Stack's Bowers Galleries (& Ponterio) > Collector's Choice November 2022 AuctionAuction date: 14 November 2022
Lot number: 75591

Price realized: 1,600 USD   (Approx. 1,549 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


RUSSIA. Tea Brick Money, ND (ca. 19th-early 20th Centuries). EXTREMELY FINE.
Dimensions: 237mm x 185mm x 17mm. Weight: 1050 gms. Obverse: Crossed anchors within inset circle, Cyrillic inscription ["Pure Ceylon"] within inset rectangle below; Reverse: Eight segment back, each with inset crossed anchor within circle and "50" in triangle. An incredibly interesting piece, this rather old tea-brick gives attractive design elements and offers a unique numismatic treasure. Some light chipping is noted, but otherwise the surfaces are attractive and handsomely tea-black. While there is no definitive date on this example, late 19th to early 20th (pre-Soviet) period seems the most likely. Whole tea bricks are quite prized, as the survival rate is extremely low.

Tea bricks were used as a form of currency throughout China, Tibet, Mongolia, and Central Asia. They were sometimes preferable to metallic currency due to their ready use as food and perceived medicinal benefits when brewed. Tea bricks were reportedly still being used up until the mid-20th Century in some areas

Estimate: $200 - $400