Sinkiang stamp World Record price set at Interasia's $12.6m Chinese stamp auction

World records were shattered at the largest-ever rare Chinese stamp auction held by Interasia Auctions September 23-26 in Hong Kong.

The almost 3,600-lot sale of Chinese and Hong Kong stamps and postal history from the world's largest auctioneer of Chinese and Hong Kong stamps produced a total realisation of HK$98m (US$12.6m), eclipsing the pre-sale estimate of HK$70m (US$9m).

Hong Kong-based Interasia Auctions said the record sale underlined the status of Chinese stamps among collectors as "the most popular stamps in the world today".

"The sale demonstrated the enormous price increases over the past few years for Classic China and People's Republic stamps - both rarities and popular stamps and sets - as well as worldwide interest for them," said Interasia Auctions Director Dr Jeffrey Schneider.

"Price increases of 300% over the past few years are not uncommon."

The auction included the largest-ever sale of People's Republic stamps, with keen competition for this world-leading philatelic subject establishing new price levels and its 1,300 lots alone bringing HK$39,282,620 (US$5,040,000.)

People's Republic highlights included a complete sheet of 80 of the 1980 Year of the Monkey realising a world record at auction HK$1,495,000 (US$191,000), a used set of the two 1958 Student Union Congress inscription errors bringing HK$1,092,500 (US$140,000) and the iconic 1968 "Whole Country is Red" used realising HK$747,500 (US$95,800).

One final highlight was a mint 1962 Mei Lanfang souvenir sheet, shattering the world auction record, realising HK$368,000 (US$47,200) - compared toonly HK$63,250 (US$8,100) a fine example of this popular sheet realised a little over two years ago.

Sinkiang 1915 surcharge error strip of three
Sinkiang 1915 surcharge error strip of three


Classic China highlights included a world record HK$2,990,000 (US$383,000), following heated competition between two overseas telephone bidders, for the extremely rare Chinese classic, 1915 Sinkiang $1 transposed characters error in the Sinkiang overprint, of which only approximately 15 examples are known, in a magnificent strip of three with two normal stamps.

While the error stamp in this format with normal stamps is highly desirable and commands a premium, a single of this important rarity - known among philatelists as one of the "Four Treasures of the Republic" period of Chinese philately - was sold by Interasia only a year ago for HK$575,000 (US$73,700), underscoring the dramatic price increases Chinese stamps have seen.

Similarly, the never hinged 1941 Dr. Sun Yat-sen $2 inverted centre (of which only one sheet of 50 was issued) realised a world record HK$1,725,000 (US$221,000). A similar example sold last year for HK$1,035,000 (US$133,000).

Watch this space for more news of Interasia’s remarkable auction or check out our blog post on errors and perfection in philately.

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