InterAsia Auctions



Sale 68

The Jane and Dan Sten Olsson Collection of Large Dragons Sale 3


China Large Dragons
 
 
 

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Lot 1 E China, Essay of Accepted Design with "Extra Circle" : Large Dragon 1ca. yellow-green imperforate on thin wove paper, horizontal pair [11-12] with 8.5mm. sheet margin at left, bright clear colour, fine printing showing sharp highly detailed impression, large margins all round, light creasing as is to be expected from the very thin paper used for this essay, nevertheless very fine and fresh.
Estimate HK$ 30,000 - 40,000


Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 4.10.1967, lot 6 (as a strip of three)
Dr. Warren G. Kauder, Robson Lowe (London), 10.11.1971, lot 2 (as a strip of three)
Bernard Stoloff, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 14.5.1987, lot 2205 (as a pair).

This pair was taken from a strip of three [11-12-13] originally in the David collection.

From our records of plated examples, we can ascertain that there were at least three sheets of this essay produced.
  Realized HK$55,200
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Lot 2 E China, Essay of Accepted Design with "Extra Circle" : Large Dragon 3ca. brown-red on thick wove paper, vertical pair [16/21] with 7mm. sheet margin at left and 11.5mm. sheet margin at foot, imperforate on thick paper, deep rich colour, near perfect impression with heavy "bite" showing on reverse as is characteristic for such a corner example and the "découpage" (make ready) utilised, trivial 3-4mm. tear in margin at left, fine to very fine.
Estimate HK$ 30,000 - 40,000


Provenance: Paul Hock, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 19.10.1983, lot 14
Godfrey Mellor, Robson Lowe (London), 15.5.1969, lot 2118.

The 3 candarins was most probably the first value printed, which helps to explain the early experimentation with two different types of paper.
  Realized HK$57,500
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Lot 3 P China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 1ca. green imperforate on thin gummed wove paper, Setting I, vertical pair [11/16] with 6.5mm. sheet margin at right, [16] shows plate variety "break in frame at foot", bright colour, sharp impression, large margins, very fine and fresh.
Estimate HK$ 30,000 - 40,000


Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 4.10.1967, lot 10
Richard Canman, Stanley Gibbons (London), 19.10.1972, lot 87
Paul Hock, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 19.10.1983, lot 25.
  Realized HK$32,200
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Lot 4 P China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 1ca. green imperforate on thin gummed wove paper, Setting I, block of four [19-20/24-25] with 7mm. sheet margin at right and 10mm. sheet margin at foot, deep bright colour, a few miniscule rust spots on reverse mainly confined to margins, very fine and an appealing block.
Estimate HK$ 100,000 - 120,000


Expertisation: signed P(eter) Holcombe.

Provenance: Godfrey Mellor, Robson Lowe (London), 15.5.1969, lot 2114
George Alevizos (Santa Monica), 8.2.1979, lot 1010
Philip Ireland, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 25.5.1989, lot 2097.
  Realized HK$115,000
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Lot 5 P China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 1ca. green imperforate on thin gummed wove paper, Setting II, single [25] with 7.5mm. at left and 10mm. sheet margin at foot, showing characteristic light offset on reverse, very fine.
Estimate HK$ 15,000 - 20,000


Provenance: Paul Hock, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 19.10.1983, lot 26.

Although only a single stamp, this is definitely from Setting II, since it has full sheet margins at left and foot. Therefore, it is from the lower left corner of the sheet, and cliché [25] only appears in this position in Setting II.
  Realized HK$17,250
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Lot 6 P China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 3ca. brown-red imperforate on thin wove paper, Setting III, block of four [16-8/7-5] with 8.5mm. sheet margin at right, clear bright colour, sharp highly accomplished impression, top row of stamps has two light bends/creases, very fine and a key multiple from this rare Setting.
Estimate HK$ 180,000 - 220,000


Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 4.10.1967, lot 17
Paul Hock, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 19.10.1983, lot 25
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Zurich), 7.11.1996, lot A33.

AN IMPORTANT POSITIONAL PIECE AND THE ONLY RECORDED MULTIPLE OF A PROOF FROM THIS SETTING OTHER THAN TWO COMPLETE SHEETS.

Settings III and IV have identical arrangement and positioning of the clichés, except for position 19, where cliché [7] in Setting III became defective and was replaced by a new reserve cliché [26], thereby resulting in Setting IV. In this block, cliché [7] already shows damage in the top and left legend panels. This substitution of cliché [7] from Setting III by cliché [26] of Setting IV is the only difference between the two Settings.
  Realized HK$207,000
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Lot 7 P China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 3ca. brown-red imperforate on thin wove paper, Setting I, complete sheet of twenty-five with selvedge all round, pale colour and "dry" printing with uneven impression particularly noticeable at lower right, inconsequential nick in outer extremity of sheet margin at top right, there are creases in the margin at foot, one of which diagonally crosses the lower left stamp, very fine and an exceptional sheet.
Estimate HK$ 400,000 - 500,000


Provenance: Philip Ireland, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 25.5.1989, lot 2036.

References: Jeffrey S. Schneider, "Essays and Proofs for the First Customs Issues", China 2009 International Philately Peak Forum, Symposium, p. 162.

According to our records, there are seven complete surviving sheets. Impressions vary considerably, as the printers endeavoured to get the decoupage ("make ready") perfect. Given the more consistent uniformity of printing and impressions of the 1 candarin and 5 candarins values, the 3 candarins may well have been the first value from which proofs were pulled. The sheets from the Mizuhara and Major Starr collections are interesting, in that both show overinking in the fourth row of stamps, and the latter has extraneous ink running diagonally across the lower left.

The seven complete sheets are from the following sources :

1.) Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 28.1.1964, lot 1297; "Twyste", Spink (Hong Kong), 28.11.2005, lot 1007

2.) Mizuhara Meiso, Spink (Hong Kong), 17.1.2016, lot 1603

3.) Richard Canman, Stanley Gibbons (London), 19.10.1972; Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Geneva), 26.10.1984, lot 40564; Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 15.5.1997, lot B24

4.) Philip Ireland, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 25.5.1989, lot 2036. This is the Olsson sheet

5.) Major James Starr, Sotheby's (London), 11.9.1991, lot 38

6.) Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 12.11.1998, lot 201

7.) "Selected Treasures Kept by the Chinese National Postage Stamp Museum" (1999), p. 31.
  Realized HK$977,500
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Lot 8 P China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 5ca. orange-yellow imperforate on thin wove paper, Setting I, block of four [1-2/6-7] with 7mm. sheet margin at top and 7mm. sheet margin at left, delicate pastel-like colour, fairly accomplished impression showing heavily impressed horizontal frame lines from the decoupage, very fine and exceptional example of this rare proof.
Estimate HK$ 300,000 - 400,000


A BLOCK OF FOUR IS THE LARGEST RECORDED MULTIPLE. ONLY THREE BLOCKS OF FOUR ARE RECORDED.

Proofs are only known from this Setting. No complete sheets have been recorded. The largest multiple known to date is a block of four. From our records of surviving multiples, there were at least three sheets of twenty-five printed (we know of three different pairs from positions [14-15]). One sheet was overinked (cf. marginal pair [6-7], ex James Senior, Robson Lowe, 6.10.1971, lot 1232), thereby necessitating the printing of other sheets.
  Realized HK$667,000
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