Given the impressive rise in the value of Chinese stamps in recent months and years, investors will be looking out for every opportunity to get their hands on rare, high quality pieces from both Imperial and Communist China.
Of course, we're keeping track of everything happing at Spink, Interasia, Siegel, Cherrystone and the like - but some from both Asia and the English speaking West may miss some very useful auctions in Europe.
One of these is at Brabantse Postzegel- en Muntenveiling in the Netherlands, where they have published a special catalogue.
Included are some surcharges of the Red Revenue stamps. A Red Revenue surcharge entered the record books early last year, but there is nothing quite like that variety here. Nevertheless, the examples are well-worth investing in.
One collection is helpfully annotated with the small and large surcharges delineated and comments such as "parallelogram spot after 'cents'", "no stop after 'cent'" and even "top left dot of Chinese character 'yang' broken".
From the People's Republic era, there are a variety of pieces, notably an impressive range of 1967 issues, both used and unused with some of the latter marked at €1,000, including types such as 'Poems of Chairman Mao', 'Instructions from Chairman Mao' and even 'Long Live Invincible Charman Mao's Thought'.
Rarer still are 1962 Yang C94M 'State Art of Mei Langfang' stamps both used and unused with an example of the latter listed at €4,000. Of course, it's worth considering that these and other listings are still likely to prove too conservative.
The expected top lot, however, is likely to be an impressive collection of Foreign Office in China stamps. The collection has been assembled over 50 years and featured at the Shanghai Television Festival in 1988.
Comprising German, Russian, Japanese, British, French and American examples alongside a few from Indochina, the selection is expected to bring €20,000. The auction takes place on February 18. Those wishing to invest in Chinese stamps may also wish to take a look at this clean cut olive-yellow strip of four 1885-88 Chinese stamps.
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