Inverted surcharge stamp block brings $700,000 in Interasia's record-breaking sale

As we've reported, Interasia had a staggering sale in Hong Kong, with a unique 1968 Mao's Inscription to Japanese Worker Friends corner block of four from the Cultural Revolution era bringing a staggering HK$8,970,000 (US$1,151,630), setting a new world record for a Chinese stamp lot at auction.

So the day was won by the People's Republic of China section, but Classic China likewise was highly sought after and produced extraordinary prices.

That section was highlighted by an extraordinary corner strip of three of the $5 inverted surcharge from the 1897 Red Revenue series from the Qing Dynasty that set a world record price of HK$5,520,000 (US$708,697) for a Classic Chinese multiple at auction.

Red Revenue three block inverted stamps
Three block of inverted Red Revenue stamps

The strip was complemented by a breathtaking realisation of HK$3,450,000 (US$442,936) for a marginal pair of the normal $5 Red Revenue (against a pre-sale estimate of HK$1,500,000-2,000,000). This will make someone a strong investment.

A specialised offering of China's first stamps - the 1878-85 Large Dragons - was widely followed and produced outstanding realisations, including HK$920,000 (US$118,116) for an Elephant Design Essay pair, HK$805,000 (US$103,352) for the 1882 Wide Margin 5ca mint pair and HK$1,092,500 (US$140,263) for an 1883-85 1ca imperforate between vertical pair.

Interasia were delighted with their auction. Founder Dr Jeffrey Schneider commented: "We had expected a very good sale and perhaps another record, but to realise almost HK$100m and shatter the world record of HK$61.5m we had set in our Summer 2010 sale is absolutely extraordinary and personally takes me aback a little.

"Philately has a special place in Chinese culture, with rare stamps regarded as important cultural icons and treasures, just like art, and thus fiercely competed over."


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