Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New record set at auction for a chinese banknote for HKD$990,000

January 25, 2009

On the 23rd and 24th of January 2010, Spink held a magnificent sale of Stamps, Banknotes, Coins and Bonds of Hong Kong and China, at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. The sale featured a number of rare and valuable items which resulted in fantastic prices at auction including a new record for a Chinese banknote. This note was the first one yuan note available for public purchase and it caused quite the bidding frenzy on the day of the sale. A Taiwanese Collector was the lucky buyer in the end.

The highly valuable note features 2 black dragons signifying the prowess of the Emperor and Monarch and accordingly named as the "Ooi-Long note", in the middle "Xuan Tong Yuan Bao". The Kwangsi bank existed for a brief stint of less than 2 years before being reorganised in 1911 and the notes were subsequently recalled. To date, only 3 examples of this note have been discovered, and it is noteworthy that all 3 are believed to be in the hands of collectors outside Kwangsi.

Barnaby Faull, Director of Banknotes at Spink, commented, “This was an absolutely fantastic auction. We offered a fresh collection of Chinese notes from an English collector and the new material resulted in great interest from collectors around the world. The Chinese market is very buoyant and potentially unlimited and this was without doubt the finest sale to be held in Hong Kong for banknotes. The sale also featured a wonderful collection of coins and bonds. In the end, nearly HK$11 million was sold at auction on the day.”

Additional notes on the 1 yuan note:

In c.1909 the Qing dynasty restructured both the Imperial banks and the issuing authorities to establish the Kwangsi Bank. In the modern history of Chinese banknotes Kwangxi became the earliest province to have a bank. At that time, Xuan Tong Year 2 (1909), Kwangsi Bank issued their banknotes known to the Nan-Ning people as the "Ooi-Long note". This literally means black dragon note, and is highly sought after by collectors. The "Ooi-Long Note" was printed in Japan, with a print run of two hundred thousand for the 1 yuan denomination and two hundred thousand pieces for the 5 yuan denomination. According to a press release in Nan-Ning dated 9 June 2006, a collector chanced upon one of these rare examples of a $5 note in a Nan-Ning market place in April 1994, purchasing it at a very high price. The note was subsequently repurchased by Chinese officials.

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