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Zurich Asia to offer rare stamps and philatelic treasures in April Hong Kong auction
Dowager large figure surcharge.

HONG KONG.- Zurich Asia, the leading stamp auction house in Asia, will hold from 13-14 April the sale of Stamps, Postal History & Coins of China and other Countries at Harbour Plaza Hotel North Point, Hong Kong. Over 2,000 lots of rare and magnificent philatelic items will be presented. Public preview will take place from 11-12 April. Of particular note, this auction will offer a special collection of British Postal Agencies in China (1917-1930) which is known as one of the most outstanding Hong Kong postal collections ever assembled.

Stamps & Postal History
A unique 1894 Dowager 9 Candarins bright green block of four imperforate between and imperforate corner margins containing tęte-bęche from pane three takes center-stage (Estimate: HK$800,000-1,000,000/US$102,564-128,205, Lot 321, illustrated above). An extremely fine example with fresh mint previously in the private collection of esteemed collector Huang Ming Fang, this philatelic treasure is the only recorded tęte-bęche block imperforate vertically and imperforate corner margins. It has been highly pursued by discerning collectors and is expected to generate tremendous interest of bidders from the region.

Another star lot is a 1897 Dowager large figure 1/2 cent surcharge on 3 Candarins block of 12 stamps with selvedge on three sides (Estimate: HK$300,000-400,000/ US$38,462-51,282, Lot 371). It is imperforate between first and second horizontal row of stamps, thereby yielding four vertical imperforate pairs. In exceptional condition with full original gum never hinged, this fresh and rare example is believed to be a unique item.

Further highlights of outstanding quality from the Dowager period include a complete set of 9 mint four-stamp blocks of 1897 Empress Dowager commemorative issue (Estimate: HK$250,000-300,000/ US$32,051-28,462, Lot 366). This set of second printing surcharge of large figures is in full original gum and very fresh colours with no toning.

The sale will also offer a rare used 1897 large figure $5 surcharge on 3 cents Red Revenue stamp tied by partial Dollar chop with Peter Holcombe's signature on the back (Estimate: HK$200,000-240,000/ US$25,641-30,769, Lot 475). Imperial Red Revenue stamp is one of the most sought after stamps in the world. $5 used copies, exemplified by this lot, is in fact much scarcer in the market than the mint copies of the same surcharge.

British Postal Agencies In China (1917-1930)
Zurich Asia will offer in this auction a special catalogue of stamps issued by British Postal Agencies in China between 1917 and 1930. This is one of the finest Hong Kong stamps collection ever formed, bringing together a myriad of exceedingly rare Hong Kong 'CHINA' overprints. Entirely owned by K. L. Perrin, it was used as the basis for the book he published in 1973. The collection was originally sold to Richard Chan, who subsequently sold to the present owner through private treaty. The offerings in this collection have never been auctioned before or have not been made available in the market for over four decades. This marks an excellent opportunity for all collectors to garner some of the crown jewels of British Postal Agencies items.

Great Britain obtained a number of commercial privileges in various Chinese ports in the 19th century, which were also known as 'Treaty Ports'. In each of these ports, British consulates were set up and the consuls acted as postal agents in the early days. From 1844 onwards, the Hong Kong post office allowed the consuls to receive and transmit post to Hong Kong. In the 1910s, a specific issue of stamps were printed for use in China, rather than adopting the Hong Kong adhesives. These stamps were only used for a short period as the Chinese government negotiated the abolition of all foreign postal agencies in China on the first day of 1923.

The star lot in this catalogue is a unique 1922 2 cents green 'SPECIMEN' in black italic (Estimate: HK$130,000-150,000/ US$16,666-19,230, Lot 2027) . In October 1927, a new printing of the 2 cents green and 4 cents carmine was ordered by Hong Kong General Post Office. SPECIMENS were ordered generally for higher value denominations only. It is still unclear why the order concerned these two values and how the existing SPECIMEN copies were retained and circulated. While it is acknowledged that there are possibly two existing copies of the 4 cents, the present copy of the 2 cents with SPECIMEN overprint is believed to be unique. It is a highly precious and magnificent showpiece that collectors shall not miss.

Further highlights include
A 1921 (24 Mar.) 'CHINA' 10 cents registered envelop tied by oval 'REGISTERED/SHANGHAI B.P.O' cancellation with an extra Republic of China 1 cent orange stamp (Estimate: HK$13,000-15,000/ US$1,667-1,923, Lot 2048).

A 1921 (23 Oct.) cover with a King George V 4 cents stamp from Shanghai to Hong Kong tied by 'HONG KONG/28.10.21' (Estimate: HK$20,000-30,000/ US$2,654-3,846, Lot 2050). The stamp itself was not cancelled either by British or Chinese authority but finally by Hong Kong Post Office upon arrival. This is the only one recorded item of such.

Art & Paintings
Collectors will also be delighted to find a selection of impressive works of art presented in this sale. Amongst the highlights is Waterfront People, an oil painting by Li Chong-Liang (Estimate: HK$100,000-120,000/ US$12,820-15,385, Lot 1867). Born in Shanghai in 1944 and graduated from Zhejiang Art College and Beijing Art College, Li is a member of Chinese Art Association specializing in oil painting.

Sale items (except paintings) will be on view at Harbour Plaza Hotel North Point, Hong Kong from 11-12 April 2013.

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