Zurich Asia to offer rare stamps and philatelic treasures

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Zurich Asia to offer rare stamps and philatelic treasures
A very fine 1883 Large Dragon cover mailed from Hong Kong to Peking, bearing a Hong Kong Queen Victoria 5 cents blue stamp, tied by 'B62' obliterator, matching the single ring 'HONG.KONG/18.5.83' index 'B' (Estimate: HK$400,000–500,000/ US$51,282–64,103.

HONG KONG.- Zurich Asia announced that it will hold its Hong Kong autumn auction on 28 and 29 September 2019 at Harbour Plaza North Point Hotel, offering over 2,400 lots of rare philatelic treasures, banknotes and coins.

The sale features an exceptional group of a variety known as one of the “Four Treasures of the Republic” which are highly coveted by philatelic connoisseurs. Leading this section is an extremely rare 1925 inverted surcharge in red on 2nd Peking print Junk issue, 3 cents on 4 cents grey (Estimate: HK$1,000,000-1,200,000/ US$128,205-153,846, Lot 505). In mint condition and with no gum, its reverse carries a ‘H.L. CHUNG' seal chop in red and comes with a certificate by Experts & Consultants dated 2019. Only ten examples of this variety are believed to exist, making it a true rarity in the market.

Another star lot is a 1925 inverted surcharge in red on 2nd Peking printing 3 cents on 4 cents slate-grey stamp and very finely used (Estimate: HK$800,000–1,000,000/ US$102,564–128,205, Lot 505A). This is the rarest of the Four Treasures of the Republic variety with fewer than 10 copies recorded, of which 3 are used.

A superb selection of covers with Large Dragon stamps from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) will be offered. A major highlight is an extremely rare and unique 1882 cover from England to Peking with a Large Dragon stamp bearing Great Britain QV 5p 'HELSTON' cancel, alongside a 3 candarins brown red Large Dragon, tied by 'CUSTOMS/SHANGHAI/28.9.82' cancel (Estimate: HK$700,000–800,000/ US$89,744–102,564, Lot 347). On the reverse it features a double ring 'HONG-KONG/MARINE-SORTER/SINGAPORE TO HONG-KONG/9/15.9.82' ship cancel, 'HONG KONG/14.9.82' transit and 'CUSTOMS/SHANGHAI/18.9.82' transit. This newly discovered cover is believed to be the only known Large Dragon cover with the 'Marine Sorter' cancellation and there is no other record of a similar item.

Another highlight is a very fine 1883 Large Dragon cover mailed from Hong Kong to Peking, bearing a Hong Kong Queen Victoria 5 cents blue stamp, tied by 'B62' obliterator, matching the single ring 'HONG.KONG/18.5.83' index 'B' (Estimate: HK$400,000–500,000/ US$51,282–64,103, Lot 348). It also carries a wide margin 3 candarins brown red Large Dragon stamp tied by a large 'TIENTSIN' seal chop, antique type in black. On the reverse are 'SHANGHAE/23.5.83', index 'A', British Post Office transit, and ‘CUSTOMS/TIENTSIN/27.5.83' arrival circular date stamps.

It is extremely rare to find a Large Dragon cover with this 'SHANGHAE' cancellation and there are fewer than 20 Hong Kong/Large Dragon combination covers believed to exist. Coming from a newly discovered archive in France, this offering is expected to attract strong interest from discerning collectors.

Also, from a newly discovered archive in France is a unique and very fine 1884 printed 'Imperial Chinese Telegraphs' envelope used in Tientsin, with Telegram no.344, on the front bearing a 3 candarin brown red Large Dragon stamp tied by a large 'TIENTSIN' antique seal chop in black (Estimate: HK$ 200,000–250,000/ US$25,641–32,051, Lot 351). On the reverse is a matching 'CUSTOMS/TIENTSIN/9.7.84' cancel in black. There is no record of an 'Imperial Chinese Telegraphs' envelope used with Large Dragon stamps and this rarity is an excellent show piece for any exhibition collection.

Among the Qing Dynasty revenue stamps on offer is a rare 1897 Red Revenue Large figures surcharge inverted, $5 on 3 cents. It is in mint condition, a small part with original gum (Estimate: HK$300,000–400,000/ US$38,462–51,282, 461A).

Also of note is a 1915 Overprinted 'For use in Sinkiang' on 1st Peking print Junk, $1 black and ochre, with the Chinese character 2nd and 3rd transposed, and very fresh surface colour. One of the 'Four Treasures’ of the Republic of China stamps, fewer than 20 examples of this variety have been recorded (Estimate: HK$300,000–400,000/ $38,462–51,282, Lot 695D).

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