RARE TIBETAN COINS AT SPINK
Spink are delighted to announce the auction dates for the
remarkable and historic Nicholas Rhodes Collection. The collection
features a number of extremely rare items, some of which are
expected to reach record prices.
Nicholas Rhodes built a collection of coins, banknotes and
stamps concentrated on the core areas of Tibet, Assam and
Nepal. The first part of this extensive collection, the
Tibetan coins, will be auctioned by Spink in Hong Kong on
21st August 2013. The collection contains many
rare coins previously unknown in private or museum collections.
Many different die-types and varieties of great academic value are
also being offered at lower prices, with 556 lots to choose
Nicholas Rhodes was a founding member and Secretary General of
the Oriental Numismatic Society. His collection was a life-long
interest for him and is universally acknowledged as being one of
the best in the world. Nicholas's reputation as an author and
scholar, his close relationship with British Museum and other
respected numismatic associations, gives his collection an
unquestionable authenticity. This unrivalled provenance will
add value to any coins purchased.
Above: Sino-Tibetan, Chia Ching (1796-1820), 1-Sho, year
In 1792/3, four denominations of coins were struck with the
intention that these would replace the Nepalese Mohars that
previously circulated in Tibet. However, the smaller denominations
were not popular with Tibetan traders and they were later replaced
with the Sho of 3.8g. The Rhodes collection contains several of
these rare low-denomination coins, but the 1-Sho of year 2 of Chia
Ching is one of the scarcest coins of the series; the finest of
three known examples.
Est: US $10,000-$15,000
Above: Tibet, 10-Tam pattern.
Spink is also proud to be offering this noteworthy Tibetan coin
issued in the time of the 13th Dalai Lama, undated (c.1910).
Following independence the Tibetan Government started producing a
large selection of silver and copper coins. This beautiful and rare
coin was issued as a pattern for this series.
Ex. Gabrisch Collection, 2005
Est: US $12,000-$20,000
Above: Tibet, 10-Tam pattern, 12.26g. Undated, but issued
c.1928-30. Ex. Halpert Collection, Spink, 2000
From 1912 Tibetan coins usually feature a mythical beast know in
Tibet as a Seng-ge. It represents the snowy ranges and glaciers of
Tibet. The full name (seng-ge dka-rpo g.yu ral can) translates as
"white lion(ess) with a turquoise mane." It symbolises power and
strength and served as a unifying symbol for Tibetans during the
modern era. In August Spink will be offering this eye-catching
Tibetan coin, on which the depiction of the Seng-ge is particularly
Est: US $10,000-$12,000
Above: Tibet, Gold 20 Tam Srang, 15-55 (1918).
This denomination was only issued between 1918-21 and was struck in
the Serkhang mint which was located near Norbulingka, the summer
residence of the Dalai Lamas. One of the most desirable coins of
the Tibetan series, year 55 is the rarest.
Est: US $10,000-$15,000
Above: Tibet, Sri Mangalam Tangka, 5.36g. Issued in the time
of the 8th Dalai Lama, undated (1763/4 or 1785).
Named for its obverse inscription, Sri mangalam, which indicates
good luck in Sanskrit. The reverse reads dga'ldan phyo (gs) las
rnam par rgyal ba (Gaden (palace) completely victorious in all
directions). This refers to the form of Tibetan Government
established after 1642 when Gusri Khan, a Mongol prince, led an
invasion of Tibet at the head of a band of supporters of the
Gelugpa sect, and established the Dalai Lama of the day, Ngawang
Lobzang Gyatso, as the de facto ruler of Tibet.
Est: US $4,000-$5,000
Commenting on this unique collection, Spink coin specialist
Barbara Mears said: "this is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for coin collectors and those interested in Oriental
art to buy such good examples of original coins from this enigmatic
and special place. Tibet has not issued its own currency for over
"Even before this the quantity of coins struck for most issues
was very small, so this is an ideal area to buy into. However, one
only has to see the coins to appreciate that monetary
considerations were secondary to the creators of this currency.
Many of the coins are minor works of art in their own right, with
iconography and legends in perfect accord, each having a
significant meaning to every Tibetan. With beautiful and precious
coins to fit every budget, who could resist?"
There will be a special preview afternoon and evening reception
where the Nicholas Rhodes Collection may be viewed at Spink's
London showroom on Thursday 1st August 2013. Coins of Tibet may be
viewed in London (by appointment only) in early August, or on the
19th and 20th of August 2013 in Hong Kong.
For further press information, please contact: Eleanor
Ball, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7563 4009 . All images copyright