Starting Price: 280 000 USDCurrent bid: 280 000 USD
Kwangtung. Kuang-hsü Specimen Dollar ND (1890-1908) SP67 PCGS, Kwangtung mint, KM-Y203, L&M-133, Chang-CH178, Kann-26a, WS-0941, Wenchao-563, Chang Foundation-Unl. Variety with Ku not connected. Struck from dies engraved in Heaton, Birmingham. Quite simply magnificent, and a coin which could hardly be meaningfully improved upon. Only very rarely does a coin of this age survive with such splendid originality, and so readily recognized as the absolute best of the best, as the present specimen--hardly a blemish can be found over surfaces that glimmer from an abundance of die polish lines, all carefully decorated in a halo of sky-blue tone framing a central dragon silhouetted by electric purple highlights. Even without the aid of magnification, the standout quality of the piece is immediately evident, its utter perfection very nearly mimicking what might be expected from a Pattern Proof of Record. Even given its standout certification of SP67, the coin could easily been seen with a star or plus for its one-of-a-kind visual appeal. Missing from such major collections as Jacobs and Wa She Wong, with perhaps only the Goodman example approaching this piece in terms of technical preservation, not a single other certified representative approaches this offering, the next finest at both major grading services being a small cluster of SP65's. Through-and-through a connoisseur's coin par excellence, and likely among the finest, if not the finest, that exists.
Representing the culmination of a series of trials and experiments aimed at modernizing China's coinage, the so-called "standard pattern" Kwangtung Dollars produced between 1890 to 1908 would become the model for all other silver Dollars minted in the Empire. The design had gone through several iterations before reaching its final state, owing first to the disastrous hoarding of silver brought about by the original "heavy" standard on which the first patterns were based (weighing 7 Mace and 3 Candareens), and secondly to the distasteful juxtaposition of Chinese and English text on the obverses of the 1889 and early 1890 issues. Though the mint in Canton had by this period assumed the mintage of such coins, dies continued to be supplied by the Heatons, who had secured the original contract in 1888.
Ex. ANS Museum Duplicate (Acquisition date 1937)
© 2020 Heritage Auctions | All Rights Reserved
Estimate: 280000-300000 USD