Bowers and Merena’s Auction of "The East Bay & Eduard Kann Collections of Chinese, Russian and World Banknotes" Realizes more than $1.1 Million.
IRVINE, Calif. – Bowers and Merena Auctions, America’s leading rare coin and currency auction house, conducted an auction of exceptional international banknotes in New York City on October 27-28, 2008, compiled of two premier collections, "The East Bay Collection of International Banknotes" and "The Eduard Kann Chinese Banknote Collection."
Consisting of more than 2,100 total lots, the auction realized $1,119,585. It was held at the Hilton Times Square, with live auction simulcasts in Hong Kong and Germany. The auction was spearheaded by Bowers and Merena in conjunction with sister companies John Bull Auctions, Ltd., of Hong Kong, and Heinrich Köhler Auktionshaus of Germany.
"This auction put Bowers and Merena on the map for world currency," said Ron Gillio, Numismatic Acquisition Coordinator and World Coin and Currency specialist for Bowers and Merena Auctions.
"It is virtually unprecedented to have two collections of this caliber in one auction, with banknotes not seen on the market for many years.
We traveled the world viewing these notes and the interest among collectors was major. And the really great news for collectors is that there is much more ‘East Bay Collection’ to come in future Bowers and Merena auctions."
"The East Bay Collection" is believed to be the largest collection of international banknotes ever to come to market. Assembled over the course of 40 years by a private collector in Northern California, it consists of more than 30,000 notes representative of over 150 countries.
The collection debuted in the October auction with Chinese and related Asian banknotes and Russian and European banknotes, and the next installment of "East Bay" notes is scheduled for Bowers and Merena’s Official Auction of the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention in March 2009. The "East Bay Collection" was secured by Gillio, who called it "the most comprehensive collection I’ve ever known."
"The Eduard Kann Chinese Banknote Collection" was the exceptional collection of the world’s leading authority on Chinese coins and the Chinese monetary system, consisting of more than 500 banknotes. "Kann is very well respected among collectors and several of the Kann lots were sold for well above estimate," Gillio noted.
Bowers and Merena attributes much of the success of the auction to the availability and ease of bidding options.
"As far as we know, Bowers and Merena made history as the first coin and currency auction house to do a double simulcast like this," Gillio added.
"That was important to the success of the auction, that we were able to bring it somewhat locally to worldwide bidders.
We had 25 to 30 bidders in the Hong Kong simulcast, most of whom stayed for the entire 10-hour first session, and I’m sure that their presence and spirited live bidding helped to bring record prices for many of the Chinese notes."
This auction was one of only a handful of international currency auctions based in the United States to realize in excess of $1 million.
Bowers and Merena Auctions Highlights
Lot 8China–Empire. Pair of High Value Ch’ing Dynasty Notes. P-A7a and A8b. $11,500
50,000 and 100,000 Cash, 1857 and 1858. Both EF or better.
Lot 13China–Empire. Board of Revenue, Highest Values. Lot of 2 notes, P-A12c, A13b. $10,350 10 and 50 Taels, 1855 and 1854.
Lot 19China–Empire. Imperial Bank of China, Shanghai Branch, 1898 Dollar Issue. $3,738 P-A51a., (S/M #C293-10a.), $1, 1898, Fine.
Lot 43China–Empire. Republic, Commercial Bank of China, 1913 Provisional Tael Issue. $7,188 P-A133A, 1 Tael, ND (1913-old date 1898), Fine.
Lot 270People’s Republic of China. People’s Bank of China, 1949 Issues. 5 Yuan, P-814 $4,600 Unlisted Uniface Specimen face and back, Unc.
Lot 311People’s Republic of China. People’s Bank of China, 1950 Issues. 50,000 Yuan, $4,025 P-855, XF+ to AU.
Lot 496Foreign Banks. Russo-Asiatic Bank. P-S465, 50 Dollars no date (1910). Choice AU.$17,250
Lot 497Foreign Banks. Russo-Asiatic Bank. P-S465 50 Dollars. VF+.$10,925
Lot 498Foreign Banks. Russo-Asiatic Bank. P-S466, 100 Dollars no date (1910). EF+.$17,250
Lot 502 Foreign Banks. Russo-Asiatic Bank. P-S482. 50 Gold Fen=5 Chyon. About Fine.$19,550
Lot 503 Foreign Banks. Russo-Asiatic Bank. P-S483. 100 Gold Fen=10 Chyon. VG-F.$26,450
Lot 568Provincial Banks. Lot of Four Notes, Various Issuers. $4,888
Lot 655 Provincial Banks. Lot of 5 Notes, Various Issuers. $18,400
Lot 772 Provincial Banks. The Yunnan Fu-Tien Bank. Lot of 3 notes.$26,450
Lot 906 Private, Local and Misc. Banks and Issuers. Weig Feng Official Bureau Early $10,063 Banknote. No Place Name, 1857, 200 Cash, P-NL, Fine.
Lot 914 Private, Local and Misc. Banks and Issuers. Emperor Hsien Feng Era Bank Issue $5,175 Note. 1861, 100 Tiao. VG.
Lot 930 Private, Local and Misc. Banks and Issuers. Private Companies, Commercial Trade $5,463 Associations and Exchange Notes Assortment. Lot of 6 items, mostly ca. 1920-1940s.
Lot 2115North Caucasus. Kislovodsk Branch, Government Bank, Piatigorsk-Batalpashchinsk $2,875 Company, Independent Army, 1918 Guaranteed Checks Issue. Lot of 2, both 1918.
Lot 2181Siberia & Urals. 1918-1920 5% Government Debenture Obligations. Specimen $7,188 Banknote, 1920, 5,000 Rubles, P-S870As. CU.
Lot 2286East Siberia. Government of the Russian Eastern Border Regions, Siberian Provisional $24,150 Administration, 1920 Treasury Tokens Issue. 1920. 25 Rubles, P-S1189. AU to Unc.
Lot 2289East Siberia. Siberian Provisional Administration, 1920 Treasury Tokens Issue. $11,500 Proof banknote, 1920, 1000 Rubles, P-S1193c Unlisted Proof. XF+.
Lot 2290East Siberia. Siberian Provisional Administration, 1920 Treasury Tokens Issue. $13,800 Proof banknote, 1920, 1,000 Rubles, P-S1193b. AU
Lot 2499Imperial Russia. Custody Treasury and State Loan Bank Credit Notes. 1876, $14,950 25 Rubles, P-A45A. VG+.
Lot 2519 Imperial Russia. State Bank Metal Deposit Receipts Specimen Banknote Set. $69,000 1895 State Bank Metal Deposit Receipts Specimen Banknote Set
Lot 2659U.S.S.R. State Currency Notes, 1926; 1928 Issue. Unc. to CU.$5,175
Lot 2903Netherlands Indies. 1901 300 Gulden. De Javasche Bank. Specimen. Unc.$2,760
Prices realized for all lots in Bowers and Merena’s Auction of "The East Bay & Eduard Kann Collections of Chinese, Russian and World Banknotes" are available online at www.bowersandmerena.com. Bowers and Merena’s next auction will be The Official Auction of the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention held November 18-22, 2008. Complete lot viewing and auction schedules are available at www.bowersandmerena.com.
About Bowers and Merena Auctions
Bowers and Merena Auctions was founded in 1983 and has grown to become the world’s preeminent numismatic auctioneer with more than half a billion dollars in rare coin and currency sales. They have been awarded the prestigious honor of Official Auctioneer for the 2009 American Numismatic Association Conventions in Portland and Los Angeles, in addition to their continued service as Official Auctioneer of the Baltimore Coin and Currency Conventions three times every year.
Bowers and Merena has handled four of the five most valuable United States coin collections ever sold, including the Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection, the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection, the Garrett Collection for The Johns Hopkins University, and the Norweb Collection.
For more information about Bowers and Merena Auctions and "The East Bay Collection" and "The Eduard Kann Collection," call 800.458.4646. For media inquiries, ask for president Steve Deeds. Complete prices realized for all past auctions are available at www.bowersandmerena.com.
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