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The sale was conducted in US dollars. The eight reales of the south American empire became ubiquitous in China with some of them circulating in the 19th century.

There were a number of “pieces of eight” on offer. A particularly clear example with the 382 clearly visible from the 18th century was estimated at $120-150. It made $100 (£63).

More remarkable to find in a sale like this was the rare Russian novodel (= new or reformed) ruble of 1654 struck by Alexei Mikhailovich. He was the father of Peter the Great.

Estimated at a prudent $750-850, it required a bid of just $900 (£570) to take it away.

It might be of interest to producers of sale catalogues, ie. auctioneers, to note that this catalogue is the first of this series to be printed in Singapore.  

The illustrations are fine but the order of the text leaves something to be desired. There has obviously been some internal wrangling on this score. Those catalogues circulated by Baldwin from London include an apologetic note. As a reviewer, I can say that it is not as bad as it seems.

What will be interesting is if this is henceforth to be the type of contents of these sales or whether they will revert to the old form. Whatever, some interesting lots, not necessarily of Chinese interest, lurk in these sales.