InterAsia Auctions



World Records Shattered at Largest-Ever Auction of China Stamps

March 1, 2011, Hong Kong) - Confirming that there's big demand in stamps - particularly Chinese and People's Republic stamps - world records were shattered at the largest-ever stamp auction in Hong Kong held by Interasia Auctions February 26-28 at the Park Lane Hotel. The 3,000-lot sale produced a record total realisation of HK$ 98,718,461 (US$ 12,674,089) (all realisations are inclusive of the 15% buyer's premium) eclipsing the pre-sale estimate of HK$50 million (US$6.45 million). Before a standing-room-only crowd in the auction room, as well as hundreds of mail, telephone and internet bidders from around the world, the sale smashed the world record for an auction of Chinese and Hong Kong stamps.

Highlighting the sale, the unique 1968 Mao's Inscription to Japanese Worker Friends corner block of four from the Cultural Revolution era brought a staggering HK$ 8,970,000 (US$ 1,151,630), setting a new world record for a Chinese stamp at auction. This great rarity - which was never issued because of objections from the Japanese government about its potential to incite the Japanese populace - is understood to be the largest existing multiple and probably the only surviving block of four of the stamp. It was the centrepiece of an award-winning collection of Cultural Revolution issues offered by Interasia that anchored an over 600-lot keenly competed-over section of People's Republic that realised HK$ 28,749,137 (US$ 3,691,011) in total and included, among its eye-popping prices, another world record of HK$ 2,530,000 (US$ 324,818) for the unissued 1968 Victory of the Cultural Revolution stamp and HK$ 1,725,000 (US$ 221,467) for an unused set of the 1958 Student Union Congress errors with incorrect inscriptions.

Classic China likewise was highly sought after and produced extraordinary prices. A specialised offering of China's first stamps - the 1878-85 Large Dragons - was widely followed and realised HK$ 15,857,580 (US$ 2,046,140), with outstanding individual prices, including HK$ 920,000 (US$ 118,116) for an Elephant Design Essay pair, HK$ 805,000 (US$ 103,352) for the 1882 Wide Margin 5ca mint pair and HK$ 1,092,500 (US$ 140,263) for an 1883-85 1ca imperforate between vertical pair.

In the Republic period, a magnificent mint corner example of the 1914-19 $2 Hall of Classics inverted centre error (one of two recorded corner examples of this popular error of which only 30 examples are known) set another record at HK$ 1,955,000 (US$ 250,998) against a presale estimate of HK $900,000-1,200,000 and a complete set of the printer's die proofs for the 1940-47 issues printed by the American Bank Note Company HK$ 1,840,000 (US$ 236,233) against a presale estimate of HK$ 650,000-800,000.

Taiwan saw substantial interest in both the Classic issues as well as the modern period, with the new-found interest no doubt in part from its being viewed now as a collectible subject in the Mainland with the increased economic and other ties and integration. Among the highlights, an 1886 official envelope with Taiwan's first issue brought HK$ 1,840,000 (US$ 236,233) and an 1885 envelope with the earliest usage of Taiwan's 1885 "Commercial Postage Stamp for Public Use" HK$ 1,380,000 (US$ 177,175). Hong Kong, which has been relatively quiet philatelically for a number of years, showed renewed interest, with buyers keenly fighting over important postal history items, sparked by the offering of the "Alicante" collection, a lifetime study of Hong Kong postal history and markings from one of the preeminent postal historians of our time. Likewise, in the Hong Kong stamps, a newly discovered unique Hong Kong major rarity, the 1897 Postal Fiscal $1 on $2 olive-green mint with diagonal Chinese handstamp omitted (in error), brought HK$ 253,000 (US$ 32,482).

Interasia founder Dr Jeffrey Schneider commented: "We had expected a very good sale and perhaps another record, but to realise almost HK$ 100 million and shatter the world record of HK$ 61.5 million we had set in our Summer 2010 sale is absolutely extraordinary and personally takes me aback a little. Philately has a special place in Chinese culture, with rare stamps regarded as important cultural icons and treasures, just like art, and thus fiercely competed over. However, we are seeing a level of interest and excitement in People's Republic stamps that is absolutely breathtaking, with many increasing 200 per cent or more in value in the past two or three years in a white-hot market. We are also seeing this heightened interest impacting Classic Chinese stamps and other Chinese philatelic areas including Taiwan, with interest from Greater China and Asia as well as North America and Europe."

About Interasia Auctions

Hong Kong-based Interasia Auctions is the pre-eminent auctioneer worldwide for China, Hong Kong and Asian stamps and postal history. Its founders, Jeffrey Schneider and Cecilia Vong have over 40 years combined experience, expertise and marketing acumen in the field of Chinese and Asian philately.

With a proven track record of obtaining the best material and highest prices for China, Hong Kong, Thailand and other Asia stamps, and long-standing personal relationships with the major collectors throughout the World, Interasia Auctions holds twice-a-year auctions in Hong Kong -- the center of Asian philately. These auctions bring together buyers and sellers from Asia, North America and Europe, making Interasia Auctions the leading auction firm for China, Hong Kong and Asian stamps and postal history.


Dr. Jeffrey Schneider, Director, Interasia Auctions



Dr. Jeffrey Schneider holds the 1968 Chairman Mao's Incscription to Japanese Worker Friends,
which sold for HK$ 8,970,000 (US$ 1,151,630)



People's Republic 1968 unissued Great Victory of the Cultural Revolution,
which sold for HK$2,530,000 (US$324,818)



People's Republic 1968 Chairman Mao's Inscription to Japanese Worker Friends,
which sold for HK$ 8,970,000 (US$ 1,151,630)



People's Republic 1968 "Whole Country is Red" 8f. unused)
realised HK$ 690,000 (US$ 89,032 and used HK$ 747,500 (US$ 96,451)



Part of the China's 1878-85 Large Dragons Collection, Elephant Design Essay pair,
which sold for HK$ 920,000 (US$ 118,710)



Part of China's 1878-85 Large Dragons Collection, the 1882 Wide Margin 5ca pair,
which sold for HK$ 805,000 (US$ 103,352)



An 1883-85 1ca imperforate between vertical pair sold for HK$ 1,092,500 (US$ 140,263)



Part of China's 1885-88 Small Dragon covers, 1887 envelope to England, with Small Dragon set of three,
cancelled by "Customs/Newchwang" datestamp,
which sold for HK$ 437,000 (US$ 56,387)



1914-19 $2 Hall of Classics inverted center error (one of two recorded corner examples of this popular error
of which only 30 examples are known) set another record at HK$ 1,955,000 (US$ 250,998)
against a presale estimate of HK $900,000-1,200,000



A complete set of the printer's die proofs for the 1940-47 issues printed by the American Bank Note Company,
sold for HK$ 1,840,000 (US$ 236,233)



1897 Postal Fiscal $1 on $2 olive-green mint with diagonal Chinese handstamp omitted,
which sold for HK$ 253,000 (US$ 32,482)







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