InterAsia Auctions

Our January 11-14, 2014 auction realises over US$ 10.5 Million
2014's Largest Auction of China & Hong Kong

Our January 11-14 auction was a resounding success with a total realisation of HK$81,846,075 (US$10,554,000), making it the third largest auction ever of Chinese and Hong Kong stamps anywhere in the world (exceeded only by two auctions of ours in prior years). The sale was the most diverse we have ever had, including specialised sections of many subjects and issues, along with major rarities. The auction showed keen interest at all levels and a vibrant market, with strong prices across the board for both stamps and postal history. We likewise saw interest from buyers literally from around the world, reflecting both Chinese stamps' position as a subject collected seriously throughout the world and our unique, unrivalled client list. The large room bidder contingent, with participants not only from Greater China but also from as far away as the U.S., was handsomely complemented by 60 telephone bidders, as well as hundreds of mail bidders and strong participation through our live-auction internet bidding, producing this historic result.

Among the outstanding realizations, in the Classic China, the rare 1878-85 Large Dragons covers were particularly fiercely competed over, with the "Postage already paid/Do not demand, do not pay" framed handstamp cover (one of only two such recorded usages) bringing HK$1,955,000 (versus a presale estimate of HK$1,000,000) and the outstanding Large Dragons-U.S. combination cover realizing HK$1,840,000 (presale estimate HK$1,000,000). (All prices realised include the 15% buyer's premium.) The ever-popular 1897 Red Revenue stamps saw a used part sheet of 80 of the Small 2c. sell for HK$1,380,000 and a spectacular used corner pane of 25 of the Large 4c. realize HK$920,000. In the Republic period, the set of imprint blocks of four of the 1914-19 first Peking printing Junk set brought a robust HK$1,150,000.

People's Republic of China likewise showed many strong realizations, highlighted by the HK$5,060,000 paid by its new owner for the 1968 unissued large format "Whole Country is Red" from the Cultural Revolution period (presale estimate HK$3,500,000), of which less than ten examples are thought to exist and which the previous owner had purchased four years earlier at another Interasia auction for HK$3,450,000. Depicting workers, peasants and soldiers before a map of China with one worker holding up Mao's little red book, it was to be part of a set commemorating the Great Victory of the Cultural Revolution, but is thought to have been rejected because of its large size and ordered destroyed.

Other notable People's Republic realizations included HK$1,725,000 for the mint marginal 1968 unissued Victory stamp (presale estimate HK$400,000); HK$1,610,000 for the superb example of the 1953 unissued Navy military stamp (presale estimate HK$1,000,000); as well as HK$1,150,000 for the pristine mint marginal example with printer's imprint of the 1968 issued "Whole Country is Red" vertical-format stamp, the most iconic stamp of the People's Republic (presale estimate HK$600,000).

Liberated Areas were likewise keenly followed, highlighted by the 134-lot Hugh Lawrence exhibition collection of the East China Liberated Area, alone bringing a staggering HK$2,802,435 - five times its HK$506,000 presale estimate - reflecting the increasing popularity of the forerunners to the People's Republic, as well as the outstanding nature of this collection formed in the U.S. over many years.

In Taiwan, the three 1883-84 covers from the early Customs Post in Southern Taiwan to the Princely State of Oldenburg in Germany brought a staggering HK$5,922,500 (versus a presale estimate HK$1,700,000), with the 1884 registered envelope alone bringing a riveting HK$2,990,000 after fierce bidding. The "Y.C.C." collection of Taiwan Flying Geese likewise brought a very nice HK$1,633,285 - more than double its HK$612,000 presale estimate - including HK$575,000 for the unused blocks of four of the first issue.

The large Chinese Local Posts offering proved - like other parts of the auction - very popular, highlighted by the first part of the magnificent Elling O. Eide collection, one of the finest Chinese Local Posts collection ever formed, which alone brought over HK$4.2 million. Among the outstanding realisations, the Wei-Hai-Wei 1895 incoming envelope from Northern Ireland showing the "Liukuntau Telegraphs" double-ring bilingual handstamp brought HK$460,000 and the Wei-Hai-Wei 1898 Local first issue/China/Hong Kong triple combination cover to England HK$230,000. (The remaining portion of this important collection will be offered in our next auction.) This pattern of strong results continued in the China postal stationery, postal history and foreign post offices.

Hong Kong and Treaty Ports stamps and covers were also closely followed. Particularly gratifying was the keen interest in the stamps themselves, confirming the renewed interest in this area that had been somewhat dormant only a few years back. The specialised section of the 1891 Jubilee issue for example saw the used block of 12 bring HK$43,700, a pair on a local envelope to the Peak HK$74,750, and two examples on a piece used in Amoy along with a QV 7c. on 10c. HK$25,300. Meanwhile the postal history has maintained and most likely increased in popularity, with the 1890 2c. postal fiscal on cover during its proper period of use bringing HK$46,000, the 1859 incoming envelope to Amoy from Singapore bearing the India 4a bisect HK$207,000 and the 1932 registered envelope from the Shanghai postal strike emergency service to Italy with the service's coupons affixed HK$115,000.

Our customary Other Asian Countries section, including Japan, Korea and Philippines Revolutionary era postal history, nicely concluded the outstanding sale.

All realisations include the 15% buyer's premium.

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