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    Legendary Spring Dollar

    Yunnan. Hsüan-t'ung "Spring" Dollar CD 1910 AU58 NGC, Kunming mint(?), KM-Y260.1 (Rare), L&M-428 (same dies), Kann-177, WS-0692 (same dies), Wenchao-841 (rarity 5 stars), Chang Foundation-Unl. Standard dragon design/Seven Chinese characters across top, instead of normal four. The legendary Chinese Dragon Dollar, called the "Yunnan Spring Dollar" in reference to the seven Chinese characters across the top that translate roughly to, "Made in the Spring 1910 in Yunnan Province." This fantastic issue is also the only coin in Chinese numismatics that features a season of the year as part of the date. An enigmatic issue, one of China's rarest coins with only three specimens known, it has been a coin of mystery and legend since its discovery, around 1920. Although there has been constant research in Chinese numismatic circles, over time no definite reason, or meaning for the term, "Spring 1910," has yet been discovered.

    In their catalog listing for the first known specimen, Champion Hong Kong Auction proposed that the minting of the Spring Dollar may have been tied to the completion of the French-built Tonkin-Yunnan Railroad (also known as the Kunming-Haiphong Railway) on April 1st, 1910, officially opening just after the Spring Equinox. A monumental effort that took nearly 40 years to complete and claimed a death toll numbering well into the thousands at a time when the population of the Yunnan Province was just around 85,000, the railway was first proposed in 1871, though it took until 1885 to officially consult with the Qing government. Likely struck at the provincial mint at Kunming, which had only just struck its first coins in 1908 and served as the terminus of the rail line, this commemorative may well have been intended as a presentation piece for French or Chinese officials associated with the transcontinental railroad, though it would seem that it was never distributed.

    The first genuine example of this issue to appear at public auction--the same piece plated in Lin and Ma's Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Gold & Silver Coins and Wang Chu Li's Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Gold & Silver Coins--was sold by Hua Chen in Beijing in April 2002. This piece was later re-sold in Cheng Xuan's Autumn 2007 sale in Beijing (lot 1863) where it realized 3,192,000 RMB (US $468,000). Champion Hong Kong Auction then sold the same coin (AU55 NGC) for the astounding price of US $1,035,000 in their August 2010 Hong Kong sale (lot 12), making it the first Chinese coin to ever exceed the million-dollar threshold.

    The present offering is the finest of the three known examples. Graded and certified by NGC, this piece was struck from the exact same dies as the other two and previously sold in our September 2011 Long Beach Signature Auction for $546,250, including Buyer's Premium. We feel, if anything, that the grade assigned by NGC is somewhat conservative, as the offering reveals fully lustrous surfaces and a distinctively mottled reverse toning pattern that identifies it from the other specimens, along with a virtually Mint State appearance free of all but a few stray marks.

    Sharply struck with little, if any, actual wear observable, it is interesting to note that the present representative has not been plated in any of the major Chinese references, reinforcing its supreme rarity and remarkably few public appearances. Rated as a rarity 5 stars in Dong Wenchao's An Overview of China's Gold & Silver Coins of Past Ages--the highest rarity used by the work and a designation awarded to surprisingly few pieces--and quite probably the rarest of the Chinese regular circulation issue Dragon Dollars, it undoubtedly represents one of the gems of the Chinese numismatic series that most only dream of ever seeing!

    Ex. Dr. Norman Jacobs Collection (Heritage 2011 Long Beach Signature Auction, Lot 23943); A. M. Tracey Woodward Collection, acquired by Dr. Jacobs from the Woodward Collection through the noted New York numismatist Robert Friedberg in 1952.

    Estimate available upon request.

    傳奇大名譽品 -「庚戌春季」雲南七錢二分銀幣

    1910年庚戌春季雲南造宣統元寶七錢二分銀幣。AU58 NGC。
    雲南昆明造幣厰(待考證)。正面標準飛龍圖案設計,背面上方鑄有「庚戌春季雲南造」七字,異於一般「雲南省造」四字版別。因鑄有干支紀年及季節名稱而被稱爲「雲南春季」的中國傳奇大名譽品龍銀幣。古往今來,存世獨此一款標明「季節」的中國錢幣,且僅有兩枚傳世,為中國機制銀幣十珍之一,鳳毛麟角,價值連城 。

    "此為一枚單獨的壹圓硬幣(意為沒有輔幣),鑄造于1910年,是清代雲南鑄造的最後一枚硬幣,鑄額甚少,存世罕見。這枚銀幣除了正面上外緣改爲「庚戌雲南春季造」七個字以外,其餘兩面的圖案均與1909年雲南省造宣統元寶相同" - 引自美籍著名錢幣收藏家耿愛德(E. Kann)在其1954年出版的《中國幣圖說匯考》中編號177號,第80頁。

    自1920年發現後,其重重謎團吸引各方醉心研究,各種推論不絕:到底爲何加上「春季」二字,意指何事,至今衆説紛紜。當中主要有兩種推論,其一説法與當時的貨幣改革政策有關。而另一則參考香港冠軍拍賣圖錄以及孫浩先生編著《百年銀圓》采用紀念「滇越鐵路」一說。1871年首次動議興建雲南鐵路,及至1885年才正式請示清政府。此幣估計在鐵路終點昆明省造,該鑄幣厰在1908年開始鑄幣。該鐵路建築過程異常艱鉅,橫跨近40年,期間喪命者數以千計,而當時雲南省人口不過85,000人。1910年4月1日,由法國修築的滇越铁路落成通車,時值春分之後。推斷為慶祝這條跨省鐵路通車鑄造,原意贈送中法代表留念,卻不了了之。首枚同款真品在2002年4月北京拍賣首次公開亮相,落槌價3,192,000人民幣(約爲468,000美金)。林國明與馬德和先生著《中國金銀幣圖錄》及王春利先生著作《中國金銀幣目錄》均有記載該枚銀幣。隨後,香港冠軍拍賣在2010年8月以1,035,000美元的驚人落槌價賣出同一枚AU55 NGC銀幣,是為中國錢幣首次以超過一百萬美元落槌成交。本次此枚品相比兩枚存世品更優越,入評NGC。兩枚銀幣出自同一模具。敝司認爲此評分相對保守。此枚幣面充滿光澤,背面斑駁包漿獨一無二,甚具特色,原廠狀態,龍鱗飽滿,鑄工精湛,浮雕鮮明如昔。留意此款錢幣從未被造成參考幣,足見其矜貴超群,極少公開出現。董文超在著作《中國歷代金銀貨幣通覽》中標為最高分「五星級別」珍罕度。獲此殊榮的中國錢幣寥若晨星,此枚「雲南春季」為中國錢幣史上最珍罕及著名的錢幣之一,許多世界頂級錢幣收藏家和博物館也未能擁有過她,可見其價值!此品絕對是中國錢幣界中人人夢寐以求的稀世珍品。

    出自:諾曼雅格斯博士(Dr. Norman Jacobs)舊藏 (2011年海瑞得美國長灘拍賣);A. M. Tracey Woodward 舊藏(根據耿愛德:Tracey Woodward亦是中國錢幣收藏最豐富的外國人)。諾曼雅格斯博士博士在1952年紐約自著名錢幣專家羅伯特弗里德伯格(Robert Froedberg)手上獲得。


    View all of [The Dr. Norman Jacobs Collection of Thai Coins ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2020
    12th-13th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 10,690

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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