Baldwin’s (http://www.baldwin.co.uk/) are celebrating their 25th year holding auctions in the Orient this year and this, the 51st auction for the group, is set to be a sale to remember.
The sale, which will be held on the 25th August at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile, Kowloon, comprises 1064 lots of far eastern and world coins and banknotes, many with exceptional provenance and of extreme rarity.
The Hong Kong Coin Auction group was started in 1986 by B H Lim of Taisei Singapore, Andre de Clermont and Daniel Fearon of Spink, London. Baldwin’s were involved from Auction No 1 as consignors and cataloguers.
Over the years the members of the group, having changed several times and have included an American auction house and a Singapore coin dealer as well as the close co-operation of Japanese and other regional coin specialists.
Of the 50 auctions to date, twenty-two were held in Singapore, two in Tokyo and twenty-six in Hong Kong. In 1994 Spink broke their link with Taisei and handed the reins over to Baldwin’s. Since then, thirty-two catalogues have carried the Baldwin name on the cover.
"The result of these many years of auctions and the tens of thousands of coins and banknotes sold can be measured by the increased level of numismatic activity surrounding the Hong Kong coin show; where there was only one auction organised during the coin fair, there are now four, three organised by competitors," commented Edward Baldwin, Chairman of A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd. "We are very proud of the arena that we have created, one that can only benefit the coin collector and add to the hobby. One thing that has not changed over 25 years is our commitment to numismatics."
In recent years the auctions have mainly been held in wonderful Hong Kong, "The Gateway to China", In the past, however, auctions have also been organised in Japan and Singapore, where the first sales of the series took place. The biannual Hong Kong week has become a major international event devoted primarily to oriental numismatics. The International Coin Convention, which has always been central to the numismatic activity in the Orient, has grown and grown. The organisers now boast in excess of 120 tables and a waiting list of up to 2 years.
Highlights from Baldwin’s Hong Kong Coin Auction 51
The following are a few highlighs from Auction 51:
1 BANKNOTES. CHINA – EMPIRE, GENERAL ISSUES. Ming Dynasty (1366-1644): 1-Kuan, issued by Emperor Hong Wu, made of mulberry paper, 225mm x 343mm (P AA10). One crease in lower left corner, otherwise about as made with perfect border and fabric, an exceptional example of this historical Chinese currency.
184 BANKNOTES. CHINA – MACAU. Banco National Ultramarino: 100-Patacas, 22 July 1919, serial no.23222 (P 9). One Chinese ink character in lower right corner of the reverse, very fine, paper still strong, very rare.
243 COINS. CHINA — ANCIENT. Jin Dynasty (1115-1234 AD): Bronze (Tian Juan Tong Bao), Value 2 in regular script (Ding unlisted). Good very fine, completely unlisted and extremely rare.
298 COINS. CHINA — EMPIRE, GENERAL ISSUES. Hu Poo: Silver Pattern 1-Tael, Year 29 of Kuang Hsu, 1903 (Kann 927; L&M 1). In NGC holder graded SP63, very rare.
ex Dr Norman Jacobs collection, Hong Kong Coin Auction, Baldwin – Ma Tak Wo, August 2008, lot 44
Lots 325 — 342 – A run of Silver pattern Dollars.
343 COINS. CHINA — EMPIRE, GENERAL ISSUES. General Issues: Pattern Silver Mace, Kwan Ping, ND (c.1858), Obv denomination within wreath of tea branches, Rev the Ying-yang symbol at centre, two dragons chasing each other in the outer circle, reeded edge, 20mm, 3.625g (Kann 926II; L&M 598). Rim nick on the reverse, otherwise prooflike mint state, in PCGS holder graded SP62 and exceedingly rare.
ex Farouk collection, Sotheby’s, Cairo (Egypt), 24 February — 3 March 1954 Kann thought these pieces were struck in England by the Royal Mint, London, but this cannot yet be confirmed.
King Farouk of Egypt reigned between 1936 and 1952. During this time he amassed, amongst other collections, one of the largest and most important numismatic collections in history which contained around 8,500 gold and silver coins and medals.
The king was widely condemned for his dishonest and incompetent government and he was overthrown during a military coup in July 1952. Farouk was forced to abdicate and sought exile in Monaco and later Italy, where he remained for the rest of his life. The new radical government moved quickly to auction off his numismatic collection, which included the rare 1933 Double Eagle. They set an auction date of 3rd March 1954 and appointed A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd as cataloguers of the collection and Sotheby’s as official auctioneers.
The Farouk collection was famously catalogued by Fred Baldwin in Cairo, with the assistance of his nephew Albert, under military guard and in a very short period of time. Owing to the large volume of coins in the collection and the limited timescale items were sold in large lots, sorted by denomination and with an assortment of dates and mintmarks. The sale, which took place in Cairo, has become legendary in the numismatic world with many modern collectors keen to obtain a piece with such incredible provenance.
388 COINS. CHINA — PROVINCIAL ISSUES. Chihli Province: Silver Tael, Year 33 (1907),, variety with three tiny dots arranged in a straight line on fire-ball on reverse, 37.3g (Kann 938a; KM Y74.2; L&M 438). In PCGS holder graded MS62, very rare.
455 COINS. CHINA — PROVINCIAL ISSUES. Kiangnan Province: Silver 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-Cents and Dollar, CD1900 (KM Y141a, 142a.4, 143a.4, 144a, 145a.4; L&M 236, 235, 234, 232, 229). The 5- and 10-Cents fine, the 20-Cents good very fine, the 50-Cents good fine and rare, the Dollar good extremely fine. (5pcs)
545 COINS. CHINA — PROVINCIAL ISSUES. Kwangtung Province: Silver Dollar, ND (1890-1908) (KM Y203; L&M 133). In NGC holder graded SP64.
691 COINS. CHINA — GENERAL ISSUES. Sun Yat-Sen: Pattern Silver 50-Cents, Year 18 (1929), made in Vienna (Austria), Obv bust left, Rev sailing junk (KM Pn96; Kann 617I; L&M 98). In NGC holder graded MS62, extremely rare. only two pieces retained by the mint, the rest were melted ex Kann collection, March 1972, lot 2061
ex Dr Norman Jacobs collection, Hong Kong Coin Auction, Baldwin – Ma Tak Wo, August 2008, lot 568
876 COINS. CHINA — Fantasy: Gold "25-Taels", 1869, Obv the Tantric God Mahakala seated on lotus flower, two dragons in border, Rev two upright dragons facing beneath fireball, English and Chinese legends around, (Hsin Wei Tung Chi) in centre, "EMPIRE OF CHINA" above, 50mm, 90.85g. Uncirculated.
888 CHINA — MEDALS. Order of the Striped Tiger: Fifth Class Neck Badge, in silver-gilt and enamels, 60mm, awarded to "Dr FSW O’Neill", in original lacquer box (GQL p65). Bright mint state, Order lightly toned, exterior of box distressed
This decoration was awarded to Dr FSW O’Neill. A descendant has written the following note:
"My grandfather FWS O’Neill, went to Manchuria in 1897 as a missionary of the Irish Presbyterian Church, at the age 27. In 1900 he could speak fluent Chinese and was not molested during the Boxer Rising, which aimed at expelling foreign influence. His house was wrecked but later a Chinese dictionary was returned to him.
Again in 1904 he assumed Chinese dress (blue cotton), during the Russo-Japanese war. At one stage he was condemned to death by the Russians. He had blue eyes and did not expect to pass as Chinese.
In 1917 he was attached by the YMCA to the Chinese Labour Corps in France and was awarded the Order of the Striped Tiger on his return to China. From 1928 to 1931 he lived through the taking over of Manchuria by the Japanese and was allowed to continue his work until 1941, when he and his wife were interned in Kobe. They came home in 1942 in an exchange of diplomatic and religious prisoners.
He died in 1952 at the age of 82.’ FWS O’Neill was based in Fakumen, a town of about 15,000 people among foothills about two days walk from Mukden, the chief city of Manchuria, and the same from the Mongolian (indeterminate) frontier. He toured an area about equal to N Ireland taking about a month on foot for each journey. As far as I know the school and church he established in Fakumen still exist and he is still remembered in the area."
908 CHINA — MEDALS. Nye Sze-Chung: Gold Medal, Year 9 (1920) (Kann pl.189; L&M 1122). In NGC holder graded MS62.
Established in 1872 A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd (http://www.baldwin.co.uk/) has over 100 years experience in servicing the numismatic industry. Although founded much earlier, the name A.H. Baldwin & Sons didn’t become synonymous with the London numismatic scene until 1901 when Albert Henry set up his first London based premises on Duncannon Street with his eldest son Percy, joined later by his two other sons Fred (legendary cataloguer of King Farouk of Egypt’s coin collection) and Roy.
Baldwin’s auction department was established in 1993 and has grown to hold between ten and twelve sales annually in London, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai and specialize in all areas of Numismatics.