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Sale 32

Lot 433

China, 1897 Red Revenue small figures surcharge 2c. on 3c. red, surcharge in black-green (dark green), position 11, exceptionally deep and distinctive dark green colour, highlighted by the rich deep colour of the stamp, outstanding centring, very fine unused with large part original gum, two paper hinge remnants and light diagonal crease, nevertheless a very fine and definitive example for this great rarity. Chan 84Ta.
Estimate HK$ 1,000,000 - 1,200,000

Expertisation: B.P.A. certificate (2012).

This is the catalogue listed black-green surcharge (Chan 84Ta), which, in actual fact, is known as the dark green surcharge by Chinese specialists. There are two theories as to how this variety occurred. The most plausible theory is that there was one setting of twenty stamps which had a black surcharge applied directly over the green trial surcharge due to the surcharge plate not having been properly cleaned. To date, there are only two properly documented examples of this exceptionally rare variety, which is listed in the Chan catalogue as 84Ta. According to a fairly recent study of this stamp in Postal History Research, No. 24 (March, 2007) by Mr. Wang Tong, there were at least two instances of the surcharge plates being insufficiently cleaned, thereby resulting in this phenomenon of a green-black surcharge. In the case of the two previous historically documented examples (one being from the Dr. Robert C.H. Lee collection), this was almost a sort of "quasi-double" suffused surcharge with the black being applied directly over the existing green ink on the surcharge plate. The example of this surcharge (ex Dr. Robert C.H. Lee collection) in the "Sun" collection sold by Matthew Bennett matches that of the above-offered stamp, in that it has a heavier impression around the outside of the characters and hollow in the middle. According to Mr. Wang's article, there was then a second or intermediary surcharge printing, which was a mixture of the surcharging inks.

This dark green surcharge is not to be confused with the green trial surcharge, since the setting of twenty for the dark green surcharge is based on that composed for the black.

Realized HK$ 1,500,000

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