InterAsia Auctions

Sale 75

Lot 386

China, 1897 Red Revenue small figures surcharge $1 on 3c. red, a superlative example, bright exquisite colour on wonderfully fresh white paper, centred within good to large margins, unused with much original gum, small hinge remainder, very fine and a peerless example of this legendary world rarity. Chan 86.
Estimate HK$ 4,000,000 - 5,000,000

Provenance: Eugene Klein, 7.7.1944, lot 366 (pair)
Saul Newbury, Robert A. Siegel (New York), 6.2.1962, lot 418. This is the left stamp of a horizontal pair, which was later split into two singles.
"Twyste", Spink (Hong Kong), 20.11.2005, lot 1081.

References: Huang Kuang-Sheng, A Treatise on the Extant Copies of the Small One Dollar with Illustrations (Philippines, 1975). This is listed as example number A-7 of the 32 extant Small One Dollar.
The Revenue Surcharges China 1897, Vol. I (Taipei: Directorate General of Posts of Taiwan, 1987), p. 39. It is listed as type III, number 10.


This is type A with the "1 Dollar" of the surcharge partly covering the word "Revenue". The type A and B ("1 dollar" completely covering the word "Revenue") stamps all come from a right surcharge plate of twenty-five. The type C ("1 dollar" above the word "Revenue") comes from the other surcharge plate.

Realized HK$5,520,000

Lot 373

China, 1897 Red Revenue 3c. red without surcharge, perforation 13-13½, excellent colour on crisp white paper, particularly well centred, fine to very fine unused with part to large part original gum, hinge remainder and one perf. a trifle short at foot. A splendid and noteworthy example of this rare stamp in the traditional rich red colour. Chan R1.
Estimate HK$ 400,000 - 500,000

References: Directorate General of Posts, Ministry of Communications. The Revenue Surcharges China 1897. Vol. I (Taipei, 1984), No. 13, p. 2. Illustrated.
Huang Kuang-Sheng, A Treatise on the Extant Copies of the 3 Cents Red Revenue Stamps without Surcharged with Illustrations (Taipei, 1981), No. 31. Illustrated.


Auction Record
Earl P.L. Apfelbaum (Philadelphia), 8.6.1976, lot 2354

The 3c. stamp inscribed "China" and "Revenue" was originally produced in 1896 by the London printers Waterlow & Sons as a revenue stamp for Customs Department use, following an initial request by Sir Robert Hart, the Inspector General of the Imperial Maritime Customs, to James D. Campbell, the Customs Commissioner in London, in November 1895. The stamps were printed in sheets of 100 and perforated on three different machines and are line perforated 12-16. Waterlow & Sons shipped the 650,000 stamp order to China in September 1896. The 3c. revenue stamp was, however, never put into use, because of local opposition to the taxation scheme that the stamp was intended to serve.

At about the same time (1897), China was preparing to introduce a new silver dollar currency and a national postal service, the Imperial Post, supplanting the Customs Post, and a new definitive stamp issue reflecting these changes was ordered from printers in Japan. When the new issue was delayed because of production difficulties at the Japanese printers, the 3c. revenue stamps were surcharged by the Shanghai Customs Statistical Department as a stop gap measure in the first months of 1897 - producing the iconic and preeminent issue of Chinese stamps, the Red Revenues - as also were existing stocks of the Empress Dowager issue.

A small number of the 3c. Revenue stamps, though, were not surcharged, including examples which were presented to officials, as well as 761 stamps that were later transferred to the General Post Office. Of the latter, the entire stock, except for ten stamps which had been given to the Chinese Postal Museum, was tragically destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, as recounted to Dr. Chang Min-Sheng by Mr. Wu Feng Gang, a former Director of the Postal Museum. In addition, a few unsurcharged 3c. red Revenue stamps were retained by the printer Waterlow & Sons. It is thought that less than 100 unsurcharged 3c. red Revenue stamps exist today, making these a rare and important element in the Red Revenue issue.

Realized HK$460,000

Lot 293

China, 1897 Large Narrow Surcharge on Dowager 1st printing 30c. on 24ca. rose-carmine, the magnificent block of four, lovely fresh definitive first printing colour, outstanding centring, very fine unused with much original gum, tiniest stray ink mark on reverse is virtually unnoticeable from the front, and there is the faintest trace of a tone at foot, neither of which is of any consequence for this wonderful and important block, which is one of the greatest philatelic items of China; of impeccable provenance and of the highest exhibition calibre. Chan 73.
Estimate HK$ 2,500,000 - 3,000,000

Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 22.7.1970, lot 182
According to the original catalogue entry, it is "a superb mint block from the one sheet found by A. Diercking at the Chungking Post Office."
Jane and Dan Sten Olsson, Interasia (Hong Kong), 30.1.2010, lot 189.

References: Chen Chung-Ching, "Briefing on the Major Modification and Surcharge on the Empress Dowager's Birthday Commemorative First Printing Issue 24 Cents Stamp," Journal of the China Stamp Society, Inc. (R.O.C. Chapter), Taipei, August, 2002, pp. 158-159.
Tony T.W. Kwan, "Watermarks Studies of Empress Dowager Jubilee and its Surcharged Issues," Research on the Classic Stamps of the Ching Dynasty, No. 15 (2013), pp. 12-13. Illustrated.



The positioning of the watermarks establishes the block as positions 11-12/16-17 from the original pane of twenty-five, according to Tony Kwan's study cited below.


Lot 83

China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 1ca. yellow-green, Setting I, a complete sheet of twenty-five with selvedge all round, delicate pastel-like colour on bright white paper, cliché [24] shows slight overinking on right side of the Dragon, very fine unused with much original gum, trivial corner crease in selvedge at top left, minor faults and gum loss in selvedge at foot. Chan 1.
Estimate HK$ 300,000 - 400,000

Realized HK$517,500

Lot 84

China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 1ca. green, Setting I, a complete sheet of twenty-five with selvedge all round, colour verging on a deep yellow-green on bright white paper, very fine unused with much original gum, insignificant gum loss in selvedge at foot, light bends in selvedge at top and a few truly insignificant gum tones on reverse not affecting its true overall freshness. Chan 1.
Estimate HK$ 280,000 - 320,000

Realized HK$437,000

Lot 85

China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 1ca. green, Setting I, a complete sheet of twenty-five with selvedge all round, bright "grass" green shade on fresh white paper, fine to very fine unused with large part to much original gum, natural yellowing on gum from irregular application, the faintest traces of tone spots in selvedge merely mentioned for accuracy. Chan 1.
Estimate HK$ 280,000 - 320,000

Realized HK$402,500

Lot 86

China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 3ca. brown-red, Setting I, a complete sheet of twenty-five with selvedge all round, radiant red colour on bright white paper, fine to very fine unused with much original gum, minor gum loss in top right selvedge, a few light tones in selvedge at right and tiny piece of natural wood fibre in paper in selvedge at foot. Chan 2.
Estimate HK$ 400,000 - 500,000

Realized HK$690,000

Lot 87

China, 1878 Large Dragon thin paper 5ca. orange, Setting I, a complete sheet of twenty-five with selvedge all round, dazzling colour on brilliant white paper, very fine unused with much original gum, lightly folded along horizontal perfs. between the 2nd and 3rd row of stamps and barely discernable natural horizontal bend across middle row of stamps of no importance, slight gum disturbance in selvedge at top as well as a few split perfs. there, and some gum loss in selvedge at foot. A magnificent sheet. Chan 3.
Estimate HK$ 800,000 - 1,000,000

Realized HK$1,610,000

Lot 520


China, 1914-19 Junk First Peking Printing $2 black and blue, variety centre inverted, fresh colour, well centred with centre line at top, fine appearance unused, a few small central rust spots, one perf. added at lower left and the stamp pressed, nevertheless a highly collectible example of this rare and sought after variety. Chan 245a.
Estimate HK$ 250,000 - 300,000

Realized HK$437,000

Lot 560

China, 1941 Dr. Sun Yat-sen American Bank Note Co. printing $2 black and blue, variety centre inverted, a resplendent example with sheet margin, position 6, with manuscript number in lower right corner of the sheet margin, characteristic centring frame to foot, deep rich colours as when issued, very fine unmounted mint, the gum is pristine on the stamp, the sheet margin only has slight ageing. A fantastic example of this twentieth century rarity. Chan 508a.
Estimate HK$ 800,000 - 1,000,000

Provenance: A.L. Powell, H.R. Harmer (London), 1.5.1967, lot 152.

References: Huang Kuang-Sheng, The Journal of the Philatelist's Club of the Philippines, No. 39 (1991), pp. 21-44.
Zhao Ren Long, "The Appearance of a Phenomenal Block of the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Inverted Center", Stamps World (Hong Kong), No. 118 (12.9.1992), pp. 4-6.

Only one sheet of fifty is believed to have been printed with this error.

This is example A-22 in Huang Kuang-Sheng's listing. Illustrated in The Chinese Philatelist, No. 39 (1991), pp. 26 and 30.

This stamp originally adjoined the sheet margin example from position 7, which also had a manuscript "10" written in the lower left corner of the sheet margin.

Realized HK$1,495,000

Lot 2005

Sinkiang, 1915 overprinted "Limited for Use in Sinkiang Province" on First Peking printing $1 black and brown-orange, variety 2nd and 3rd characters of overprint transposed, well centred with small parts of characteristic sheet guideline along right vertical row of perforations, fresh with deep rich colours and well centred, fine to very fine unused with large part to much original lightly toned gum, small fibre adherence on reverse of one perf. A lovely example of this Treasure of the Republic. Chan PS16a.
Estimate HK$ 400,000 - 500,000


This error occurred once in position [5] of the sheet of fifty in the early printings. Once the error was discovered, it was withdrawn from sale. Probably less than twenty examples have survived.

Auction Record
Chou Chuan Yi (Kaohsiung), 1.11.1975, lot 386.


Lot 2050


Manchurian Provinces, The extensive mint or unused and used collection replete with covers (approx. 570), assembled over decades and mounted on individually designed pages in twelve volumes, arranged by the Kerr catalogue and including varieties, booklet panes and numerous stamps not listed by Kerr or Chan. The covers include both elusive commercial envelopes and Harbin-cancelled philatelic envelopes with complete issues as well as booklet panes and varieties which are important contemporary proving pieces for these issues, as well as a number of unfranked envelopes showing local "Postage to be Paid" circular handstamps.

Among the many highlights too numerous to mention are A Yung Chen 50f. in used singles (2, including the example illustrated in Kerr) and on commercial envelopes (2) in strips of three and four respectively, Fu Yu blue surcharge 2.50y. on 2f. and 2.50y. on 6f. used plus unlisted red surcharge 2.50y. on 2f. used and the listed blue surcharge 2.50y. on 2f. on commercial envelope, Fu Yu (Pe Tu Na) red overprint 20f. inverted (Kerr 46.10a), Hai Lun violet overprint 2f. and 4f. booklet panes mint and red overprint, black overprint and violet overprint 2f. and 4f. booklet panes on philatelic envelopes, Hai Lung 50f. on 1f. on commercial envelope, Harbin misplaced and other overprint varieties, Hei Ho commercial envelopes, Ho Li with "Postage to be Paid", other commercial and philatelic envelopes including booklet panes usage, Hu Ma red-violet overprint 1y. and black overprint 1y. both used, Hua Chuan black overprint 10f. pair and 50f. used, Kang Ping ½f. to 30f. (unlisted by Kerr) philatelic envelope, Kia Mu Sze commercial and philatelic envelopes with booklet pane usages (2, both unlisted by Kerr), black surcharge 1y. on 2f. (Kerr 91.14 var) and 5y. on 2f. (Kerr type 161), Kien An and Ko Shan commercial envelopes, Kwei Shan black surcharges set of three mint and on philatelic envelopes, Lien Kian Kow registered envelopes (4) to Harbin, Lin Tien unlisted red surcharge 1y. on 1y. used (2) and on envelope to Kai Yuan, Lung Chen Tsun unlisted 5y. on 12f. on express envelope to Ching Lung Hsien, Mao Ehr Shan black overprint 2f. and 4f. booklet panes with normal set on philatelic envelope, Mu Lan the four booklet panes on philatelic envelope, Mu Tan Kiang double, inverted and misplaced overprints, Nan Cha and No Ho commercial envelopes, Nun Kiang purple single-line overprint 1y. used and black surcharge 50f. used and on envelope to Kao Ching Chuang, Pai Chuan black overprint 2f. booklet pane, Pan Shih unlisted purple surcharge 50f. on 1y. on envelope to Ning An, Peh An commercial and philatelic envelopes, Peh An Chen 2f. and 4f. booklet panes (both purple and black overprints) on philatelic envelopes, Pin Hsien commercial envelopes and 2f. and 4f. booklet panes on philatelic envelopes (2), Ping Shan 2f. and 4f. booklet panes (both the red and blue overprints) on philatelic envelope, Shih Tao Ho Tze purple overprint 2f. and 4f. booklet panes, commercial envelopes and 2f. and 4f. booklet panes (both purple and black overprints) on philatelic envelope, Schwang Cheng and Sui Lang booklet pane on philatelic envelopes, Sun Wu red overprint 5f. overprint pairs (2, one on commercial envelope to Yen Shan Tsun), unlisted surcharges used and other commercial envelopes (including some with unlisted overprints), Ta Tung Chen 10f. to 1y. set of three used and unlisted 15f. and 50f. both used, Tun Hwa unlisted overprints on commercial envelopes, Tung Ho "Postage to be Paid" envelopes (2) and vermilion overprint 2f. and 4f. booklet pane on philatelic envelope, Tung Kiang 1y. on 2f. and 5y. on 1y. on 2f. booklet panes (both unlisted by Kerr) on philatelic envelope.

The overall condition is fine to very fine, representing a unique opportunity to acquire a world-class collection. Undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive collections of these fascinating and complex issues.
Estimate HK$ 450,000 - 550,000

Realized HK$632,500

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