Chang Tso Lin $50 17.7 grams
Lot 1189
China, Republic, Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin) Gold 50 Yuan (1927) SP64+ PCGS
US$ 650,000 - 750,000
£390,000 - 450,000
Auction Details
Coins and Medals New York
16 Dec 2011 10:00 EST

Auction 19430
China, Republic, Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin) Gold 50 Yuan (1927) SP64+ PCGS China, Republic, Chang Tso-Lin (Zhang Zuolin), 1928 $50 SP64 PCGS China, Republic, Chang Tso-Lin (Zhang Zuolin), 1928 $50 SP64 PCGS Chang Tso Lin $50 17.7 grams
Lot Details
China, Republic, Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin) Gold 50 Yuan (1927) SP64+ PCGS
L&M-1031. This important lot represents the finest known example of the Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin) 50 Yuan gold piece. One of only two known, this has been consigned for sale by the direct descendants of the famous Chinese leader portrayed on the obverse of the coin. Recently graded SP64+ by PCGS, the quality of this lot is unparalleled and as a specimen striking is arguably the finest known and essentially unique example of its kind.

Minted in 1927 (Chinese Year 16), the obverse features a facing portrait of Zhang Zuolin in military uniform; the reverse has a phoenix and dragon pattern and inscriptions 16TH YEAR OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA and 50 YUAN. The surfaces present a remarkable, deeply mirrored finish with nicely contrasting devices and a high, sharp wire edge is seen on each side. For pedigree purposes, three tiny die depressions are seen in the obverse field to the right of Chang's portrait. Also, a microscopic nick is on the right (facing) cheek, and tiny alloy spots are on the moustache and at 10 o'clock on the outer ring on the reverse. Magnification reveals numerous mint-made vertical die polish lines in the fields on each side.

When Chang controlled Tientsin and Beijing between 1926 and 1928, the Tientsin Mint struck four silver dollars, two copper patterns for 20 Yuan and 40 Yuan gold coins and this exceedingly rare 50 Yuan gold piece. None were adopted for general circulation and are now considered pattern issues (essays). This coin is one of only two known examples, and much finer in appearance than the previously auctioned coin. It is the highest denomination coin in gold (or any other metal) issued by the Republic of China, and probably the single rarest Chinese coin of the Republican era.

Provenance:
This coin is verifiably descended directly within the family of Zhang Zuolin three generations to the present owner. This rarity has traveled from China to Great Britain during the WWII era, and then finally to the United States, where it has been since the late 1940's/early 1950's. Please refer to the department if you have further questions.

Brilliant Uncirculated

Footnotes

  • Zhang Zuolin (1873-1928)

    The Chinese warlord Zhang Zuolin unified Manchuria and brought it into the realm of national Chinese politics. Forced to contend with ambitious neighbors, he distrusted the Russians and leaned toward the Japanese.

    Zhang Zuolin was born of peasant stock in the northeastern province of Fengtien. Lacking formal education, he joined the army and fought in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). By the time of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), he had organized a large force of irregulars, which he led in support of Japan. The chaotic conditions that prevailed during the declining years of the Manchu dynasty and the early period of the republic enabled Chang to further enhance his military power in Manchuria through deft military and political maneuvers. When the death of China's president, Yüan Shih-k'ai, opened the way for undisguised warlordism (1916-1928), Chang became tuchun, or military governor, of Fengtien. With the cooperation of Tuan Ch'i-jui, leader of the Anfu Clique, Chang had, by mid-1919, extended his control to the rest of Manchuria. From then until his death, Manchuria was his private domain.

    Chang was less successful when he sought to extend his influence into adjacent areas. His efforts in Outer Mongolia collapsed in 1921, when a new government was established under Soviet auspices. The first Chihli-Fengtien war (April-May 1922) brought the collapse of Chang's first bid for hegemony of North China. In 1924 Gen. Feng Yü-hsiang's timely defection to his side enabled Chang to establish a short-lived triumvirate in Peking with Feng and Tuan Ch'i-jui.

    However, within a year Chang's fortunes had changed. He had to withdraw a substantial portion of his forces from North China, and only Japanese intervention saved Manchuria from an attempted coup. The plot, which enjoyed at least the moral support of the Soviet Union, provoked Chang to move against the Russian-controlled Chinese Eastern Railway, but threat of military retaliation forced him to back down. Having reconsolidated his position in Peking, Chang struck once again against the Russians. In a raid on the Soviet embassy on April 6, 1927, he netted volumes of incriminating documents and seized for execution Li Ta-chao and other Chinese Communists.

    After a lifetime of shrewd manipulation of friends and foes, Chang finally fell between the millstones of Chinese nationalism and Japanese expansionism. As Chiang kai-shek's Northern Expedition moved into North China in April 1928, the Japanese leaders attempted to halt the fighting before it poured over into Manchuria by urging Chang to retire north of the Great Wall. Chang hesitated but finally left Peking on June 3. The following day his train was blown up by a bomb planted by Japanese conspirators. Chang's assassination was an ominous prelude to the Japanese invasion of Sept. 18, 1931, which terminated the reign of his son and heir, Chang Hsüehliang.

    民國時期張作霖五十元金幣(1927年鑄造,美國PCGS 評級 SP64 樣幣)


    (見L&M-1031頁). 拍賣物為當今狀況最佳之張作霖五十元金幣。此金幣極為罕見,為目前僅存之兩枚該款式樣幣其中之一枚,且始終為張作霖家族所保有。此金幣近日被美國PCGS 評為 SP64 等級之樣幣,非但絕無僅有,且保存狀況乃現今世上最為完整,實屬稀世之寶。

    此金幣鑄造於 1927 年 (民國十六年),正面有張作霖戎裝像,背面則見龍鳳圖案,並刻有「伍拾圓」及「中華民國十六年」字樣。金幣表面光亮、反差明顯,邊緣線狀紋路清晰。正面人像右方有三粒幣模不規則所形成之「痱子」,可用於判辨真偽。另右臉頰上有微小刮痕,八字鬍及外圍反面十點方向有若干金屬色斑。放大後可見到正反兩面背景部分有若干鑄造模具所產生之縱向拋光線。

    1926 至 1928 年間,張作霖掌控北京與天津。天津造幣廠當時出產了銀元四款、二十元及四十元金幣之銅樣各一款,及此極度罕見的五十元金幣。這些錢幣當時並未流通,今歸類為特製樣幣。本次拍賣的張作霖五十元金幣乃現今世界上僅存的兩枚其中之一,且狀況遠勝於不久前賣出的另一枚。此幣乃中華民國政府所發行的硬幣中價值最高者,也是現今世上最為罕見的一枚民國時期錢幣。

    張作霖 (1873-1928)

    東北軍閥張作霖曾一統滿州,並將東北地區納入中國政治主流。在兵荒馬亂、列強割據的清末民初,他周旋於日、俄等強國之間,並暗中協助日本對抗沙俄。

    張作霖出身草莽,生於東北奉天省(今遼寧省),未曾受過正式教育。少年投效清軍參與甲午戰爭 (1894-1895) 失敗後,隨而率手下大批綠林徒眾加入日本之「東亞義勇軍」投入日俄戰爭 (1904-1905),從中嶄露頭角。由於時局混亂,適逢滿清衰亡、民國初立,張作霖趁機運用政治與戰略手段強化其在滿州之軍力。袁世凱逝世後,軍閥割據時期 (1916-1928) 正式展開。1916年,張作霖被任命為奉天督軍,在與皖系軍閥首領段祺瑞的合作下,逐漸擴張其在東北之勢力。到了1919年,整個滿州地區已在張作霖之全權掌控之中,直到其過世,滿州一直屬於其勢力範圍。

    張作霖試圖將觸角延伸到東北以外地區時,則屢屢遇挫。他曾意圖佔據外蒙古,但1921年蘇聯插手協助外蒙成立新政府,使得張作霖無功而返。隔年張作霖的奉軍又在第一次直奉戰爭中敗給了吳佩孚的直系軍閥,使其暫失掌控華北地區的大好機會。然而這個機會終究是回到了他的手裡。1924年,第二次直奉戰爭爆發,直系總司令馮玉祥倒戈邀其入關,促成了張作霖、段祺瑞、馮玉祥聯合執掌北京政府的短暫局面。

    然而好景不常,一年後各地反對軍閥混戰的聲浪四起,迫使張作霖將兵力撤出華北退居關外。而在蘇聯的策動下,其在東北之勢力也險些不保,好在有日本的協助,張作霖才得以奪回滿州。張作霖對蘇聯因而懷恨在心,曾意圖佔領由蘇聯掌控的中東鐵路,但在軍事威脅的陰影下又不得不做罷。在掌控了北京之後,張作霖再度對蘇聯出擊,1927年4月6日下令搜查蘇聯使館,搜出大量秘密文件,並逮捕了李大釗等中國共產黨員。

    然而張作霖精明一世、合縱一生,終究還是不敵中國民族主義與日本帝國主義這兩大勢力,最終成了兩股勢力對打的犧牲品。1928年,蔣介石的國民革命軍北伐行至華北,日軍為了保住滿州遂命令張作霖軍隊撤退至關外。張作霖雖情有不願,然而終究於六月三日搭火車離開北京,殊不知日軍在其車廂設下炸彈,隔日引爆將其詐死。張作霖遇刺是日本侵華的前兆。1931年9月18日,日本關東軍正式入侵中國東北,從張作霖之子張學良的手中奪走了滿州的統治權。

    來歷

    此金幣一直為張作霖家族所保有,於1940年代末或1950年代初攜至美國收藏至今。如有任何疑問,請恰詢本部門。

    美金 $650,000-750,000
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  1. Paul Song
    Specialist - Coins and Banknotes
    Bonhams
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