Zurich Asia to offer rare philatelic treasures of imperial and modern China

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Zurich Asia to offer rare philatelic treasures of imperial and modern China
1980 Year of the Monkey (“Golden Monkey”) complete sheet of 80 stamps.

HONG KONG.- Zurich Asia, the leading stamp auction house in Asia, will hold its next sale on 23 and 24 August 2015 at the Harbour Plaza Hotel, North Point, Hong Kong. Nearly 3,800 lots of outstanding philatelic items, banknotes and a special selection of Chinese art will be offered. A public preview will take place on 21 and 22 August.

Taking centre-stage is a unique 1897 Dowager Mollendorf printing, of a block of four bright yellow-green 9 candarins, imperforate horizontally between the stamps, thereby comprising two vertical pairs imperforate between (Estimate: HK$400,000-500,000/ US$51,282-64,103, Lot 300).

In fabulous condition, this extremely rare block in fresh colour is in very fine mint condition with full original gum never hinged. There are only four recorded examples of this variety. Formerly in the private collection of esteemed collector Huang Ming Fang, it is expected to generate enormous interest among collectors.

Of great interest is an extremely rare 1922 inverted surcharge in blue green on Junk First Peking print 2 cents on 3 cents (Estimate: HK$400,000-500,000/ US$51,282 64,103, Lot 786). This variety is known as one of the ‘Four Treasures of the Republic’ and is highly coveted by philatelic connoisseurs. In mint condition and with partial original gum, it comes with a certificate of the British Philatelic Association dated 2015. With this new discovery, the number of recorded copies of this variety has increased to just 15.

Another highlight is a block of ten 1894 Dowager first print 3 candarins orange-yellow stamps of brilliant colour, in excellent mint condition with full original gum (Estimate: HK$300,000-400,000/ US$38,462-51,282, Lot 249). Of particular note, the interpane margins at top and foot and imperforate horizontally between variety on the second and third row of the stamps, resulting in two vertical pairs of imperforate between variety. Six vertical pairs of such variety have been recorded by Zurich Asia and this offering is the only multiple and thus the only sheet printed with this error. It was formerly in the collections of Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman and Huang Ming Fang.

The sale will also present an array of the sought-after 1980 Year of the Monkey (“Golden Monkey”) stamps, highlighted by a complete sheet of 80 stamps in shiny gold colour (Estimate: HK$950,000-1,050,000/ US$121,795-134,615, Lot 2317).

Also of note is a carmine 1885 "2 CENTS" surcharge on 8 cents stamp, position 10, surcharge double variety in mint condition and full original gum. The only recorded example of this variety, it was formerly in the collection of Walter Bickly (Estimate: HK$80,000-100,000/ US$10,256-12,821, Lot 3103).

Among the rare covers on offer is a 1936 (7 Sept.) cover bearing the rare Chairman Mao $5 scarlet stamp of Liao Ning Posts, Tung Hua print (Estimate: HK$250,000- 300,000/ US$32,051-38,462, Lot 4267). It was mailed from Guard Company at Tunghua, 4th Military sub-district, Liaoning Military District to Comrade Gao Peng 1st Company, 6th Regiment 2nd Division of Yanji-xian, Jiandao Province. Tied by 'TUNGHUA' circular date stamp, with complete Unable to Send post office receipt attached on front, and tied by 'YANJI/15,1,47' arrival circular date stamp, this prized offering was formerly in the renowned Mizuhara Collection.

Also from the Mizuhara Collection is a 1946 (10 Aug.) cover from Zhaoyuan to Harbin, bearing a 50 cents violet blue Dove of Peace stamp of Chaoyuan print (Estimate: HK$250,000-280,000/ US$32,051–35,897, Lot 4282). It was tied by a 'ZHAOYUAN' circular date stamp, and on the reverse with a 'HARBIN/7.9.46' arrival circular date stamp. The Dove of Peace used on the cover is extremely rare in the market and this is the first one ever encountered by Zurich Asia.

Zurich Asia is also pleased to present a selection of exceptional Chinese works of art in the sale. A highlight is a fabulous sancai-glazed pottery figure of a camel and rider from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) (Estimate: HK$1,500,000- 2,000,000/ US$192,308 256,410, Lot 3509). In fine condition, this exquisite work of art features very attractive colours and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity issued in 2007 by celebrated Chinese pottery expert Li Zhiyan.

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