The pattern Szechuan 1897 double specimen set is also very interesting. Charles Barber engraved the dies (using a Kwangtung dollar as a model). The American company Ferracute Machine Company beat out a European company to supply a complete mint (dies, tools, coin presses, and more) to Szechuan province (at Chengdu).
Only maybe 4 double specimen sets (5 coins in silver, 5 coins in brass) were made with a round wooden case before shipping the dies/equipment to China. The dies (and machinery) were water damaged in China before setting up the equipment. Thus the Chinese later made their own replacement dies at the Szechuan mint leading to clumsy English letterings. The dies by Charles Barber had perfect English letters and quality of the Philadelphia mint.
One of the double specimen sets was given to the Philadelphia mint and now resides at the Smithsonian. Another set also may belong to Mr. Chen who was mentioned in the article (hired by NGC).
The trip to China beginning in 1897 to setup the mint was also interesting and many photographs exist. Very interesting reads:http://oberlinsmith.org/Ferracute/FMCtoChina/FMCtoChina.html
At the bottom of this page are further interesting reads (click there for links):
Read the account of the Ferracute China Trip in the words of Oberlin Smith and Henry Janvier themselves.
Adventures on Money Making - The Bridgeton News, December 10, 1939, - Henry Janvier retells his adventure several years later to J. Mead Landis READ>>
Coining Machinery in Chinese Mints - Cassier's Magaine Vol. XXIV May 19, 1903 READ >>
Minting Machine for China - The American Machinist October 22, 1903 READ>>
Ferracute Goes to China - The Bridgeton News, June 11, 2011 - A summary of the adventure for the opening of the Burton Gallery ExhibitREAD>>