One of 'Four Treasures of the Republic' stamp brings $240,000

Cherrystone's December 16 stamps auction boasted America's most famous stamp, the Inverted Jenny (sold for $300,000). But if that isn't impressive enough, how about a stamp described as the foremost of the "Four Treasures of the Republic"?

Also regarded as of the greatest rarities of 20th Century philately, this '1925 surcharge in red on second Peking printing 3 Cts on 4c slate-gray' from the People's Republic of China was another big lot in the New York auction.

Only 10 examples of this error - or misprinted stamp - were reportedly discovered in 1925; seven unused and three used (two in Shanghai, one in Peking). It is generally held that no further examples have survived.

The 1925 surcharge in red on second Peking printing 3 Cts on 4c slate-gray

Although this stamp was one of the used examples, it was nevertheless a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire what might be the only available used error on the market. The piece sold with expectation, after a defective unused copy previously brought HK$1,800,000 ($231,456, including buyer's premium).

In the end, the used specimen sold for even more. It fell just short of its higher $250,000 pre-sale estimate, though sold for well in excess of its €160,000 catalogue price, bringing $240,000.


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