InterAsia Auctions

Our April 28 - May 1 Auctions Realise HK$ 59 Million
2012's Largest Auction of China & Hong Kong

Our April 28 - May1 auction of China, Hong Kong and Asian stamps and postal history was another successful sale in the Interasia tradition and realised HK$ 58,954,233 (over US$ 7.575 million), making it the largest auction of China and Hong Kong stamps and postal history this year anywhere in the world.


The large and diverse China offering was well followed, with many of the rarities setting new records. The Large Dragon 3ca. imperf. between used vertical pair brought HK$ 1,840,000, the Small Dragon 5ca. used block of four with two imperf. between horizontal pairs HK$ 977,500, the Red Revenue small 2c. double surcharge (reperfed at foot) HK$ 1,150,000, the Red Revenue mint small 4c. HK$ 747,500, and the 1898 C.I.P. $5 imperf. between horizontal pair HK$ 402,500. The Chinese postal history likewise showed many outstanding realisations, highlighted by the incoming 1883 Germany/Large Dragon combination cover, which brought a strong HK$ 1,725,000 and an 1892 registered Small Dragon cover to Copenhagen HK$230,000.

The Milan Pittman Silver Yuan collection attracted serious collector interest from literally all over the globe, with the 168 lot offering presented in a separate catalogue (the first time we are aware that this subject has been so presented by a major auction firm) bringing in total HK$ 2,310,695, highlighted by the Hupeh unissued 5c. and 30c. surcharges on the $20 Revenue (HK$ 195,500) and the three West Szechwan unissued Registered Mail Unit stamps(HK$ 149,500).

The Postal Stationery similarly saw a 1916 "Sinkiang" card to Canton with Hung Hsien first year arrival and transit cancellations realising HK$ 276,000, while the Taiwan Horse and Dragon "Taipei to Sikow" resurcharged in red "Sikow" 5c. on 5c. on 20cash red double surcharge brought a staggering HK$ 690,000. In the Foreign Post Offices, the specialised offering of I.P.O. tie-prints saw many lots fetch multiples of the estimate.

People's Republic of China

The large offering of People's Republic showed the continuation of trends we had been seeing recently, with strong interest in postal history and more marked price differentiation between excellent quality examples in the pre-1970 stamps and lesser quality examples, as well as keen interest in both the stamps and postal history of the Liberated Areas. Highlights included the Northeast China 1951 demonetized $260 on $2500 lettersheet formular usage (HK$ 598,000), the Port Arthur and Dairen 1949 uprated $25 Worker stationery card (with Plane, Ship, Train and Truck design on reverse) to North Korea (HK$ 552,000), and the complete sheets of the 1967 Mao Thoughts (W1) red and gold frame strips (offered with a corner block of ten of the Chairman Mao single stamp)(HK$ 575,000).

Hong Kong and Treaty Ports

The section included a nice range of both stamps and scarce postal history, with both seeing keen competition and strong prices. In the Hong Kong, the unique 1898 registered envelope to Foochow bearing both the 10c. on 30c. without Chinese character surcharge and the 10c. on 30c. with large Chinese character surcharge brought HK$ 80,500, the 1891 envelope with the Jubilee block of four with one showing the tall K variety HK$ 63,250 and the 11 December 1941 envelope with the latest recorded date for the "Detained in Hong Kong/by Japanese..." handstamp a record HK$ 74,750. The Treaty Ports likewise showed strong interest and results, highlighted by many stellar realisations in the early Canton and Shanghai postal history, including the 1838 letter from Canton to London showing two Crutched Cross inspector's handstamps annulling a pair of different "India Letter/Hastings" handstamps (HK$ 172,500) and the 1839 letter from Canton to London showing the possibly unique usage of the U.K. "Rebate/Ship Letter Office" datestamp on mail from China HK$ 103,500.

Other Asian Countries

The North Korea collection from Steve Hasegawa found interested buyers from around the world with the rare stamps realising well above estimate. The select offering of Philippines early postal history was likewise very well received, and we are looking forward to offering additional covers from this exciting collection in future auctions.

All realisations include the 15% buyer's premium. Our next auction will be in November/December.

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