Stack's Bowers & Ponterio
April 2024 Hong Kong Auction  15-18 Apr 2024
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Lot 40119

Starting price: 240 000 USD
Price realized: 600 000 USD
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(t) CHINA. Gold K'uping Tael Pattern, CD (1907). Tientsin Mint. Kuang-hsu (Guangxu). PCGS SPECIMEN-61.
L&M-1024; Fr-2; K-1541; KM-Pn302; WS-0009; Wenchao-11 (rarity: ★★★★). An enthralling, PHENOMENALLY RARE specimen with dazzling frosty devices exalted by brilliant fields. One cannot overstate the significance of K'uping Taels--arguably the pinnacle of Ch'ing Dynasty numismatics--due to their status as the first modern Chinese coins ever struck in gold. Two variations exist, dated 1906 and 1907. Both were produced in extremely limited quantities, though 1907 pieces are definitively SCARCER. Attesting to this fact, we have offered just six since 2011, with one of the six being this very example. Powerfully struck with a sharp wire rim, the present specimen brazenly displays every minute detail of its design. Attractively preserved, there is a distinct lack of contact marks of any kind. Its inviting surfaces are a consistent, warm honey color with hints of localized copper toning, mostly on the characters side. Undoubtedly, the present specimen offers a historic opportunity for any collector determined to possess one of the greatest of Chinese rarities.

These very rare offerings were struck on an experimental basis as patterns only, and were never released into circulation. The plans to issue gold coinage in units of one Tael for circulation, unfortunately, never materialized. This was largely due to China's lack of gold reserves combined with the current currency being based on the silver standard. Hence, a limited number of pattern Taels were struck in 98% pure gold as patterns for the Ministry of Revenue.

Ex: Patrick H. C. Tan Collection (Triton XIV - 1/2011) Lot # 1235.

Estimate: $400000 - $500000

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