012, has seen the company expanded to become a formidable player operating at the forefront of the global collectibles market. Together we hold a diverse calendar of over 150 international auctions each year across all collecting disciplines.

Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

Images are available upon request and all catalogues are available to view online at www.baldwin.co.uk.

For More Information about Baldwin’s

Visit us at www.baldwin.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter @BaldwinsCoins Find us on Facebook /BaldwinsCoins

For More Information about Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

Visit us at www.dnfa.com and www.bloomsburyauctions.com

Follow us on Twitter @DreweattsBlooms

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