Auction review: Records tumble at Spink China

Several world records were achieved during a two-day sale held by Spink at its Sheung Wan galleries in Hong Kong earlier this month.

The April 4-5 sale, which offered the Nicholas Rhodes Collection of Tibetan Coins, Tibetan and Nepalese banknotes, was “well attended and contained many world class items,” according to auctioneers, who added “bidding was ferocious.”


Lot 82 of the sale was a copper 50-srang pattern, of which only one is known to be in private hands. Only one other example of this copper striking exists in a public collection. Graded Specimen-45 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), it fetched a total of $528,000 HKD (about $86,600 Cdn.) against an estimate of $120,000 HKD-$150,000 HKD.

Lot 138 was a circa 1912 Tibetan five-tam banknote that brought $70,000 HKD (about $11,480 Cdn.).


“Tibetan banknotes were also very popular with the high-end collectors and a set of the first series containing the five-, 10-, 15-, 25- and 25-tams (Lots 138, 141, 143, 145 and 153) were sold for an aggregate total of HKD$726,000 (about $119,100 Cdn.),” according to auctioneers. “The set is unlikely to be matched in quality and will be treasured by their new owners for many years to come.”


Lot 916 was a 1924 Mercantile Bank $50 note that brought $1.14 million HKD (about $187,000 Cdn.).

Lot 916 offered a 1924 Mercantile Bank $50 note in “original very fine condition,” and it fetched $1.14 million HKD (about $187,000 Cdn.), which is the highest price ever paid for a single vintage Hong Kong note.

“Spink China has always been strong in selling Hong Kong banknotes and this time is no exception,” according to auctioneers.

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