$2 Hall of Classics cover to see $774,000 in Hong Kong auction

A unique cover bearing the 1915 $2 Hall of Classics invert will sell as the star lot in an auction of Fine Stamps and Covers of China and Hong Kong, which will be held on January 13.

1915 $2 Hall of Classic invert cover
The stamp is considered one of the Four Treasures of the Republic

The famous $2 error will cross the block in Hong Kong with an estimated value of $645,000-774,000. Described as a "legendary item of Chinese philately", the lot is the only known example of the error affixed to a cover.

The stamp itself originates from the foundation of the Chinese Republic in 1912, when a new set of stamps was required. Initially, English printers Waterlow and Sons were asked to create the new series, though the first world war made it difficult to receive supplies.

As a result, a new series of identical stamps was produced in Peking, with just a handful of the $2 variety printed with the central design upside down. This stamp is now regarded as one of the "Four Treasures of the Republic".

The invert is tied to a Shanghai registered cover by a 1923 machine cancellation and a fine strike of the boxed registered handstamp. Showing the arrival circular date stamp on the reverse, it also has the Chinese Post Office registration receipt affixed, although the adhesive has a pulled perforation and "other imperfections" at the right.

A single example of the 1915 $2 Hall of Classics invert was sold at auction in September, taking the title of top lot with a $160,000 realisation.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is offering the unique Hong Kong block of four 96c error stamps - a legendary example of Hong Kong philately that is considered one of its greatest treasures.

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