Confirming that there's a huge demand for rare stamps - particularly Chinese and People's Republic stamps - world records were shattered at the largest-ever stamp auction in Hong Kong held by Interasia Auctions February 26-28 at the Park Lane Hotel.
The 3,000-lot sale produced a record total realisation of HK$98,718,461 (US$12,674,089) the pre-sale estimate of HK$50m (US$6.45m).
Before a standing-room-only crowd in the auction room, as well as hundreds of mail, telephone and internet bidders from around the world, the sale smashed the world record for an auction of Chinese and Hong Kong stamps.
Highlighting the sale, the unique 1968 Mao's Inscription to Japanese Worker Friends corner block of four from the Cultural Revolution era brought a staggering HK$8,970,000 (US$1,151,630), setting a new world record for a Chinese stamp lot at auction (as we speculated it might a month ago).
This great rarity - which was never issued because of objections from the Japanese government about its potential to incite the Japanese populace - is understood to be the largest existing multiple and probably the only surviving block of four of the stamp. It will make an excellent investment.
It was the centrepiece of an award-winning collection of Cultural Revolution issues offered by Interasia that anchored an over 600-lot keenly competed-over section of People's Republic that realised HK$28,749,137 (US$3,691,011) in total.
This included, among its eye-popping prices, another world record of HK$2,530,000 (US$324,818) for the unissued 1968 Victory of the Cultural Revolution stamp and HK$1,725,000 (US$221,467) for an unused set of the 1958 Student Union Congress errors with incorrect inscriptions.
Watch this space for more results from Interasia's extraordinary sale. Collectors and investors interested in stamps from the region may also wish to take a look at these two rarities: an 1885 Chinese olive-yellow strip and this 1888 Taiwanese block of Horse and Dragons.