InterAsia Auctions

Our July 18-20, 2015 auction realises US$ 5.8 million

Our recently concluded July 18-20 auction once again brought an excellent realisation of HK$45,332,540 (US$5,846,800), which far surpasses the single sales total of any Asian auction house thus far this year and continues to confirm Interasia's place at the forefront of Chinese philately. Despite worries of market uncertainty due to dramatic falls in the volatile stock markets, the one remaining certainty was the keen interest at all levels for the stamps and postal history of both China and Hong Kong. Another continuing trend was the almost universal collecting interest in Chinese stamps, reflected by buyers literally from around the world, drawn from our unique, unrivalled client list.

The rare and elusive mail from the Ching Dynasty once again brought intense competition and stellar realisations. Only three registered envelopes are recorded with Large Dragons used during the proper period, and this was reflected in the HK$4,370,000 (US$563,600) realisation for the magnificent 1886 registered envelope from Tientsin to Germany franked with the thick paper 5ca. strip of three in combination with France 25c. pair. One of only two recorded examples of the Tienstin type 5 seal on a Large Dragons cover, a 9 candarins rate to Europe, brought HK$517,500 (US$66,750), while an 1897 combination cover to Germany bearing eight examples of the New Currency surcharges including the Small Dragons 5c. on 5ca. and Dowager redrawn 1/2c. on 3ca. nearly tripled its estimate while finishing at HK$333,500 (US$43,000). Among the outstanding realisations in the Classic China stamps were the 1894 Dowager Empress 24ca. vertical imperforate between pair which brought HK$253,000 (US$32,600), the Red Revenue small figures surcharge 2c. on 3c. reconstructed half sheet of fifty with sheet number fetched HK$575,000 (US$74,200), and the superlative 1897 I.C.P. $2 mint block of four mint which far exceeded its presale estimate of HK$160,000 to result in a staggering HK$437,000 (US$56,400).

The later Ching Dynasty saw complete sets of the both C.I.P. watermarked and unwatermarked issues in unused blocks of four snapped up by the same buyer for HK$356,500 (US$46,000) after spirited bidding, while a complete set of Sinkiang 1916-19 overprints on the First Peking printing in unused blocks of four brought HK$161,000 (US$20,800). Among the more esoteric was the exquisite set of twelve die proofs for the 1924-25 Money Order stamps which fetched HK$103,500 (US$13,500).

A choice and unusual array of covers from Tibet, Mongolia, and the Shanghai Local Post System also saw outstanding prices achieved, with the 1914 registered censored envelope from the Russian Post Office in Ulyasutai bearing 20kop. cancelled by the type 1 dater bringing HK$172,500 (US$22,250), and the 1913 Chinese Republic postal stationery card to Vilna cancelled by "Kiachta" bilingual c.d.s. fetching HK$437,000 (US$56,4000). Commercial usages of the Chungking Local Post Dues on incoming covers from the Gold Coast in Africa and Germany went to the same buyer for HK$103,500 (US$13,350) and HK$97,750 (US$12,600) respectively.

Most of the second day of the auction was devoted to the People's Republic of China and the Liberated Areas. With a pre-sale estimate of just over HK$10,000,000, the 632 lots realised 50% above estimate for a total of HK$15,395,400 (US$1,986,000). An assembly of rarely seen perforation and paper varieties of the 1950 Tien An Men 1st printing offered in six lots realised a total of HK$420,950 (US$54,300) after intense bidding. The ever-popular 1952 35th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution unissued set of four with additional "Soviet" characters in the inscription brought HK$253,000 (US$32,600), while the superlative sheet margin example of the 1956 unissued Views of Peking with background of rays of sunlight was fiercely competed for at HK$1,955,000 (US$252,000). An immaculate imperforate mint set of corner blocks of four of the 1962 Stage Art of Mei Lanfang realised HK$345,000 (US$44,500). Rarities from the Cultural Revolution included the 1968 "Whole Country is Red" in an exceptional unmounted mint block of four for HK$3,450,000 (US$445,000), as well as a mint example of the unissued "Great Victory of the Cultural Revolution", which brought HK$862,500 (US$111,200). A complete mint sheet of the 1980 Year of the Monkey 8f. in "post office" fresh unfolded condition brought HK$1,495,000 (US$193,000), one of the highest realisations for this sheet in recent years. The rest of the complete sheets for the 1962-90 period were offered in 100 lots with a realisation of HK$2,297,930 (US$296,400).

The third day of the auction featured Hong Kong and the other Asian countries. Among the more noteworthy realisations was HK$46,000 (US$6,000) for a pristine mint half sheet of the 1863-71 12c. comprised of two panes of sixty, the 1935 Silver Jubilee set of sheet number blocks of four on separate first day covers at HK$40,250 (US$5,200), and a particularly well centred mint example of the 1874-1902 Postal Fiscal $10 rose-carmine which brought HK$59,800 (US$7,700). Universally acknowledged to be the finest extant example of the perf. 12.5 4c. on cover, the 1870 entire from Canton to Lyon bearing in addition a 12c. adhesive to pay the 16 cents rate to France brought HK$161,000 (US$20,800). Small sections of North Korea and an unusual assembly of Bhutan featuring essays and proofs both brought keen competition, while the highlight of a fine selection of Japanese Occupation of Malaya was the very rare mint block of four of the 1942 Malacca $1 with a complete strike of the Malacca chop, which realised HK$74,750 (US$9,650).

All realisations include the 15% buyer's premium.

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