A historically important 'Zhang Zuolin' 50 Yuan gold coin
Republican period, dated 1927 Minted in pure gold, one side featuring a portrait of the warlord in full military attire within scrolling borders, the reverse with an official emblem flanked by a phoenix and a dragon on each sides, with inscriptions at the top and bottom spaced by floral sprays. 2.8cm diam.
Provenance 來源: Zhang Zuolin (1875-1928), Warlord of Manchuria from 1916-1928 Zhang Xueliang, the 'Young Marshall' (1901-2001) Raymond Chang (Zhang), eldest son of Zhang Xueliang, father of the current owner
The inscription reads and translates as:
16th year of the Republic of China, 50 Yuan
This coin is an important historical relic of the Warlord Era in early 20th century China, the finest known example of a 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 warlord portrayed on the obverse of the coin. This rarity has endured an arduous journey from China to Great Britain during the Second World War era, before finally arriving at the United States, where it has remained since the late 1940s/early 1950s. 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.
The coin was minted in Tianjin 1927. At that time, Zhang controlled Tianjin and Beijing between 1926 and 1928, where the Tianjin 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. This coin is one of only two known examples, and much finer in appearance than the other known example. 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.
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 Zhang's portrait.
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