1897 Chinese stamp brings World Record

Back in September, a Red Revenue rare stamp overprint sold for a then record amount of $331,671 by Zurich Asia auctions. The stamp, one of 32 examples known to exist was produced in 1897 by the ruling Qing dynasty for China's brand new postal system.

This rare Chinese stamp, with a distinctive red backing, has '3 cents' marked as the value, but also has '1 dollar' in both English and Chinese overprinted in black.

Now another example has been sold in an auction at Park Lane Hotel for double the previous amount. Estimated at HK$ 2,500,000-3,000,000, this particularly fine example, with most of its original gum quickly had bidders scrambling to secure the Red Revenue overprint.

Chinese Red Revenue rare stamp
Chinese Red Revenue stamp

The piece eventually left the stage for HK$5.52m (US$710,600), easily beating the previous world record for a single Chinese stamp which was set just in November 2009: HK$3.68m.

The sale, and the rapid sequence of world records, show the increasing buying power and desire in China for rare stamps, whether for investment or just to collect.

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