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    Stunning Set of Patterns for the Iconic "Opium" Taels of Yunnan from the Engraver's Collection

    Yunnan. Republic 3-Piece Certified Specimen Essai Set ND (1943-1944) PCGS,
    1) 1/2 Tael (1/2 Bya) - SP61, KM-X Unl., L&M-Unl., Maz-Unl., Gad-Unl., Lec-321 (2 examples know; this coin)
    2) Uniface 1/2 Tael (1/2 Bya) - SP64, KM-X Unl., L&M-Unl., Maz-Unl., Gad-Unl., Lec-321a (Unique; this coin)
    3) Tael (Bya) - SP62, KM-X Unl., L&M-Unl., Maz-Unl., Gad-Unl., Lec-323 (2 examples known; this coin cited)

    Hanoi mint. Plain edge. By René Mercier. A fantastically rare set of essais that helped shape one of the most iconic issues of French-Chinese opium trade. Reflecting deeply the impact of foreign colonial interests across the geography of southeast Asia in the aftermath of the Opium Wars, these particular designs were commissioned by the French customs authorities (Doanes et Régies) in 1943 in an effort to maintain a monopoly on the trade in French Indo-China. Having discovered that the rural populations of the mountains in Yunnan would only accept payments in silver coins, the newly created Opium Purchasing Bureau contacted René Mercier to produce designs for a 1/2 and 1 Tael pieces, with the adopted pattern featuring the Chinese character Fu ("wealth') in Art déco style on the obverse, and Chinese and Laotian text on the reverse, reading "Genuine Silver, 1 (or 1/2) Tael". Stemming from the engraver's own collection, the selections on offer here veritably represent a unique opportunity for students and collectors of this fascinating era in Chinese and colonial European history--with Lecompte confirming that 1-2 pieces are known per pattern. In the case of Lec-321 the other is in the D. Cariou collection, the other of Lec-323 also coming from Mercier's holdings and now residing in a private collection.

    Ex. Numismatica Genevensis "30 Years" Sale (Auction 10, December 2018, Lots 237-239); Numismatica Genevensis Auction 8 (November 2014, Lots 425-427); René Mercier Collection (nos. 205-207)

    雕刻家珍藏系列 - 雲南標誌性「鴉片貿易銀」樣幣組合


    1) 富字半兩正銀試鑄樣幣 - SP61 PCGS(已知兩枚其一);
    2) 單面 富字半兩正銀試鑄樣幣 - SP64 PCGS(已知僅一枚);
    3) 富字一兩正銀試鑄樣幣- SP62 PCGS(已知兩枚其一);

    越南河內鑄造。光邊。一套超卓且極少見的試鑄樣幣,有助塑造了其中一款最具標誌性的中法鴉片貿易貨幣。鴉片戰爭後,深深地反映了外國殖民利益對整個東南亞地區的影響,這富字幣的設計是由法國海關當局(Doanes et Regies)於1943年委託進行的,目的是維持對法屬印支地區貿易的壟斷,因此富字銀幣並非中國錢幣,而是二次大戰期間法國維希政府於越南河內所製,用以向中南半島山區農民購買鴉片。由於山區村民拒收紙幣或其它非銀質貨幣,故富字銀幣應運而生。
    1943年,當局邀得法國著名雕刻師Rene Mercier設計了一兩與半兩銀幣。該版銀幣正面為中國「富」字,代表富裕富饒,銀幣背面則分別刻有中文與老撾文的幣值,中文刻為「一兩正銀」與「半兩正銀」。對於收藏中國和歐洲殖民時期這個迷人時代的收藏家而言,這是一個難得的機會。
    Jean Lecompte 著作中記載所知的樣幣僅有1-2枚,一枚來自D. Cariou先生藏品,另一枚則本由Mercier先生本人的藏品中轉移到私人收藏中。

    2018年瑞士Numismatica Genevensis 拍賣公司30周年銷售;
    2014年瑞士Numismatica Genevensis 拍賣公司第8期拍賣;
    Rene Mercier先生收藏系列

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2020
    18th-19th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 36
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