Rare stamps of China and the US sold at Cherrystone Auctions

Cherrystone has completed its dazzling auction which went by the inconspicuous name of Worldwide Stamps and Covers - or just Public Auction 1211. This was anchored by the exceptional Santa Fe Collection - a holding formed over a lifetime of collecting, containing hundreds of rare stamps.

As blinky-blinkys told us: "The Santa Fe Collection represents a lifelong accumulation of worldwide rarities [...] there are countless rarities included in the collection."

The auction included great rarities from either side of the Pacific with remarkable invert errors.

From the US side there came a fantastic example of one of the great modern rarities: the famous CIA invert which was discovered by a CIA employee out buying stamps whilst at work.

CIA stamp invert block
Four candles? The CIA Invert block of stamps

The 1979 inverted $1 Rush Lamp design was intended to show a particularly brilliant candle beaming its orange light out of an otherwise black and beige stamp to illustrate America's hope, truth and reason.

In fact, the separate colour printing left the main candle looking drab with the whole stand at risk of being ignited by a mysterious golden exclamation mark.

Only 95 examples of the stamp are known to exist, giving it a similar scarcity to the Inverted Jenny. However, whilst single examples of the Jenny have broken the seven-figure mark, the CIA invert tends to sell for low five-figure sums.

However, in this case there was a block of four of them on offer - one of just three known - and the fresh, never-hinged, very fine block beat its $60,000 listing to sell for $75,000.

1923 Chinese stamp surcharged in red on first Peking printing
The red surcharged 1923 Chinese stamp

The Chinese rare stamps hit even more spectacular heights, however. The 3c blue-green issue with an inverted surcharge of 2Cts in red, which is a very attractive, fresh stamp with bright colours and full original gum, brought $130,000.

It was beaten however by the post-office fresh 1941 Dr. Sun Yat-sen black and blue central invert, which displays wonderful deep rich colours and no hinging, which surpassed its substantial $200,000 listing to bring $210,000.

1941 Dr Sun Yat-sen inverted stamp
Turn that frown upside-down: the 1941 Dr Sun Yat-sen inverted stamp

The market for Chinese and Hong Kong rare stamps is exceptionally strong at the moment. 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.

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