To celebrate their 20th anniversary as an Auction House, Eur-Seree conducted their 60th auction on Saturday March 26 and 27.
Vitoon Eurtivong, CEO of the Eur-Seree Collecting Co. Ltd and his team worked very hard to get unique consignments for this extraordinary 3500-lot auction.
Several record prices were set. Many collectors went home disappointed even their plan was to pay double the estimation.
Two of the ND (1864) Rama IV, Kong Mongkut, 4 Baht coins were up for sale in the auction. Both were graded. One by NGC, Numismatic Guaranty Company, to be AU58. AU stands for Almost Uncirculated. The highest grade is 70, but there has been no 4 Baht coin graded this high. The best-graded recorded 4 Baht coin by NGC is MS61. MS stands for Mint State. This 4 Baht coin was sold for THB 900,000.
The other 4 Baht coin in the sale was graded by PCGS, Professional Coin Grading Service, to be Genuine Cleaned-AU Detail. The coin sold for THB 740,000. It was also mentioned that this coin had some light knocks on the edge. Coins having been cleaned are not too popular; collectors prefer coins as they were struck and with nice original patina.
The 4 baht ND (1864) coins were struck to commemorate Rama IV, King Mongkut’s 60th Birthday. It does have the Chinese legend “Cheng Ming Tung Pao” on the reverse. “Cheng Ming” Is the Chinese name of the King and “Tung Pao” means “lawful money”. The coin was struck in gold and silver. The King allowed the coin to be used as a decoration. This is the reason why some of these coins can be found mounted.
Three silver bullet commemorative coins struck during the reign of Rama V, King Chulalongkorn, were sold in the auction, a 40-, 20- and 10 Baht. They were produced to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Rama V’s mother, Somdej Phra Dhep Sirintramat. The coins are dated CS 1242 (1880), which was the year when Rama V’s age was equal to that of his mother at her death.
The coins were not graded by NGC or PCGS, probably because they are two big for their holders. All were graded by the auction company to be AU, Almost Uncirculated. The 40 Baht weighing 605.55 grams and had a starting price of THB 1,000,000 and sold for THB 2,300,000. The 20 Baht weighing 302.74 grams had a starting price of THB 500,000 and sold for THB 740,000. The 10 Baht weighing 152.90 grams had a starting price of THB 350,000 but did not find a buyer. On the description, the 20-and10 Baht it is remarked “Ex. The Museum Collection”. I have never been at this museum, could be interesting to know where this museum is/was.
An extremely rare gold Baht Pod Duang, bullet coin, with the weight of 15 grams struck during the reign of Rama III, King Nangklao, 1824-1851, had the starting price of THB 300,000. Obviously many needed this rare coin, graded by the auctioneer to EF/AU, in their collection. The buyer had to pay THB 920,000, more than three times the starting price.
Six gold bullet coins produced during the reign of Rama V, King Chulalongkorn, were offered in the sale with a minimum price of THB 350,000. It is a beautiful set graded by the auctioneer to be in EF to UNC condition. Bullet coins are popular being a unique part of the history of Thailand having been used as money for more than 600 years. The buyer had to pay THB 720,000, more than two times the starting price.
Queen Somdej Prasri Patcharindra paid a Royal visit to the Royal Mint on December 8, 1897. A Commemorative coin was struck with the inscription” Rong Kasap RS116” meaning “Royal Mint RS116” (1897). The rare coin was graded by PCGS to be MS61 with a starting price of THB 500,000. It was sold for three times that amount, for THB 1,500,000.
On the February 11, 1988, I was present at the Goodman sale of “Coins of Thailand” at the Hotel New Otani in Singapore conducted by Spink and Taisei auction houses. Lot 93 was this or a similar coin estimated to be US$ 3,000-3,500 graded EF. I wanted this coin for my collection; I bid up to US$ 6,000. It sold for THB 6,250 plus 10% buyer’s premium, at the time about THB 174,000. The exchange rate USD -THB was 25.30.
In 1907, on Rama V, King Chulalongkorn’s second trip to Europe he also visited Paris. Here he sat for the sculpture and coin engraver Henri-Aug Patey at the Paris Mint. The King was very impressed with the result and ordered a one baht circulation coin. Unfortunately the coins did not reach Thailand before his death, so the coins were distributed during his cremation. According to the catalogue only a handful “ESSAI”, patterns, of the 1908 One Baht coins are recorded. In the sale 20 years ago, one was graded by PCGS to be SP64 and offered at a minimum price of THB 700,000. Would be interesting to see how it would be graded today. There were many interested buyers and it sold for THB 2,000,000. The very same coin sold in the Goodman sale in Singapore 1988 for about THB 209,000 graded Brilliant Mint State. A second similar coin graded by the auctioneer as AU was also sold in the Eur-Seree Auction. It had a starting price of THB 400,000 and sold for THB 1,500,000.
The 2500 Baht piedfort struck in 1983 for “International Year of Disabled Persons” has a mintage of 72 pieces. The starting price was THB 500,000 and was sold for THB 980,000. It was graded by PCGS to be PR69. PR stands for PROOF. The catalogue price in 2007 was THB 200,000.
The bidding for a very nice set compromising of 6000-, 3000- and 1500 Baht gold coins commemorating the late Rama IX, King Bhumibol’s, 60th Birthday in 1987 started at THB 500,000. The mintage was 350 sets produced in proof. All the three coins were graded by PCGS to be PR70, the very best grade. After brisk bidding both by foreign and Thai collectors, the final price was THB 1,150,000.
One of the very interesting 1850`s 3rd issue warrant ¼ Baht, Salung graded EF, Extremely Fine, had a starting price of THB 150,000. Eur-Seree stated that this was the very best condition they had ever handled. The buyer had to pay THB 270,000.
A 20 Ticals/Baht First Series dated 1st May 1911 graded by PCGS to be 35, Choice VF, had a starting price of THB 200,000. A few collectors bid for this banknote, the final selling price was THB 260,000.
In the Eur-Seree auction 58, held in April 2021, a complete set of watermarked paper First Series was offered. Two of the watermarked papers, the 100 Ticals and 5 Ticals, were originally signed as approved by Phya Sudham Maitri, the Siamese Minister (Ambassador) to the United Kingdom and dated 18/6/1915. The starting price was THB 800,000 but they did not find a buyer. In the 60th auction they were again offered, this time with a starting price of THB 500,000. Surprisingly the six watermarked complete set did not find a buyer again, even though Eur-Seree described them as museum items.
A specimen 10 Baht dated 1st January 1907 was sold in the auction.
The back of the banknote has the original signature of approval of the Siamese Minister (Ambassador) in London Phya Visutr Kosa and dated 25-9-07. From 1902, when the first Siamese banknotes were produced, the approval of the banknotes took place in Bangkok. This was very time consuming, so in June 1907 the Minister of the Royal Finance gave this responsibility to the Siamese Minister in London.
The specimen 10 Baht dated 1st January 1907 in Eur-Seree is the very first banknote approved by the Minister in London. It is the only banknote approved in London with denominations in double outline on the watermarked paper. Later the banknotes were all approved with single outline. It had the starting price of THB 250,000 and sold for THB 280,000. The very same banknote was sold in 2015 at a Spink sale in London for THB 420,000.
A 1000 Baht Second Series, Ploughing Series, described by Eur-Seree as a “Master Die Proof” was the bank note related object which sold for the highest price of THB 900,000. In the correspondence, the printer Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London describes it as a print produced by Main Front Plate. PMG, Paper Money Guaranty, has graded it to 62 Uncirculated and describes it as a “PROOF”. The function for these very rare prints was often used so the banknote could be approved prior to more work being done. These prints are much rarer than the specimen banknotes.
The banknotes Third Series are the first Thai banknotes showing an image of the portrait of the King. Rama VII, King Prajadhipok, gave his Royal permission to print his portrait on the banknotes. The first artwork showed the King in a profile, but the King preferred a frontal portrait. A 10 Baht specimen note in the sale was dated 1st March 1935 and had the prefix N/20 and the number 00000. It was perforated “SPECIMEN”. In the upper right corner written with pencil 78F, which is the archive number of Thomas de la Rue. The starting price was THB 100,000 and it sold for THB 195,000.
For the Fourth Series Thomas de la Rue produced 1-, 5-, 10-, 20- and 100 Baht denomination banknotes. The 100 Baht was approved both for Type I and prints from the front and back plates Type II were initialled as approved on 26th September 1941 by the Minister in London, Phra Manuvedya Vimolnard. The 100 Baht notes were never produced for circulation because of the outbreak of WWII.
The Royal Thai Survey Department and Naval Hydrographic Department used the designs produced by Thomas de la Rue to produce banknotes in Thailand during WWII. The rarest of these 100 Baht banknotes is the one with the signature of Major Khuang Aphaiwongse, Minister of Finance from 2nd August 1944 until 10th January 1945. In the sale there was one of these banknotes with prefix S/6 and the number 17226. The starting price was THB 200,000 and it sold for almost double that amount for THB 390,000.
There were two of the 5 Baht Fourth Series, Type II, in the sale. Type I has the wording “GOVERNMENT OF SIAM” while Type II has the wording “THAI GOVERNMENT” and is much rarer. The first was graded by PCGS to be 64 CHOICE UNC and had a starting price of THB 200,000. It sold for THB 260,000. The second had the same grade but because it has a small piece of tape on the back, it had a lower starting price of THB 180,000 and sold for a lesser price of THB 230,000. Expensive tape.
The interest for banknotes with Solid and Lucky numbers is increasing at every auction. A 5 Baht Third Series, Type II, dated 15th April 1935, with the portrait of Rama VIII, King Ananda Mahidol, with prefix K22 and the number 77777 had the minimum price of THB 250,000 and sold for THB 380,000.
The last banknote that Thomas de la Rue officially produced for Thailand was the very nice 100 Baht announced on 16th May 1968 with the portrait of Rama IX, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In the Eur-Seree auction there was a set of nine banknotes, all with the same prefix B/232. All the nine notes have numbers from 111111 to 999999. This impressive set had a starting price of THB 300,000 but the buyer had to pay THB 720,000, which was more than double.
Only missing in the set would be 000000, but this would have to be a specimen banknote and with a different prefix.
At the Eur-Seree 60th sale there were 380 registered bidders and 290 of the bidders actually bought something. It is impressive that out of the 290 successful bidders 140 of were new buyers. The total sale during the auction was THB 90.5 million.
After the auction several of the unsold objects have now been sold, with buyers bidding by mail or telephone. Not only coins and banknotes were sold at the auction. There were also large sections of medals and stamps, including arts, antiques and watches.