HONG KONG.- Spink
will be holding on 19 January 2014 in Hong Kong a diverse sale of Fine Stamps and Covers of China and Hong Kong with Japan and Korea.
The star lot is an 1884 cover to Germany that bears a rare combination of China Large Dragon stamp used in combination with Hong Kong stamps (to pay the overseas postage). Estimated at HK$1-1.2 million/ US$128,205-153,846, the Large Dragon stamp is cancelled by the rare Kiukiang datestamp in red and is thought to be one of only three such examples of this postmark on cover.
Another highlight is an 1867 blue entire letter to Nagasaki Per Corea bearing 1867 1ca. (Estimate: HK$600,000-850,000/ US$76,923-108,974, Lot 2002). This is believed to be the earliest external use of Shanghai local post stamps on cover and is generally accepted as one of the most famous covers of Shanghai.
In 1870, Hong Kong issued a 4c. stamp with the error of perforation 12½ instead of 14. This extraordinary 1871 cover to Scotland bears two examples of this popular and scarce stamp. There are only two covers bearing two examples of this stamp and this cover is cancelled in Shanghai (Estimate: HK$300,000-350,000/ US$38,462-44,871, Lot 2458).
Among the important stamps on offer is the 1897 10c. on 9ca. dull green variety surcharge double, pane 4 (the first stamp of the second row as this value was printed in reduced sheets of 20). A fresh and attractive example of this great rarity, it is estimated at HK$550,000-600,000/ US$70,513-76,923 (Lot 2035).
Spink will also be offering the 1897 small figures 4c. on 3c. red (Estimate: HK$400,000-450,000/ US$51,282-57,692, Lot 2053), an item of exceptionally clear colour. It is a very desirable example of the scarce and popular stamp. It is now believed that a minimum of 300 Small 4c. were printed with at least twelve different panes identified. This is still one of the most coveted stamps of the Revenue issues.
A 1914-19 First Peking Print, a $2 black and blue variety inverted centre, one of the Four Treasures of the Republic boasting strong colours (Estimate: HK$600,000-800,000/ US$76,923-102,564, Lot 2083) is a further highlight. Despite the variations in the positions of the perforations, Spink have demonstrated that only one sheet of fifty was released. So far only forty examples have been recorded. This stamp is from the top row.
In 1923 bandits derailed the prestigious Blue Express taking many foreigners captive. This created an international incident and one of the mediators who liaised with the bandits, set up a postal service and even issued their own stamps. These philatelic oddities are now extremely scarce and the auction includes five lots of the stamps plus a newly discovered cover (Estimate: HK$50,000-60,000/ US$6,410-7,692, Lot 2090) which is one of only seven covers recorded bearing these stamps.
Also of note is the 1949 Dah Tung Print, Flying Geese in bluish green, without value (Estimate: HK$400,000-600,000/ US$51,282-76,923, Lot 2100). Centred a little low as usual and with good perforations all round, this is a stunning example of this great rarity of Chinese philately and is most probably the finest example of the six recorded in private hands. A magnificent stamp for the connoisseur.
This design was produced for use as a unit stamp to be given the appropriate overprint, but was never issued. Similar designs, with values, were also prepared and the dollar values put on sale. Some of the other examples of this stamp have suffered some ageing and are with tone spots or other defacing marks.
The highlight of the Peoples Republic of China stamps is the 1980 Year of the Monkey in a complete sheet of eighty. This fine sheet is expected to fetch HK$1,000,000-1,100,000/ US$128,205-141,026 (Lot 2162).
The 1906 typhoon in Hong Kong caused some considerable damage both on the land and in the harbour. This fine lot of 56 original photographs shows much of the devastation caused by the storm (Estimate: HK$30,000-50,000/ US$3,846-6,410, Lot 2431A).