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China Guardian Auctions Co.'s 2012 Spring Auctions season yields over $337mm USD in sales
The Whole Country is Red (Unissued) Stamp, Rare, FV.

BEIJING.- China Guardian Auctions Co., Ltd. concluded its 2012 Spring Auctions, realizing a total of 2.141bn yuan ($337.235mm USD) over two sessions, from May 12-15, 2012 and May 16-21, 2012. The final session, Stamps and Covers, Coins, Banknotes and Bronze Mirrors Auction, yielded 79.90mm yuan ($12.59mm USD) in sales.

“In response to the overall environment of the art market, we have made several changes to the number of lots and catalogs, which led to remarkable results. During the Spring Auctions, we found that the market is starting to move toward more refined segments,” comments Mr. Guo Xueguang, General Manager, Stamps and Coins Department. “Lots that are rare are especially favored, such as the "Long Live Complete Victory of the Great Cultural Revolution" stamps which sold for 7,302,500 yuan ($1.150mm USD), setting a new record in China; and a full set of original series renminbi which sold for 4,025,000 yuan ($634,639 USD). In addition, collections by well-known collectors such as Gong Xinzhao, Xu Zhantang and Japanese coin collector Hirao Sanpei, have also attracted successful bids.”

Estimated to be worth between five to eight million yuan ($787,675 – 1,260,280 USD), the "Long Live Complete Victory of the Great Cultural Revolution" stamps became a vibrant auction highlight on May 21. Issued in 1968 during in the Cultural Revolution in China, the stamps were immediately withdrawn due to a design error, and very few have appeared in the public.

“The withdrawn stamp is among the rarest in China as only eight pieces of the same version exist. It is unised, rich in color, and in good condition. The record price reflects its scarcity and fervent attention from the collectors, ” said Mr. Guo.

At the Banknotes session, a full set of first series renminbi (1948-1951) sold for 4.025mm yuan ($634,369 USD). An original series renminbi 500-yuan issued by the People's Bank of China sold for 655,500 yuan ($103,260 USD); and a tianzhen, private banknote, from the Xianfeng Period of the Qing Dynasty sold for 437,000 yuan ($68,840 USD).

A set of ancient silver wine vessels, collected by Gong Xinzhao, sold for 4.197mm yuan ($661,232 USD) at the Ancient Bronze Mirrors, Gold and Silver Utensils session, and a gilding official seal of Tibet from the Qing dynasty sold for 598,000 yuan ($94,203 USD).

A gold box from the Qing dynasty, engraved with human figures and made by the Imperial Academy, which was presented as a gift by the government official Qi Shichang to his aunt sold for 460,000 yuan ($72,464 USD).

A bronze mirror with two phoenixes, collected by Xu Zhantang, sold for 4.025mm yuan ($634,058 USD), followed by two bronze mirrors designed with auspicious beasts and grapes which sold for 402,500 yuan ($63,406 USD).

Gold and silver sycees, ancient coins collected by Hirao Sanpei, were well received. A small-size brass mother coin “宣统通宝” with two Chinese characters“宝泉”sold for 690,000 yuan ($108,696 USD), seven times its estimated price; and a brass mother coin “光绪通宝” with “宝泉” on the reverse side sold for 517,500 yuan ($81,522 USD).

A silver sycee of 50-taels from the Tang Dynasty, also collected by Gong Xinzhao, sold for 494,500 yuan ($77,899USD). According to Sun Zhonghui, an expert in ancient coins, the sycee was likely used to collect taxes on private houses. In addition, a silver sycee of salt merchants, 50-taels, from the Jin Dynasty sold for 460,000 yuan ($72,464 USD).

At the Modern Coins session, the highlights included the Hupoo Ta Ching silver pattern coin inscribed with the Chinese character for middle,"中", which sold for 391,000 yuan ($61,594 USD); Kiang Nan province, Kuang Hsu Yuan Pao (undated) with an ornamental edge sold for 333,500 yuan ($52,536 USD); closely followed by a silver pattern coin of dragon and phoenix produced in 1923, which sold for 332,000 yuan ($52,300 USD).

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