InterAsia Auctions

Sale 68

Lot 24


China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. brown-red, clean-cut perfs., Unknown Setting, vertical pair [26/8?], variety imperforate between, bright colour, excellent impression, cancelled by Tientsin seal in blue, small wedge shaped piece cut out of top and minor age spot in margin between stamps, fine appearance for this very rare variety. Chan 8j.
Estimate HK$ 400,000 - 500,000

Provenance: Philippe Renotière de Ferrary, Gilbert (Paris), Sale XIII, 22-24.4.1925, lot 490
Arthur Hind, H.R. Harmer (New York), 21.5.1935, lot 109
Major James Starr, Sotheby's (London), 11.9.1991, lot 105.


This is undoubtedly the most historical example of this iconic variety from a philatelic aspect, with a pedigree dating back to the Ferrary collection (1925), which was universally recognised as the greatest stamp collection ever formed, and the nearly comparable Hind collection (1935), from which Major James Starr acquired this variety ten years after the famous textile industrialist's agent had purchased it in the Ferrary auction in Paris.

The four recorded imperforate between pairs are :

1.) Unknown Setting [26/8?]. Philippe Renotière de Ferrary, Gilbert (Paris), Sale XIII, 22-24.4.1925, lot 490; Arthur Hind, H.R. Harmer (New York), 21.5.1935, lot 109; Major James Starr, Sotheby's (London), lot 105. This is the Olsson example.

2.) Unknown Setting [24/14]. Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 22.10.1970, lot 38; Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Geneva), 24.10.1984, lot 40604; Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Zurich), 7.11.1996, lot A46; M.F. Huang, Zurich Asia (Hong Kong), 21.6.2003, lot 59.

3.) Setting XII [26/21]. Dr. Warren G. Kauder, Robson Lowe (London), 10.11.1971, lot 99; Mizuhara Meiso, Spink (Hong Kong), 17.1.2016, lot 1640.

4.) Unknown Setting. Interasia (Hong Kong), 28.4.2012 lot 75.

In addition, there are nine examples (including two rejoined horizontal pairs) with imperforate margins at top or foot indicating that these came from vertical imperforate between pairs and had been separated either by scissors or roughly separated. Furthermore, two stamps actually show portions of the adjoining stamp in the imperforate margin at the top, and one of these stamps originally formed a remarkable horizontal pair [20-11] with another example.

Realized HK$ 460,000

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