InterAsia Auctions



Sale 72

The Jane and Dan Sten Olsson Collection of Large Dragons Sale 4


Issued Stamps
 
 
 

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Lot 8 /o China, 1878-85 Large Dragon, the masterfully written-up study with hand drawn illustrations and explanations for the identification of each cliché, comprising the twenty-five clichés (identification according to the owner) of the 1878 thin paper 1ca. unused (17) and used (8), 1882 wide margins 1ca. unused (15) and used (10), and 1883-85 thick paper 1ca. unused (15) and used (10), a few of the thick paper issues are actually thin paper, mainly good to very fine, some faults, yet of a high standard not normally associated with such a study (75).
Estimate HK$ 100,000 - 120,000


Provenance: Bernard Stoloff, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 14.5.1987, lot 2206.
  Realized HK$195,500
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Lot 9 /o China, 1878-85 Large Dragon, the masterfully written-up study with hand drawn illustrations and explanations for the identification of each cliché, comprising the twenty-six clichés (identification according to the owner) as applicable for the 1878 thin paper 3ca. unused (9) and used (17), 1882 wide margins 3ca. used (16), and 1883-85 thick paper 3ca. unused (2) and used (21), a few of the thick paper issues are misidentified, fair to fine, some faults (65).
Estimate HK$ 70,000 - 90,000


Provenance: Bernard Stoloff, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 14.5.1987, lot 2207.
  Realized HK$207,000
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Lot 10 o China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 1ca. yellow-green, 3ca. brown-red, and 5ca. orange-bistre, rough perfs., each cancelled by part "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring d.s., clearly showing "78" year dates, the last two with practically complete "Dec 2 78" and "(De)c 30 78" legible dates, mainly fine, the 5ca. has light staining on reverse which is only just visible at top on front. An appealing matched set of first year dates. Chan 1a, 2, 3.
Estimate HK$ 20,000 - 25,000


Provenance: The 3ca. initialed (Lyons) Livingston.
  Unsold
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Lot 11 o China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 1ca. to 5ca. cancelled by seals, excellent colours, choice centring, fine to very fine. Chan 1-3.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$5,750
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Lot 12 o China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 1ca. to 5ca. the 1ca. [5] with plate variety broken frame at top left corner and 5ca. have large hole perforations and are cancelled by double-ring d.s. (the 5ca. in red), the 3ca. with seal cancellation, fine. Chan 1c-3.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$5,520
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Lot 13 o China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 3ca. brown-red, Setting I, single [5] with sheet margin at right, cancelled by part "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring d.s. of "Dec _ 80", fine to very fine. Chan 2.
Estimate HK$ 1,200 - 1,500
  Realized HK$2,300
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Lot 14 China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 3ca. brown-red, Setting V, a complete sheet of 20 (5 x 4) without margins as usual, large hole perforations, clear shade highlighting the unevenness of the registration of the printing, on bright white paper, cliché [26] shows extraneous dot of printing ink on frameline at foot below left numeral "3", reinforced along central horizontal row of perfs., very fine and wonderfully fresh unused with practically full original gum. A marvelous sheet. Chan 2.
Estimate HK$ 200,000 - 250,000


Provenance: "Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 25.3.1987, lot 4746.

No sheets from Setting V are known with selvedge (sheet margin). The only recorded multiple with sheet margins is the used pair being offered in the following lot 15.

We record the following thirteen sheets from Setting V :

— E.D. Finney, H.R. Harmer (New York), 6.5.1952, lot 292; M.F. Huang, Zurich Asia (Hong Kong), 21.6.2003, lot 17; Zurich Asia (Hong Kong), 25.3.2018, lot 151
— Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 28.5.1963, lot 178; "Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 29.9.1988, lot 4084
— Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 16.12.1964, lot 1074; Dr. Warren G. Kauder, Robson Lowe (London), 10.11.1971, lot 89; Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 1.11.1995, lot 2651
— Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 22.7.1970, lot 39; James B. Whang, Christie's (Hong Kong), 2.11.1994, lot 1596
— Richard Canman, Stanley Gibbons (London), 19.10.1972, lot 136; Stanley Gibbons (London), 15.2.1977, lot 738; Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman; Lam Man Yin; Interasia (Hong Kong), 26.2.2011, lot 38
— George Alevizos (Santa Monica), 8-9.2.1972, lot 1021; Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.11.1996, lot A38; Interasia (Hong Kong), 29.6.2013, lot 201
— Paul Hock, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 19.10.1983, lot 102; Giulio Mochi David Feldman (Zurich), 26.10.1984, lot 40572
— "Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 25.3.1987, lot 4746. The above sheet
— Philip Ireland, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 25.5.1989, lot 2119
— Major James Starr, Sotheby's (London), 11.9.1991, lot 53
— Mizuhara Meiso, Spink (Hong Kong), 17.1.2016, lot 1610
— Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 15.5.1997, lot 103. This is the only recorded sheet on thick paper.
— H.B.R. Clarke, Robson Lowe (London), 22.4.1953. Because the sheet was mounted on white paper in the catalogue photograph, it is difficult to match this with any of the other sheets. The catalogue entry for the Clarke sheet reads "in a rather worn state and with fairly rough perf."
  Realized HK$230,000
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Lot 15 o China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 3ca. brown-red, Setting V, horizontal pair [21-3] with sheet margin at foot, deep bright colour on fresh white paper, near perfect centring, centrally cancelled by Peking seal in blue, diagonal creasing, otherwise very fine. An immensely rare and important positional piece with complete sheet margin. Chan 2.
Estimate HK$ 20,000 - 25,000


Provenance: Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.11.1996, lot A39.

References: James B. Whang, History of the Large Dragons. An Anthology of James B. Whang's Writings (Taipei, 1999), p. 91.

THE ONLY RECORDED MULTIPLE FROM SETTING V WITH SHEET MARGIN.
  Realized HK$29,900
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Lot 16 China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 5ca. orange, deep colour, well centred, fine to very fine unused with practically full original gum, one slightly blunt perf. at foot. Chan 3.
Estimate HK$ 5,000 - 6,000
  Realized HK$10,925
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Lot 17 () China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 5ca. orange, bright colour, right frame line shows distinctive "bite" characteristic of examples which emanate from the right of the sheet, fine unused with traces of original gum which has dried into paper. Chan 3.
Estimate HK$ 3,000 - 4,000
  Realized HK$10,350
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Lot 18 o China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 5ca. orange, Setting II, horizontal strip of three [7-5-4], large hole perforations, cancelled by two strikes of Peking seal in blue, left stamp has vertical creasing, fine to very fine. Chan 3.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000
  Realized HK$19,550
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Lot 19 o China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 5ca. orange, Setting II, vertical block of ten [12-8/6-19/14-20/7-21/3-25] representing the two right vertical rows of the sheet, showing characteristic printing "bite" along top and right framelines, natural paper fold at top left, good colour, well centred with perfs. intact, cancelled by Tientsin seals, some foxed perfs. and splits in right margin, nevertheless fine and a significant multiple. Chan 3.
Estimate HK$ 70,000 - 90,000


Provenance: Richard Canman, Stanley Gibbons (London), 19.10.1972, lot 218
Philip Ireland, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 25.5.1989, lot 2132.

References: James B. Whang, History of the Large Dragons. An Anthology of James B. Whang's Writings (Taipei, 1999), pp. 112-114.

THE LARGEST RECORDED MULTIPLE FOR SETTING II.

The largest recorded multiples for Setting II are a.) horizontal block of ten from the lower two rows of the sheet, ex Richard Canman, S.G. 19.10.1972, lot 219; Giulio Mochi, David Feldman, 24.10.1984, lot 40580; and Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila, 7.11.1996, lot A70; b.) the above vertical block of ten (the two right rows of the sheet).
  Realized HK$103,500
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Lot 20 China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 1ca. green, Setting III, a stupendous block of twelve [25-18-16/8-14-3/7-12-9/1-15-20] from the lower left corner of the sheet with selvedge at foot, stellar colour on brilliant white paper, uneven inking resulting in deep green shade at left, near perfect centring within even expansive margins, very fine and fresh unused with much original gum, a few inconsequential light rust spots on reverse and some reinforced perfs. A significant multiple, being the third largest recorded. A gem for the connoisseur. Chan 4.
Estimate HK$ 150,000 - 200,000


Provenance: Godfrey Mellor, Robson Lowe (London), 15.5.1969, lot 2146
Richard Canman, Stanley Gibbons (London), 19.10.1972, lot 94
Philip Ireland, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 25.5.1989, lot 2101.
  Realized HK$230,000
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Lot 21 o China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 1ca. green, Setting III, vertical pair [5/6], delicate pastel-like shade, centrally cancelled by practically complete strike of "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring d.s. of "Nov 13 82" in red, very fine appearance, a few small faults including 2mm. tear in margin at lower right. Chan 4.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000
  Realized HK$25,300
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Lot 22 o China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 1ca. green with sheet margin at foot, showing portions of four letters of the papermaker's watermark, cancelled by complete seal, very fine. Chan 4h.
Estimate HK$ 8,000 - 10,000


Provenance: Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 15.5.1997, lot B13.

Examples showing more than two letters of the watermark are essential in the reconstruction of the complete watermark.
  Realized HK$17,250
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Lot 23 o China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 3ca. brown-red, Setting VI or VII, vertical strip of three [18/19/6], cancelled by two practically complete strikes of the Shanghai seal, light creasing, some clipped perfs. at top as well as some blunt perfs. at sides, nevertheless a fine positional piece representing the complete row of stamps from the right of the sheet. Chan 5.
Estimate HK$ 8,000 - 10,000
  Realized HK$11,500
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Lot 24 o China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 3ca. brown-red and 5ca. yellow-ochre, each centrally cancelled by complete or nearly so strike of Shanghai seal, very fine appearance, minor faults. Chan 5, 6.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$7,475
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Lot 25 o China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 3ca. brown-red and 5ca. yellow-ochre (2) cancelled by seals, fine to very fine appearance, two have small faults, one 5ca. is sound. Chan 5, 6.
Estimate HK$ 10,000 - 12,000
  Unsold
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Lot 26 o China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 5ca. yellow-ochre, pale shade, well centred, cancelled by Peking seals in blue, fine to very fine and a flawless example of this difficult stamp which nearly always is encountered with imperfections. Chan 6.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$6,900
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Lot 27 o China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 5ca. yellow-ochre, clear bright colour, particularly well centred, cancelled by two part strikes of Customs double-ring d.s. leaving almost all of Dragon free, minute thin spot at top, nevertheless very fine. Chan 6.
Estimate HK$ 5,000 - 6,000
  Unsold
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Lot 28 o China, 1882 Large Dragon wide margin 5ca. yellow-ochre, deep bright colour, cancelled by Customs double-ring d.s., small thin spot at top, otherwise very fine. Chan 6.
Estimate HK$ 5,000 - 6,000
  Unsold
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Lot 29 China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 1ca. to 5ca. clean-cut perfs., superb colours, the 3ca. in a red shade and the 5ca. being a deep lemon-yellow shade, well centred, fine to very fine unused with large part to much original gum, the first and last have minor traces of rust on gum. A choice set. Chan 7-9.
Estimate HK$ 20,000 - 25,000
  Realized HK$18,400
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Lot 30 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 1ca. to 5ca. clean-cut perfs., cancelled by seals in blue, fine to very fine and fresh despite a few light natural creases. Chan 7-9.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$5,750
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Lot 31 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 1ca. to 5ca (2), clean-cut perfs., cancelled by seals, all except 3ca. in blue, fine to very fine, one 5ca. has browning on reverse not affecting appearance from front (4). Chan 7-9.
Estimate HK$ 7,000 - 9,000
  Realized HK$7,475
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Lot 32 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. clean-cut perfs., selected shades and impressions ranging from brown-red to Venetian red, cancelled by seals, fine to very fine (5). Chan 8.
Estimate HK$ 4,000 - 5,000
  Realized HK$9,200
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Lot 33 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. clean-cut perfs., selected shades and impressions ranging from pale vermilion to brown-red, four cancelled by seals (three in blue) and the other with small part double-ring d.s. (Chinkiang) and oval Customs Mail Matter h.s. in red, fine to very fine (5). Chan 8.
Estimate HK$ 5,000 - 6,000
  Realized HK$9,200
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Lot 34 /o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. brown-red, clean-cut perfs., Setting VIII, the complete reconstruction of the twenty positions, comprising :

Block of ten [8-1-15/17-26-10/25-3-11-21], the last two stamps with part sheet margins at foot, fine to very fine unused with much original gum, a few split and reinforced perfs. between 1st and 2nd rows of stamps, the largest known unused multiple from Setting VIII.
Provenance
Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 22.7.1970, lot 45
Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 24.10.1984, lot 40599
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong). 7.10.1997, lot C57

Block of four [4-9/18-6], fine to very fine unused with much original gum.
Provenance and Auction Record
Major James Starr, Sotheby's (London), 11.9.1991, lot 66
Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 11.11.1999, lot 109

Block of four [23-24/15-20], very fine unused with much original gum.
Provenance
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.10.1997, lot C57

Vertical pair [20/14], cancelled by Chefoo seal, fine to very fine.

Horizontal pair [13-5], cancelled by Shanghai seal, very fine.

A remarkable reconstruction, which includes the largest recorded unused multiple for this Setting. Fine to very fine. One of the few complete reconstructions achieved for Setting VIII. Chan 8.
Estimate HK$ 250,000 - 300,000
  Realized HK$322,000
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Lot 35 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. brown-red, clean-cut perfs., Setting VIII, horizontal pair [9-13], rich red colour, well centred, centrally cancelled by large Tientsin seal, a few blunt perfs. at lower left, otherwise fine. Chan 8.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$6,325
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Lot 36 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. vermilion [4], clean-cut perfs., variety semi-circle to right of lower left "3", pale shade, near perfect centring, cancelled by "Customs/Newchwang" double-ring d.s. without year date, this being the distinct dull vermilion shade unique to Setting XIII, very fine, a few slightly blunt perfs. at foot. Chan 8c.
Estimate HK$ 4,000 - 5,000
  Realized HK$7,475
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Lot 37 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. red, clean-cut perfs., unknown Setting, horizontal pair [?-25], showing plate variety missing horizontal bar of "H" in "China" and lower half of left vertical bar also missing, deep rich colour and sharp impression, centrally cancelled by Peking seal in blue leaving the variety clear, very fine appearance, a few small faults and right stamp with diagonal creasing. Chan 8, f.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$8,050
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Lot 38 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 5ca. lemon-yellow, clean-cut perfs., Setting IV, horizontal pair [16-1], bright colour, well centred, centrally cancelled by Peking seal in blue, fine to very fine despite light diagonal crease at top of right stamp. Chan 9.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$8,625
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Lot 39 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 5ca. chrome-yellow, clean-cut perfs., Setting V, block of four [5-3/6-12], deep colour, cancelled by two complete strikes of Peking seal in blue and additionally by "London/NP" c.d.s. of "Feb 28 85" in red, fine to very fine. Chan 8.
Estimate HK$ 18,000 - 22,000
  Realized HK$40,250
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Lot 40 /() China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 1ca. to 5ca. rough perfs., bright fresh colours, ideal centring, fine to very fine unused, the first with much original gum and the last two without gum. An outstanding set of the rough perfs. issue, which is scarce in unused condition. Chan 10-12.
Estimate HK$ 15,000 - 20,000
  Realized HK$19,550
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Lot 41 China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 1ca. bright green and 3ca. brown-red, rough perfs., fine unused with part original gum, the 1ca. has some gum build up on reverse and the 3ca. has lightly toned gum. Chan 10, 11.
Estimate HK$ 3,000 - 4,000
  Realized HK$8,050
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Lot 42 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 1ca. to 5ca. rough perfs., cancelled by seals, fine to very fine, the 5ca. has trivial creasing. A choice set. Chan 10-12.
Estimate HK$ 6,000 - 8,000
  Realized HK$5,520
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Lot 43 China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 1ca. green, rough perfs., Setting VII, vertical pair [15/10], superb bright colour on white paper, very fine and fresh unused with large part to much original gum, some small adherences. A rare variety which ranks among the finest of the few recorded pairs. Chan 7c.
Estimate HK$ 500,000 - 600,000


Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 22.7.1970, lot 35
Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 24.10.1984, lot 40598
"Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 25.3.1987, lot 4757
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.11.1996, lot A25.

THERE ARE ONLY FIVE 1 CANDARIN IMPERFORATE BETWEEN PAIRS WITH INTACT PERFORATIONS WHICH HAVE SURVIVED.

There are a further five pairs which have had the perforations trimmed and one pair with perforations at sides only.

This imperforate between pair [15/10] and the imperforate between pair [14/25] from the E.H. Finegan (Harmer, Rooke, 14.10.1937, lot 105) and Sir Percival David (Robson Lowe, 6.4.1971, lot 610) collections originally formed a block of four.
  Realized HK$690,000
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Lot 44 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. vermilion, rough perfs., selected examples with shades ranging from pale to deep vermilion and impressions from light (worn) to heavy, including pronounced broken frame at top left corner, cancelled by seals, two have small tones or stains, one is creased and the other two are sound, an excellent representation (5). Chan 11, b.
Estimate HK$ 4,000 - 5,000
  Realized HK$8,625
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Lot 45 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. brown-red and 5ca. chrome-yellow (2 shades), rough perfs., the 3ca. (worn impression) cancelled by "Customs/Chinkiang" double-ring d.s. and both 5ca. cancelled by "Customs/Newchwang" double-ring d.s., fine (3). Chan 11, 12.
Estimate HK$ 4,000 - 5,000
  Realized HK$5,750
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Lot 46 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. vermilion, rough perfs., Setting XV, vertical pair [5/18], lower stamp shows constant plate wear to frame at top left corner, deep luxuriant shade, centrally cancelled by boldly struck Chefoo seal, fine to very fine, insignificant short crease at top. A rare Setting. Chan 11.
Estimate HK$ 7,000 - 9,000


Provenance: E.H. Finegan
Major James Starr, Sotheby's (London), 11.9.1991, lot 67 (incorrectly described as unidentified Setting [5/8]).

Only six positions have been identified to date from Setting XV. These are from the lower two rows of the sheet.
  Realized HK$9,775
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Lot 47 China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. pale red, rough perfs., Setting XVI, vertical strip of three [13/2/24], the top and lower stamps curiously showing somewhat fuzzy impressions while the centre stamp is a clear sharp impression, on small piece, cancelled by two complete strikes of Tientsin seal in blue, additionally tied by trace of matching Customs double-ring d.s. and foreign arrival circular h.s., very fine, the impression of the envelope flap on reverse over which the strip was affixed shows through to front. An important multiple for this Setting. Chan 11.
Estimate HK$ 25,000 - 30,000


Provenance: Bernard Stoloff, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 14.5.1987, lot 2216 (originally identified as Setting XII [13/6/24])
James B. Whang, Christie's Swire (Hong Kong), 3.11.1994, lot 1637
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.11.1996, lot A59.

This is a key multiple, since it places cliché [2] in the second row of the sheet and thereby established one of the positions [13] as belonging in the top row. This is based on its overlapping two rows of the unused block of eight [2-1/24-26/3-21/8-18] from the Godfrey Mellor and Sir Percival David collections (Robson Lowe, 15.5.1969, lot 2159 and 22.7.1970, lot 43).

The strip traditionally had been classified as Setting XII [13/6/24]; however, after the Beckemans correctly identified it as [13/2/24], the existence of a new Setting came about.

This Setting was discovered by the Beckemans, and the Setting number (XVI) attributed to it is an arbitrary one. The distinctive pale brownish red colour, dented framelines and rough perforations are characteristics of this Setting. According to the Beckemans, Setting XVI belongs chronologically between Settings XII and XIII. See their article, "A New Setting for the 3 Candarins - Setting XVI", Journal of Chinese Philately, No. 263 (Aug. 1989), p. 124.
  Realized HK$29,900
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Lot 48 China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 5ca. chrome-yellow, clean-cut perfs., Setting VI, a superlative example [7] from the top left corner of the sheet with complete selvedge on two sides, dazzling colour on brilliant white paper, very fine mint, mounted in top margin only, one perf. a trifle short at right. Chan 9.
Estimate HK$ 12,000 - 15,000


Provenance: Paul Hock, Robson Lowe (Zurich), 19.10.1983, lot 84.
  Realized HK$34,500
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Lot 49 China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 5ca. chrome-yellow, clean-cut perfs., Setting VI, a fabulous block of six [11-3-4/18-5-22] from the lower right corner of the sheet, cliché [22] is the broken plate variety, resplendent colour, near perfect centring, extremely fine and wonderfully fresh unused with much original gum. A striking and noteworthy block. Chan 9, var.
Estimate HK$ 120,000 - 150,000
  Realized HK$138,000
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Lot 50 o China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 5ca. chrome-yellow, rough perfs., Setting VII, block of four [22-5/16-24], deep bright colour, well centred, each stamp cancelled by Peking seal in blue, fine to very fine, small diagonal crease at top right corner. Chan 12.
Estimate HK$ 25,000 - 30,000
  Realized HK$23,000
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