Van der Laan correspondence to lead sale of Asian POW mail

The Van der Laan family correspondence is set to highlight Spink's Hong Kong auction of POW mail in East Asia and the Dutch East Indies on January 18 with a $4,514-5,804 estimate.

The collection relates to the story of Jacobus van der Laan, manager of the Netherlands Trading Society, and his wife, who were captured during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in 1941.

Dutch POW mail
The Van der Laans were captured in Hong Kong during the Japanese invasion of 1941

It includes Red Cross letters sent to and from family back home in Holland, telegrams and permits.

The couple were housed in the relative luxury of the Sun Wah Hotel while Jacobus was forced to liquidate the bank's assets. Once this process was complete, they were moved to the Stanley Internment Camp on the south of the island.

Included is a rare envelope from the camp, which displays a Maejima seal and the handstamp of the German censor.

Also on offer is a postcard sent from the prison camp in Hong Kong's Ma Tau Chung district, which carries an estimate of $3,224-4,514.

During the war, the Japanese housed captured Indian soldiers there.

The present lot was sent by a soldier named Bhagwan Singh to his brother, and features Japanese, American and Indian censor handstamps.

It's the only surviving card from the Ma Tau Chung camp and is thus likely to prove popular with collectors at the auction.

Click here to take a look at our incredible selection of rare stamps.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about stamp auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock