InterAsia Auctions



Sale 72



 
Lot 1

E

China, The Elephant Design (Unaccepted) : Imperforate plate proof of 5 cash black on thin native laid paper, rough perforation 12½, horizontal pair [71-72] with sheet margin at left, excellent colour and sharp impression on this delicate paper which has remarkably retained its overall freshness, well centred with intact perforations, very fine state of conservation for this rare and elusive essay.
Estimate HK$ 200,000 - 250,000


Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 4.10.1967, lot 3. This was a block of fifteen with sheet margin at left, which was subsequently split up over the years into blocks, strips, pairs and singles. The lot offered above emanates from this block, originally having been the lower left pair. The lower left marginal horizontal strip of four taken from the original block was in the Giulio Mochi collection (David Feldman, 24.10.1984, lot 40552) and then further split into two pairs in the "Ming" collection.
"Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 25.3.1987, lot 4734.

References: Sir Percival David, "Sketches, Essays, and Proofs of China's First Issue," The London Philatelist, Vol. VIII, No. 676 (March, 1949), pp. 33-37.
Jeffrey S. Schneider, "Plating the Elephant Essay", Journal of China Philately, Vol. 1 (2006), pp. 262-266.
Dr. Ji Sun, "The Elephant Essay Resurfaces after 100 Years," The China Clipper, Vol. 74, No. 6 (June, 2008), pp. 231-233.
Zhao Yue and Dr. Jeffrey Schneider, "A Study of the Elephant Essay as the Proofs of the Large Dragon Issue," Jiyou, No. 27 (Beijing, 2018), pp. 188-195.

From our records of multiples, we have reconstructed a left sheet margin block of fifty (10 x 5) from blocks of twenty-five, fifteen, six and four. These represent the bottom half of the sheet of one hundred. The blocks of fifteen and six were subsequently split into lesser multiples and singles. We have no record of any examples which do not originate from these blocks.

Research indicates that these essays were printed in the sheet format of one hundred, of which only fifty perforated examples have survived.


Realized HK$747,500



 
Lot 55



China, 1884 (27 May) neat envelope to Troy, New York bearing on reverse Large Dragons thick paper 3ca. red-brown, cancelled and tied by Ichang seal and additionally tied by "San Francisco, Cal./Paid All" c.d.s. (10.7) in red, with superb matching "Customs/Ichang" origin c.d.s. and "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. of "Jun 1 84" alongside, and on front U.S. Taylor 5c. blue, cancelled by barred cork h.s. in red and showing "U.S. Postal Ag'cy/Shanghai" matching c.d.s. also in red adjacent, with "Troy, N.Y./Rec'd." arrival c.d.s. on reverse, the envelope is opened out for display, extremely fine and flawless; among the rarest and most exceptional of all the combination covers. A stunning cover of immense grandeur and importance. Chan 8.
Estimate HK$ 1,500,000 - 2,000,000


Provenance: Dr. Warren G. Kauder, Robson Lowe (London), 2.5.1972, lot 68
James Huangco
Chen Sun-Sing
Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 24.10.1984, lot 40630
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.11.1996, lot A200.

References: James B. Whang, A Comprehensive Illustration on Covers of Chinese Large Dragons (Taipei: Whang's Philatelic Foundation, 1997), pp. 406-407.

ONLY TWO LARGE DRAGON COVERS ARE RECORDED USED FROM ICHANG. THE OTHER COVER (EX DR. WARREN G. KAUDER AND JAMES B. WHANG) IS FROM THE SAME CORRESPONDENCE AND IS DATED 19 AUGUST 1885, BUT THE LARGE DRAGON STAMP IS NOT TIED.

The 3 candarins domestic rate and 5 cents for foreign postage to the U.S.A. with both stamps applied by the sender at the time of posting.

A Brief Census of the Eleven Extant Large Dragon - U.S. combination frankings :
Chinkiang - 2
Ichang - 2
Tientsin - 5
Incoming - 2.


Realized HK$3,450,000



 
Lot 51



China, 1880 (22 Apr.) envelope from Lurgan to William Hancock, Imperial Customs, Peking bearing Great Britain line engraved 2d. blue and surface printed 1d. Venetian red strip of three, cancelled by "Lurgan/316" duplex, in combination with Large Dragons 3ca., rough perfs., with sheet margin at right, cancelled by "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring d.s. of "May 31 80", with another very fine strike of the Customs dater and "Singapore/To Hong Kong/A" marine sorter c.d.s. (22.5) on reverse, two Great Britain stamps have small faults due to application just over the edge of the envelope. A rare and alluring cover from the Hancock correspondence. A fantastic exhibition item. Chan 3.
Estimate HK$ 800,000 - 1,000,000


Provenance: J. Grant Glassco, Robson Lowe (London), 27.11.1969, lot 1393
Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 24.10.1984, lot 40623
"The Opening of China 1701-1885. A Study of Mail to and from China", Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 12.11.1987, lot 3129.

References: James B. Whang, A Comprehensive Illustration on Covers of Chinese Large Dragons (Taipei: Whang's Philatelic Foundation, 1997), pp. 138-139.
Jeffrey S. Schneider, "Incoming Mail from Overseas to China bearing Large Dragons Stamps," The Large Dragon Stamp and the Customs Post of the Qing Dynasty, 140th Anniversary (Beijing, 2018), pp. 171-175, 186.

ONLY TWENTY-TWO INCOMING COVERS FROM OVERSEAS ARE RECORDED FRANKED WITH LARGE DRAGON STAMPS TO PAY THE DOMESTIC POSTAGE. SEVENTEEN COVERS ORIGINATE FROM GREAT BRITAIN, AND ALL BUT THREE OF THESE ARE FROM THE HANCOCK CORRESPONDENCE.

The British postage paid the 5d. (pence) overseas rate for ½ ounce letters, which was introduced for all routes sometime in February 1880. The Large Dragon 3ca. represented the domestic postage from Shanghai to Peking.

William Hancock's service with the Imperial Maritime Customs spanned more than thirty years, having begun in 1874. At the time of posting of this letter, he was the 3rd Assistant A at the Inspectorate General of Customs at Peking, a position which he had taken up on 1 October 1879, while also studying the Chinese language.

Since Hancock was a member of the Chinese Customs Service, mail addressed to him was treated as official mail and, therefore, exempt from ordinary postage; however, Large Dragon stamps were still applied to such mail, but the cost of the stamps were accounted for in a special ledger (Account A) maintained by the Customs, which was responsible for the expenses incurred for the carriage of such mail.


Realized HK$1,380,000



 
Lot 6

P

China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 3ca. pale red imperforate on thin wove ungummed paper, Setting III, a complete sheet of twenty-five, clichés [22] show plate variety broken top left corner and [12] typical plate wear to Dragon's right claw, fresh clear colour and highly accomplished uniform impression on white paper, minor discolouration at extremities of outer corners (negligible thinning at top left corner edge) and light creasing mostly in top and bottom margins, fine to very fine and an immensely rare sheet.
Estimate HK$ 700,000 - 900,000


Provenance: Dr. Robert C.H. Lee, J.R. Hughes (San Francisco), 19.11.1963, lot 15
Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 24.10.1984, lot 40569
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.10.1997, lot C28.

ONLY TWO COMPLETE SHEETS ARE RECORDED FROM SETTING III. THE OTHER SHEET IS FROM THE MAJOR JAMES STARR COLLECTION (SOTHEBY'S, 11.9.1991, LOT 50).

This is the last time cliché 7 was used, since it became defective and had to be discarded.


Realized HK$2,530,000



 
Lot 5

P

China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 1ca. green imperforate on thin wove ungummed paper, Setting I, a complete sheet of twenty-five, clear bright colour and fine impression on white paper, heavy registration along top and part of left frame lines from the découpage ("make ready"), fine to very fine, inconsequential horizontal bend crosses fourth row of stamps, slight ageing mostly in margin at top and light creasing in outer extremities of top and bottom sheet margins, a magnificent intact well preserved sheet.
Estimate HK$ 500,000 - 600,000


We record the following seven imperforate complete sheets from Setting I :

— E.H. Finegan, Harmer, Rooke (London), 14.10.1937, lot 69; Adolphous Diercking, H.R. Harmer (London), 5.11.1956, lot 6
— Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 22.7.1970, lot 537
— Robson Lowe (London), 9.2.1971, lot 419; George Alevizos (Santa Monica), 8-9.2.1979, lot 1008; Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Lam Man Yin, Interasia (Hong Kong), 26.2.2011, lot 10
— Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 26.10.1984, lot 40559; Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.11.1996, lot A3; Zurich Asia (Hong Kong), 18.3.2016, lot 9
— Dr. Warren G. Attwood, Harmer, Rooke (New York), 7.10.1952, lot 3; Richard Canman, Stanley Gibbons (London), 19.10.1972, lot 177; Philip Ireland, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 25.5.1989, lot 2035. This is the Olsson sheet offered above.
— Major James Starr, Sotheby's (London), 11.9.1991, lot 4
— Mizuhara Meiso, Spink (Hong Kong), 17.1.2016, lot 1566.


Realized HK$690,000



 
Lot 43



China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 1ca. green, rough perfs., Setting VII, vertical pair [15/10], superb bright colour on white paper, very fine and fresh unused with large part to much original gum, some small adherences. A rare variety which ranks among the finest of the few recorded pairs. Chan 7c.
Estimate HK$ 500,000 - 600,000


Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 22.7.1970, lot 35
Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 24.10.1984, lot 40598
"Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 25.3.1987, lot 4757
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.11.1996, lot A25.

THERE ARE ONLY FIVE 1 CANDARIN IMPERFORATE BETWEEN PAIRS WITH INTACT PERFORATIONS WHICH HAVE SURVIVED.

There are a further five pairs which have had the perforations trimmed and one pair with perforations at sides only.

This imperforate between pair [15/10] and the imperforate between pair [14/25] from the E.H. Finegan (Harmer, Rooke, 14.10.1937, lot 105) and Sir Percival David (Robson Lowe, 6.4.1971, lot 610) collections originally formed a block of four.


Realized HK$690,000



 
Lot 53



China, 1882 (2 Dec.) envelope to Exeter, England (30.1.83) bearing on reverse Large Dragons thin paper 1ca. and wide margins 3ca. and 5ca., cancelled by "Customs/Newchwang" double-ring d.s. of "2 Dec 82" and additionally tied by "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring transit d.s. of "Dec 11 82" and "Exeter" arrival c.d.s., with "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. of "Dec 18 82" in red alongside, and on front France 25c. bistre on straw, cancelled by "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (20.12) and showing "Modane à Paris" French entry c.d.s. (28.1.83) in red adjacent, the France 25c. has a tiny corner fault, and, as is typical with many envelopes from the Bandinel correspondence which are on flimsy paper, this was originally tatty and subsequently has had some restoration mainly around the edges, as well as a tiny portion of the Tientsin Customs dater drawn in where the envelope was a little roughly opened. A highly desirable and appealing cover with this rare tricolour franking representing all three values of the Large Dragons, especially so with the wide margins 5 candarins. Chan 1, 5, 6.
Estimate HK$ 350,000 - 400,000


Provenance: H.B.R. Clarke, Robson Lowe (London), 22.4.1953 lot 42. A founder of the China Section of the City of London Philatelic Society (later the China Stamp Society) and Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society of London, "China" Clarke was quoted as saying: "If had spent as much effort and thought on my business as on collecting my stamps I should have been a millionaire."
Allen Gokson
L.Y. Woo
Joseph K.C. Wong
Robson Lowe (London) Rarities Auction, 8.5.1980, lot 44
Stanley Gibbons (Hong Kong), 26.11.1980, lot 199
David Feldman (Geneva), 13.4.1984, lot 2004.

References: James B. Whang, A Comprehensive Illustration on Covers of Chinese Large Dragons (Taipei: Whang's Philatelic Foundation, 1997), pp. 305-307.

The 9 candarins single rate to Europe

The sender, Jane Gill Bandinel, was the wife of James J.F. Bandinel, who had founded the Bandinel Company in 1881, which grew into an extensive commercial enterprise in both the import-export and shipping sectors in Manchuria. James J.F. Bandinel also held honorary consular positions in Newchwang for various countries including the United States.


Realized HK$483,000



 
Lot 4

P

China, Proofs : Large Dragon with Extra Circle removed 1ca. dark green imperforate on thin wove ungummed paper, Setting II, an astounding block of four [1-12/7-21] with 7.5mm. sheet margin at left and 10mm. sheet margin at top, constant small dot of printing ink in sheet margin above cliché [12] and typical misalignment of the clichés in the second row, extraordinarily deep colour and characteristic overinked impression, on bright white paper, large to huge margins, extremely fine and choice. A veritable gem.
Estimate HK$ 250,000 - 300,000


Provenance: Richard Canman, Stanley Gibbons (London), 19.10.1972, lot 89
Philip Ireland, Christie's Robson Lowe (Zurich), 25.5.1989, lot 2098.

ONE OF ONLY THREE BLOCKS RECORDED IN THIS COLOUR FROM SETTING II.

This is a distinctly rich dark shade. Our reconstruction of eighteen of the twenty-five positions shows very poor alignment of the clichés in the second row. From the examples found to date, there must have only one sheet of twenty-five printed in this colour. Only three blocks are known to date - a block of nine and two blocks of four. These three blocks all appear to join.


Realized HK$402,500



 
Lot 34

/o

China, 1883-85 Large Dragon thick paper 3ca. brown-red, clean-cut perfs., Setting VIII, the complete reconstruction of the twenty positions, comprising :

Block of ten [8-1-15/17-26-10/25-3-11-21], the last two stamps with part sheet margins at foot, fine to very fine unused with much original gum, a few split and reinforced perfs. between 1st and 2nd rows of stamps, the largest known unused multiple from Setting VIII.
Provenance
Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 22.7.1970, lot 45
Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 24.10.1984, lot 40599
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong). 7.10.1997, lot C57

Block of four [4-9/18-6], fine to very fine unused with much original gum.
Provenance and Auction Record
Major James Starr, Sotheby's (London), 11.9.1991, lot 66
Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 11.11.1999, lot 109

Block of four [23-24/15-20], very fine unused with much original gum.
Provenance
Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, Sotheby's and Corinphila (Hong Kong), 7.10.1997, lot C57

Vertical pair [20/14], cancelled by Chefoo seal, fine to very fine.

Horizontal pair [13-5], cancelled by Shanghai seal, very fine.

A remarkable reconstruction, which includes the largest recorded unused multiple for this Setting. Fine to very fine. One of the few complete reconstructions achieved for Setting VIII. Chan 8.
Estimate HK$ 250,000 - 300,000


Realized HK$322,000



 
Lot 52



China, 1880 (5 June) envelope to St. Marcellin, France (27.7) bearing on reverse Large Dragons thin paper 3ca. red-brown, rough perfs., Setting I, horizontal strip of three [8-9-10] with sheet margin at right, cancelled by Peking seal in blue and additionally tied by matching "I.G. of Customs/Peking" double-ring origin d.s. of "Jun 5 80", "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring transit d.s. of "Jun 7 80" and French "Marseille à Lyon/Special" T.P.O. c.d.s. (26.7), with "Customs/Shanghai" double-ring transit d.s. of "Jun 11 80" alongside, and on front France Peace and Commerce 5c. and 30c., cancelled by large figures "5104" and showing "Shang-hai/Chine" c.d.s. (14.6) adjacent, with St. Marcellin arrival c.d.s. on reverse, envelope opened out for display, patched tear through address panel and small part of reverse not affecting stamps or markings. A very fine and lovely second year envelope sent at an enigmatic rate. Chan 3.
Estimate HK$ 250,000 - 300,000


Expertisation: Signed M. Jamet in pencil
R(oger) Calves guarantee handstam.

Provenance: Giulio Mochi, David Feldman (Zurich), 24.10.1984, lot 40611.

References: James B. Whang, A Comprehensive Illustration on Covers of Chinese Large Dragons (Taipei: Whang's Philatelic Foundation, 1997), pp. 146-148.

According to the "Postal Notification" of 1 November 1879, effective from 15 November, the rate to Europe was 8 candarins, so the envelope was overfranked by 1 candarin. Interestingly, the envelope was addressed to a French Minister Plenipotentiary. Had the envelope contained commercial papers sent via Italy, then 9 candarins would conceivably have been the rate. Nevertheless, this is one of the earliest recorded envelopes franked at 9 candarins, which from 15 November 1882 would become the standard Foreign members country rate.


Realized HK$368,000



 
Lot 56



China, 1888 (21 Apr.) envelope ("Kaiserlich Deutsches Consulat/Tientsin" white on blue embossed paper seal on flap) to Peking bearing thick paper, rough perfs., 3ca. bright vermilion with part sheet margin at foot and 5ca. chrome-yellow Setting VIII, horizontal strip of four [6-4-16-24] and vertical pair [1/19], cancelled by Tientsin type 6 seal in blue, with matching "Customs/Tientsin" double-ring origin d.s. of "Apl 21 88" on reverse, the 3ca. has a 6.5mm. tear at lower left corner and the 5ca. stamp at right has a corner crease and light tones, nevertheless fine for such a large and impressive franking. Chan 11, 12.
Estimate HK$ 250,000 - 300,000


Expertisation: Signed Peter Holcombe.

A large linen diplomatic envelope franked at 33 candarins paying the 11 times weight domestic rate.

Based on its colour and position from the foot of the sheet, the 3ca. appears to be cliché [3] and could very well be from Setting IX, from which only eight positions have been identified to date. Since it is a single stamp and not a multiple, this cannot be stated with certitude.


Realized HK$299,000










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