Legendary Kann / Sweeny 1900 Peking Set at Macau, China Auction

Posted on 11/11/2014

The NGC-graded China 1900 Peking set of restrikes is the planned highlight of the November 30 Champion Macau, China Auction.

The 1900 Peking Dragon Silver Dollar series is famous among collectors of Chinese coins. Eduard Kann published information about the Peking Dollar for the first time in his 1954 catalog. In 1995, The Journal of East Asian Numismatics published James Sweeny’s article on the Peking 1900 coins based on his extensive research of over 20 years. Sweeny's estimate of 10-15 sets of the 1900 Peking restrikes appears high; we suspect the correct number is closer to 10 overall sets. In the 2011 book, Top Chinese Coins – Silver, the 1900 Peking series was elected as the number one series of Chinese struck coins.

In Kann’s account of how the dies were bought and sold, it seems that the final sale of the Peking Dragon Dollar dies was to the Shanghai collector, Chen Ren-tao, who moved to Hong Kong, China in 1947. Four dies for these coins (the 10 Cents die is missing) were purchased in the early 1950s from Chen Ren-tao for HKD 900,000 by a directive of the Chinese Premier Chou En Lai to the Chinese Culture Ministry. The dies are currently on display at the China National Museum in Beijing.

This 1900 Peking set was sent with the other Kann specimen of the 1900 Peking dollar to the chief curator of the British Royal Mint, G. Dryer, for metallurgic testing and study in 1981. The coins owned by Kann and sold in the 1971 auction may be the earliest restrikes from the original dies as they are sharper in detail than any other examples we have seen. Sweeny purchased this set and consigned it to Champion’s “Sweeny 1900” collection auction in 1995. The Sweeny 1900 Peking set sold for USD 46,000 to its current owner, who has now consigned this set back to Champion after almost 20 years. This is a great opportunity to own this historic set of Chinese numismatic history.

This set is certified by NGC in the following grades: One Dollar, NGC MS 61; 50 Cents, NGC MS 61; 20 Cents, NGC MS 63; 10 Cents, NGC MS 61; 5 Cents, NGC MS 61. Estimate USD 250,000-500,000.

Left: China 1900 $1 Peking L&M-6A Restrike, NGC MS 61
Right: China 1900 50C Peking L&M-7A Restrike, NGC MS 61
Click images to enlarge.

James Sweeny authored A Numismatic History of The Birmingham Mint. The Birmingham Mint (at Heaton) produced some of the rarest series in Chinese numismatics, such as the Hunan, Shensi, Chekiang, and Kiangnan provincial patterns.

Left: China 1900 20C Peking L&M-8A Restrike, NGC MS 63
Right: China 1900 10C Peking L&M-9A Restrike, NGC MS 61
Click images to enlarge.

Rare Taiwan, Province of China “Old Man,” Lotus (Ju-I), Bipao, and "Jin Shen" Military Ration Silver Dollars from the J.C. Lee Collection will also appear at the Macau, China auction, representing the finest group of the earliest Chinese silver dollars offered in recent years. Each example has superb luster and extraordinary appeal. It is a great opportunity to acquire these seldom-seen Chinese rarities.

China 1900 5C 10-A Restrike NGC MS 61
Click image to enlarge.

These Taiwan silver dollars are also graded by NGC as follows:

  • CHINA-TAIWAN ND (1838-50) Old Man Dollar Silver, with Chopmark "+", L&M316, NGC AU Details
  • CHINA-TAIWAN ND (1838-50) Old Man Dollar Silver, with Chopmark "+", L&M316, NGC XF Details
  • CHINA-TAIWAN ND (1853) Ju-I Military Ration Dollar Silver, L&M323, NGC XF Details
  • CHINA-TAIWAN ND (1853) Bi Pao Military Ration Dollar Silver, with Chopmarked "Ku", L&M325, NGC XF Details
  • CHINA-TAIWAN ND (1836) Military Ration Dollar Silver, 5 dots, L&M313, NGC F Details

Additional rarities from the Macau, China auction are as follows:

  • CHINA-ANHWEI 1898 One Dollar Silver, flat Chinese character "4" in date and small rosette, L&M204, Y45.2, K53a, NGC MS 66. Finest Known
  • CHINA-KWANGTUNG ND (1890-1908) One Dollar Silver, L&M133, Y203, NGC MS65. Gem.
  • CHINA-SHENSI ND (1898) 5 Cents Silver Pattern, Heaton Mint, L&M377, K159, NGC SP 63. Very Rare
  • CHINA-KIANGNAN ND (1897) One Dollar Silver, ornamental edge, A-Cross-Strokes very visible, attractive toning, L&M210A, Y145.1, NGC MS 62. Choice
  • CHINA-FENGTIEN ND (1897) "Teng-Tien" 10 Cents Brass Pattern, dies from Otto Beh Mint and coins from Louis Schuler, L&M470, KM-Pn2a, NGC AU Details. Extremely Rare

Auction Preview Schedule:

11/9 Taipei iAsure (R. 50-51, No. 163 Nan King W. Rd.)

11/22 Mish International (1154 University Dr., Menlo Park, CA)
+1 650-324-9110
10:00-17:00 By appointment only

11/29 10:00-17:00 Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16

11/30 09:00-12:00 Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16

For more information, please visit cghka.com or email Michael Chou at championhka@gmail.com.

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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