Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


The auction featured 371 lots of Chinese and Asian banknotes, coins, stock & bond certificates.

HONG KONG, China – A 1948 Mercantile Bank of India (Hong Kong issue) $500 specimen banknote sold for $18,270 at an auction featuring 371 lots of Chinese and Asian banknotes, coins and scripophily (stock and bond certificates) held Jan. 10th by Archives International Auctions, based in Fort Lee, N.J. It was the fourth Hong Kong auction for Archives International Auctions.

Outstanding Hunan Government Bank 1906 error, saying  5 “Teals” instead of the correct spelling “Taels” ($2,130).
Outstanding Hunan Government Bank 1906 error, saying 5 “Teals” instead of the correct spelling “Taels” ($2,130).
The Mercantile Bank of India banknote was the top lot in an auction that grossed a little more than $128,000. The close runner-up was a 1907 Deutsch-Asiatische Bank (Peking branch) $1 banknote that hammered for $16,750. Both were discovery notes, possibly unique, which drove up their desirability with collectors, who provided non-stop action from the start of sale to finish.

“Our fourth Hong Kong auction surpassed our expectations and proved that desirable material is in demand, in almost every price range and category,” said Dr. Robert Schwartz of Archives International Auctions. “The action was literally non-stop the entire time, with active bidding from the floor, online (via AIA’s website, and over the phone.”

Previews were held in the U.S. by appointment only. Viewing in Hong Kong began Wednesday, Jan. 7, and ran through Jan. 9, at the offices of Kelleher & Rogers, Fine Asian Auctions, one of Hong Kong’s premier philatelic auction houses. Already, Archives International Auctions is in the planning stages for its next Hong Kong auction, in April. Consignments are being accepted.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.

Chinese and Asian scripophily proved popular, with many lots selling for well above their high estimates. Top lots included a Deutsche-Asiatische Bank, 1900, 1000 Shanghai-Taels bond rarity ($760); and a Republic of China, 1919 (reissued with 1939 coupons added) by ABNC ($1,140). Numerous 1913 reorganization bonds from various issuers and denominations also fared well.

The banknote section featured a Ch’ing Dynasty, 1854, 1500 Cash banknote that hammered for $1,520; a Bank of China, 1912, “Manchuria” $5 note that brought $1,140; a progress proof Bank of China printed on india paper from a transition “Ta Ching Government Bank” printing plate rose to $1,370; and a rare Bank of China, 1918, Lintsing/Shantung 1 Yuan note coasted to $840.

Also from the banknote section was a Taiwan, 1895, $1 “T’ai-Nan Official Silver Notes, second issue, changed hands for $1,070; a $5 example on thin paper fetched $1,830; a Chinese Hunan Government Bank, 1906, error, with 5 “Teals” instead of “Taels” finished at $2,130; and a Shansi Provincial Bank, 1926, unlisted “Peiping” branch issue specimen topped out at $1,220.

Coins were highlighted by a 1932 $1 “Birds Over Junk” L&M-108, NGC graded surface details, that commanded $1,980; and a Peoples Republic 1980 proof Olympic coin assortment that sold as one lot for $330. In all, of the 371 lots that came up for bid, 264 sold, for a sell-through rate of 71 percent. Archives International Auctions hopes to continue this winning trend into the spring.

AIA’s next big auction, before the April sale in Hong Kong, will be held on Tuesday, March 10, at AIA’s main offices, located at 1580 Lemoine Avenue (Suite 7) in Fort Lee, N.J. The auction will feature U.S. and worldwide banknotes, coins, security printing ephemera and scripophily. To pre-register for live bidding, log on to the AIA website, at

Archives International Auctions is always looking for Chinese, U.S. and worldwide banknotes, coins, scripophily, stamps, postal history, autographs and historic ephemera and documents for future auctions, or to buy outright. To sell or consign one piece or an entire collection, you may call AIA at (201) 944-4800; mail them at 1580 Lemoine Avenue, Suite #7, Fort Lee, NJ 07024 USA or you can send them an e-mail at [email protected].

To learn more about Archives International Auctions and the upcoming March 10 auction in Fort Lee, N.J. and its next Hong Kong auction slated for April, visit