A rare large format example of the famed China Whole Country is Red error stamp is one of the star lots in InterAsia Auctions' January 11-14 sale of Chinese and Hong Kong stamps, the first major international auction of its kind in 2014.
The sale holds an overall estimate of $7.7m, with the 3,600 lots led by the Whole Country is Red stamp at $451,349-515,827. An unissued example, its large size prompted the decision for a mass pulping. Less than 10 examples are known today.
The specimen at auction is spectacular, displaying "radiant" colours on brilliant white paper. It is unmounted in mint condition, with full original gum. Small creases are present, but they do not detract from the overall appearance of the stamp.
A regular sized example of the 1968 Whole Country is Red, considered the most iconic stamp of the People's Republic, is valued at $77,374-103,165.
Also starring is a 1952 set of four stamps that were created under the People's Republic of China to mark the 35th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. With all the stamps present in marginal blocks of four, they boast additional "Soviet" characters in the inscription, and are the only existing blocks of the major error stamps known.
The set carries an estimate of $322,392-386,870.
The first day of the sale will be headlined by classic Chinese stamps, including the nation's first issue, the 1878-1885 Large Dragons. A Large Dragon-US combination over leads the section at $128,957-154,748.
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