As we've reported, David Feldman is set to hold a series of auctions in early December, including that of the great chess champion Anatoly Karpov.
Before that series, however, there is an excellent opportunity to see and perhaps buy some exceptionally rare and valuable Chinese stamps, both modern and imperial this weekend.
One of the first highlights is an 1891 (February 15) ChinKiang to Germany triple combination cover.
This includes two German 10pf stamps tied with a Mittweida circular date stamp. On receipt, this was sent back to Germany with HKQV 7c/10c stamp tied with Shanghai BPO circular date stamp (Mar 28) in combination with a Small Dragon 11.5 (clean perforations) complete set of three values.
The latter is tied with Customs Chinkiang circular date stamp (Mar 26), and with Shanghai Customs circular date stamp (Mar 28), Hong Kong circular date stamp (Mar 19) and Germany circular date stamp (May 5).
A rare triple combination cover and the only example of this usage, it is expected to sell for HK$400,000-450,000 (US$57,700).
A more modern highlight is a complete sheet of 1980 'Golden' Year of Monkey stamps. We focused in on these last month in recognition of their extraordinary performance in recent times considering they aren't particularly rare - their value is determined by a huge demand despite the generous supply.
There are two on offer here, with the more valuable being a mint, never hinged post office fresh example. The auctioneer mentions that it has 'lucky sheet number 61282', and it is expected to bring HK$1.3m-1.4m.
The overall highlight of the sale, however, is another Qing dynasty rarity: An ultra-rare Dowager small figure inverted overprint 10c/9ca (Scott 35b, Chan 44g). Its only real flaw is a small scuff above "Qing". Only two mint and two used examples are recorded.
This is the rarest of all Dowagers overprinted varieties for the fabled '4 Double & 8 Inverted' collection (of which only four examples would be possible, partly due to the rarity of this example).
It was in Zurich Asia's March 2006 auction catalogue and illustrated in the Colour-illustrated Stamp Catalogue of China 1878-1949 by Dr. Shiu-Hon Chan. With a line of provenance listing five previous owners, it is expected to sell for HK$3m-3.3m (US$423,400). David Feldman's auction takes place November 26-27 in Hong Kong.
Chinese and Hong Kong stamps are at the very peak of desirability at this point, and that doesn't seem likely to change any time soon.
For that reason, we're particularly excited to have in our possession what is regarded as the greatest treasure of Hong Kong philately: the unique 96c olive-bistre block of four. It's currently available - and qualifies for our unique 120% guarantee as an extra show of our confidence in its strong future value.