1883 Large Dragon cover brings $37,532 in Swiss stamp sale
An 1883 cover featuring the illustrious 1883 Large Dragon issue starred as top lot on May 19
A cover featuring China's coveted Large Dragon stamp sold as top lot in a Swiss stamp auction on May 19.
A trio of dragonsThe complete cover featured all three denominations of the 1878 issue, each neatly marked by a "Wuchow 9 Jul 00" cancellation. The cover was sent to Germany via Hong Kong, where an 1882-96 four candarin grey and a10 candarin purple were added. Both the three and five candarin Dragons showed faint traces of removed blue pencil, with the five candarin further depreciated by a diagonal tear. In otherwise fine condition, the cover sold for $37,532, beating its high estimate of $36,500.The 1878 Large Dragon was China's first stamp to be issued following the Imperial Marine Customs Post being opened to the general public. One of the most sought after Chinese stamps, they are denominated in values of one, three and five. Another 1883 Large Dragon cover from the Allen Gokson collection achieved five times its estimate in a Hong Kong sale earlier this year. The rarest of all Austrian newspaper stamps brought the second highest bids in the auction. The Red Mercury was created as postage on newspapers in 1856, but was replaced shortly after in 1858, making the stamp a coveted collector's item. Depicting the Roman god from which it takes its name, the Red Mercury in the auction provided a brilliant, fresh example of the Austrian rarity. With full original gum, the stamp sold for $28,190. Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb range of stamps in stock, including the unique 96c Hong Kong olive-bistre block of four.