InterAsia Auctions

Interasia Auctions Breaks World Records and Realizes over HK$62,000,000 in Largest Auction of Chinese Stamps of 2012

World records for Chinese stamps tumbled at an auction of China and Hong Kong stamps and postal history held by Hong Kong-based Interasia Auctions, the preeminent auctioneer for China, Hong Kong and Asian stamps and postal history. The 3,800-lot, four-day December 15-18 event was widely followed by serious collectors, producing a total realization of HK$62,294,005 (US$8,000,000) making it the largest auction of Chinese and Hong Kong stamps worldwide in 2012.

The stand-out piece - a block of four of the People's Republic 1968 "Whole Country is Red" showing the printer's imprint in the sheet margin - was bought for a staggering HK$6,325,000 (US$816,000), eclipsing the previous record set earlier this year when another exceedingly rare block of four of this iconic stamp, without imprint, brought RMB 4,600,000 (US$738,000) at an auction in Beijing. The "Whole Country is Red," which was withdrawn almost immediately after its issuance in November 1968 at the height of the Cultural Revolution, shows the island of Taiwan in white in contrast to the red-colored Mainland, and is believed to have been withdrawn for this reason.

1968 iconic "The Whole Country is Red" imprint block of four breaks world record selling for HK$6,325,000.

Other People's Republic highlights included the 1964 20f. Dou Er Dun from the exceedingly rare unissued 1964 Peking Opera Masks series bringing HK$1,092,500 (versus a presale estimate of HK$750,000-900,000) and a used example of the unissued 1956 Views of Peking Sun Rays bringing HK$552,000 (against a presale estimate of HK$400,000-500,000).

Classic China stamps likewise featured record-breaking realizations with the Small 2c. black-green surcharge from the ever-popular 1897 Red Revenue series bringing HK$1,725,000 (versus a presale estimate of HK$1,000,000-1,200,000) and the Small 4c. pair from the same series bringing a staggering HK$2,070,000 (versus a presale estimate of HK$1,000,000-1,200,000). Items of Postal history - the study of mailed envelopes and letters and postal arrangements - were similarly keenly competed over, highlighted by the 1879 envelope with China's first stamp-issue Large Dragons showing the very rare "Post Office/Chinkiang" cancellation bringing HK$1,380,000 (versus the presale estimate of HK$1,000,000-1,200,000).

There was similarly keen interest in the Hong Kong and Treaty Ports stamps and postal history, with a 1780 letter from Canton to Trieste, representing one of the earliest letters from China showing postal markings, bringing a riveting HK$241,500 among keen competition (a multiple of its HK$60,000-80,000 presale estimate), highlighting an extensive and avidly competed-over offering of early carried letters from before Hong Kong's issuance of stamps in 1862.

Dr. Jeffrey Schneider, Director of Interasia Auctions and an international expert in Chinese and Asian philately, commented: "We are thrilled at the outcome of this week's auction, showing strong and keen collector interest in both China and Hong Kong stamps and postal history notwithstanding the economic and market headwinds that had been thought to be buffeting the market. We are honoured to be the barometer of prices and market direction and are privileged to present the most extensive and valuable offerings for serious collectors. We look forward to continuing our market leadership role, as well as encouraging the growth of serious collectors and philatelic scholarship."

1897 Red Revenue small figures 2c black-green surcharge - sold for HK$1,725,000.

1879 envelope with China Large Dragon 1ca. strip of three cancelled by the very rare Post Office/Chinkiang- sold for HK$1,380,000

All realisations include the 15% buyer's premium.

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