Auction - Mammoth stamp sale in Hong Kong

sian stamp auctioneer Interasia Auctions Ltd is holding another mammoth Chinese stamp auction at the Park Lane Hotel in Hong Kong on July 31 - August 1 that promises to be one of the largest stamp auctions in Hong Kong ever (in total dollar terms) and likewise one of the largest auctions of Chinese stamps anywhere in the world. This historic auction boasts over 2,200 lots of China, Hong Kong and Asian stamps and postal history and is expected to realize in excess of HK$45 mln (over US$5.75 mln).

The two-day auction will sell the exceedingly rare 1897 Red Revenue 2c Green Surcharge (“The Red Lady in a Green Dress”) from the Qing Dynasty era, of which only 7 examples are available to collectors and which is set to become the most valuable stamp of China, with a presale estimate of HK$8 mln. A similar stamp last appeared on the market in December 2004 and sold for HK$3.45 million. But according to experts, the market for such stamps has increased substantially since then, reflecting both the popularity of collecting Chinese stamps not only in Greater China but throughout the world. The auction also includes the only known envelope with the legendary “Emerald Lady” (the 1897 large figures surcharge 1½ mm setting on Dowager 1st printing 2c on 2ca), which additionally bears the only known multiple (a pair) of this extremely rare stamp. There is also an 1941 stamp portraying Dr. Sun Yat-sen with his portrait printed upside down in error (Lot 365).
Stamp collecting in China basically goes back to the issuance of the first Chinese stamps in 1878 and has its own storied history. Among the first collectors were the Westerners who established the then postal system. As the Chinese communities gained wealth, major ethnic Chinese collectors also emerged .1949 saw a shift of much of the serious collecting in Greater China from Mainland China to Taiwan and Hong Kong. On the Mainland, stamp collecting was even being banned during the Cultural Revolution as “bourgeois.” But today a number of the leading collectors in the world are from Mainland China. Previews of the auction will be held at The Park Lane Hotel Hong Kong Thursday to Friday.