HONG KONG.- Zurich Asia
, the leading stamp auction house in Asia, held the auction of rare stamps, philatelic treasures and works of art in Hong Kong today. There was spirited bidding throughout the sale.
The top-selling lot was a horizontal pair imperforate-between variety of 1885 Small Dragon 1 candarin which realized HK$920,000 (US$119,171), establishing a new world auction record. Only two pairs of this great rarity has been recorded and the present example boasts the brightest colour and features fresh mint with much original gum.
A yellow green block of 1897 Dowager redrawn printing 2 cents on 2 candarins of four imperforate vertically variety with mint original gum fetched HK$690,000 (US$89,378), setting a new world auction record. It is known that only about ten remaining pairs of this variety survive and the present lot is the only block of four stamps.
Also of note was a 1897 Small Figures Surcharge 2 cents on 3 candarins with double surcharge variety and mint with black ink on reverse that achieved HK$402,500 (US$52,137), also a world record. Only three copies with this variety has been recorded by Zurich Asia and the present lot is believed to be the finest existing example and with the best provenance.