Chinese invert error stamp - up 20.5% on pre-auction estimate

A rare Chinese invert error stamp has sold for HK$2.41m ($311,000) at a postage stamp auction in Hong Kong, 20.5% above its HK$2.41m estimate.

The $2 Dr Sun Yat Sen inverted centre postage stamp set a new record for its type at the sale, held between March 17 and 19.

Produced in 1941, the inverted Dr Sun Yat Sen is in mint condition, and is one of the rarest of all Chinese stamps. Just one sheet of fifty stamps is believed to have been produced with this error.

Printed by the American Bank Note Company, the black and blue stamp with full original gum features a bottom margin, from where it had previously been hinged.

Dr Sun Yat Sen
One of just 50 error specimens produced

Dr Sun Yat Sen was a passionate revolutionary, who was instrumental in the downfall of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China. Following the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, Dr Sun Yat Sen briefly became the president of China's provisional government between 1911 and 1912.

These are heady times for Chinese postage stamp collectors.

The value of 100 of the most collectible Chinese postage stamp sets is up 46% pa since March 2009, according to figures from the China 100 Stamp Index.

The country's first airmail cover sold for €65,000 ($85,520), 30% above its €50,000 estimate, at a Swiss auction on March 15.

And you can capitalise on the soaring market. Called the "greatest treasure of Hong Kong philately", this Hong Kong 96c Olive-Bistre Unique Block of Four is currently available through Paul Fraser Collectibles. It is the only unused multiple of this stamp in existence.

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