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Lot 840





Estimate: 7'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 6'000 CHF Price realized: 19'000 CHF
Thanh Thai, 1889-1907. 4 Tien (half philong) Year 15 (1903). Radiant sun in centre. Four Chinese characters. "Current coin of Thanh Thai" // Dragon facing to left, date 15 below. On left, the engraver's name: PIERRE. Plain edge. Machine struck. Fr. ­; K./M. ­; Schroeder ­. 15,47 g.
GOLD. Of the highest rarity. Probably unique. Extremely fine

Provenance:
Auction Hess Divo AG 290, Zurich 2001, lot n°51
Auction Spink Taisei Singapore 14, February 1993, lot n°1400
King Farouk Collection, Auction Sotheby's 1954, lot n°1312
Green Collection
It has been suggested that this rare coin was possibly struck at the Paris mint and that it might have been a pattern. According to François Thierry (À propos d'une monnaie inédite de Thanh Thai, Cahiers Numismatiques, March 1998) this piece was in fact struck at Hue at the express request of the Emperor. In August 1903 the Emperor ordered the minting of new "pure gold coins" in order to reward Europeans and mandarins for exceptional services. It is the first time that the name of an engraver appears on an annamite gold coin. Pierre is totally unknown and we can only presume that he was a French official or jeweller, who was given the commission of engraving new gold coins for the Emperor Thanh Thai. Pierre's name appears on one other gold coin with a different reverse, which is in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris.

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