An 1871 Dragon 500 mon yellow/ green on an "urgent" mail cover has made $29,662 at a sale of Japanese postal history at Dynasty Auctions in Hong Kong.
The sale took place on April 13, with the lot achieving an increase of 130% on a $12,896 estimate.
The dragon issue were the first stamps to be released in Japan and were initially sold in 1871. The value is printed in mon, a currency that had been rendered obsolete by the yen in 1870.
The following year, in 1872, the value would be altered to reflect the change.
The cover features good Osaka cancels and remains in very fine condition in spite of its advanced age.
A Japanese 1875 cherry blossom one sen brown was another highlight, achieving $22,247 - an increase of 14.6% on a $19,345 estimate.
The hand engraved issue is among the best known Japanese rarities, with the example sold displaying a well centred impression and a fresh appearance.
Two varieties of the stamp were released, with the rarer of the two (which includes the present lot) featuring the eighth syllabic character (Chi) included in the design.
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