InterAsia Auctions

Our December 4-7, 2017 auction realises US$8.7 million

Our second auction of this year continued our market leading role with a realisation of HK$68,272,545 (US$8,737,000; all realisations include the 15% buyer's premium), well exceeding the pre-sale estimate of HK$50 million, and just surpassing our outstanding April result. This brings the total auction sales for the year 2017 to HK$133,305,332 (US$17,106,000), an affirmation of our handling the finest, rarest and most desirable stamps and postal history in the Hong Kong and China fields of philately and postal history, as well as the most comprehensive and extensive offering. All of this contributes to Interasia's unique ability to achieve the highest realisations and best results for its consignors. In terms of rarities, it is interesting to note that in 2017 we sold 20 single lots with realisations over HK$1,000,000 each, of which two exceeded HK$2,000,000 each.

The second dedicated auction of the Jane and Dan Sten Olsson collection of Large Dragons once again kicked off the four day series of sales, realising HK$15,798,355 against a pre-sale estimate of HK$6,756,000. The essays and proofs were keenly competed for, with the imperforate plate proof of the Elephant essay on thick paper bringing HK$747,500 and the complete sheet of the Large Dragon essay of the 3ca. with extra circle on thick paper rising to HK$1,610,000, while the issued stamps saw the thick paper 5ca. Setting V complete sheet of twenty without sheet margins realise HK$1,610,000. Interestingly, a complete sheet of the 5ca. from the equally rare Setting VA had brought only HK$420,000 in one of our competitors' 2016 Mizuhara auction. There was fierce competition for the seven choice envelopes on offer, which brought an aggregate realisation of HK$6,915,000, with the earliest recorded Large Dragons cover to the U.S. finishing at HK$2,3000,000 against a presale estimate of HK$1,200,000, and the Large Dragons-Hong Kong combination cover garnering HK$1,150,000.

Day One continued with the equally exciting and important Paramount collection, which was replete with varieties and outstanding postal history from the 1878-97 issues, as well as an exceptional array of postal stationery card usages and cancellations. The trend of staggering realizations continued. An unused vertical imperforate between pair of the 1ca. brought HK$920,000, while pristine mint vertical imperforate between pairs of the Small Dragons rough perfs. 1ca. and 5ca. finished at HK$402,500 and HK$575,000 respectively to two different bidders. The magnificent Small Dragons-France combination cover to Scotland bearing the Small Dragons 1ca. to 5ca. set in pairs cancelled by the rare "Customs/Taku" double-ring d.s. in red brought HK$402,500. Among the New Currency surcharges, the extremely fine mint quality of the small figures 10c. on 9ca. with surcharge double was reflected in the HK$483,000 realisation. The Hangchow dollar dater on a 2c. on 2ca. cover originating in the Min Chu Post was knocked down at HK$320,000 (HK$368,000) to a keen internet bidder against a HK$60,000 pre-sale estimate, while the fantastic single franking of the 30c. on 24ca. on a registered cover from Kiukiang to Mauritius was fought over at HK$483,000. Finally, the 35 lot section of postal stationery cards realised HK$1,292,945 against a pre-sale estimate of HK$498,200.

The first part of the General Sale brought an end to the exciting first day, with a choice array of Customs and early Imperial Post postal history. The undoubted highlight was the unique "Pagoda Anchorage/Customs/Mail Matter" usage on 1897 envelope to Canton with the bilingual "Paid" h.s. When the competition between two phone bidders ended, the price of HK$805,000 left many in the room transfixed. A Small Dragon cover bearing a 3ca. in combination with the Wuhu Customs Mail Matter handstamp brought HK$276,000, while a December 1896 early example of the Chinese Imperial Post Office Peking provisional Postage Paid handstamp rose to HK$299,000. When the day's session was concluded, a realisation of HK$36,135,990 had been chalked up for the nearly 800 lots sold on the opening Monday.

Day Two saw two significant collections of the Red Revenues surcharges come under the hammer. A very fine mint example of the small 4c. on 3c. realised HK$322,000 and a top sheet margin mint block of four of the large $1 on 3c. was HK$$575,000. There was considerable interest in the cancellations and covers with a strip of three of the small 2c. on 3c. cancelled by two strikes of the "Pagoda Anchorage/Customs/Mail Matter" handstamp competed for up to HK$74,500, and the sole instance of a Red Revenue stamp on cover being cancelled by the "Amoy" dollar dater bringing HK$299,000.

The third of the one owner catalogues to come up for auction in the morning was that featuring the treasures of the Silver Yuan stamps and postal history from the legendary pioneer student William E. Jones. Fifty-seven items of this small but choice offering from this renowned student, which had never appeared on the market before, brought HK$1,196,230. The 1949 (3 Nov.) envelope from Kunming to Chentu bearing the Yunnan Silver Yuan Full Value surcharged stamps was acquired for HK$161,000 after spirited bidding, while the immensely rare commercial usage of a pair and single of two of the Watlam Provisional values on cover went to a happy bidder at HK$172,500.

The afternoon and early evening session was devoted to the People's Republic and Liberated Areas. The rarities of the Soviet Post were once again highly sought after. The 1933 Red Flags 3c. green was HK$218,500, the Chinese Soviet Northwest Area Shanxi 1935 8c. blue brought a determined HK$333,500, and a rare strip of three of the Chinese Republic Post 1937 1c. greyish green was hammered down at HK$170,000 (HK$195,500) in spite of two stamps being cut into. A fine used example of the iconic "Whole Country is Red" sold for HK$437,000. The P.R.C. general issues showed renewed strength in the early and middle periods, a welcome development after a number of years of market softness. Three of the Year of the Monkey sheets brought a total of HK$4,370,000, while an unmounted mint assembly of the "J" and "T" series in complete sheets divided into seventy-five lots realised HK$1,687,970.

The third day's auction saw completely different collecting areas on offer. A specialised collection of the Shanghai Local Post System attracted a number of new collectors, resulting in realisations well over the estimates across the board. Most remarkable was the small section of artwork, essays and die proofs for the 1893 Jubilee of the First Settlement 2 cents commemorative issue. This unique ensemble of six lots (ex Dr. Wei-liang Chow) saw a fierce battle between two bidders resulting in a realisation of HK$488,750 against a pre-sale estimate of HK$70,000. The first lot of the group, the pen and ink drawing of the proposed stamp by Robert A. de Villard brought an astounding HK$253,000, which was just over ten times the original estimate. The Amoy Local Post 1895 lithographed 2c. blue Stones I and II sheet and part sheet on cardboard paper brought strong competition at HK$135,700.

The Foreign Post Offices were highlighted by the exceedingly rare Russian Post Office at Imyanpo money transfer card which realised HK$115,000. It is interesting to note that the famous Dr. Raymond Casey collection only had an example of this post office as an arrival cancellation. The continuing popularity and desirability of Chinese postal history was further emphasized by a collection of I-Chan envelopes and documents from 1816-1935. All 19 lots from this collection were fiercely competed for, resulting in a total of HK$1,403,000 against a pre-sale estimate of HK$141,500. The first item, an 1896 official envelope from the Governor of Hunan Province to Long Jian Guan with the "Pai Dan" still intact, was won by a floor bidder against a phone bidder at HK$460,000 to loud applause from the auction room. The Taiwan 1981 10th National Congress of the Kuomintang prepared for use but not issued $2 brought HK$368,000. The day concluded with strong competition for the Tibet, Japanese Occupation of South East Asia, and North Korea.

As has been our traditional order, the fourth day was devoted to Hong Kong, which featured Philippe Orsetti's incomparable collection of the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong and a number of his other original studies, which were keenly competed over. Philippe's example of the unique 1891 2c. carmine with "S.D." overprint inverted was acquired by an undeterred phone bidder against a keen room bidder for a handsome HK$598,000, with both collectors appreciating that this represented the only chance to acquire this great rarity, which, by the way, is also one of the highest prices achieved for a single Hong Kong stamp. The popularity of the extensive postal stationery section was reflected in the HK$80,500 realisation for the 1900 surcharge 4c. on 3c. outgoing used reply card with the variety surcharge inverted. Among the Treaty Ports, the splendid 1877 envelope from Amoy to the U.S.A. from the Culbertson correspondence bearing 4c. and 8c., cancelled "D27" stood out. With the impeccable provenance of Ishikawa, D'Almada, and Beckeman, it realised HK$115,000, and will no doubt grace an outstanding postal history exhibit one day.

All realisations include the 15% buyer's premium.

Our next auction will be our Tenth Anniversary sale and will take place in June 2018. If it is time to sell your collection, or you have a collection or individual items you are no longer interested in, don't hesitate to contact us and take advantage of our preeminent market position, worldwide customer list, extensive advertising and promotion, renowned expertise and unrivalled reputation. We already have a number of outstanding collections and important items in house, as this marks the Tenth Anniversary of Interasia Auctions, so why not take advantage of this noteworthy occasion.

We are, of course, always available to answer your philatelic questions and help you with your philatelic needs.

Thank you again for your participation in the auction.

Our best wishes for the Holiday Season and 2018.

All realisations include the 15% buyer's premium.

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