Rare stamps set to fetch HK$15m at auction
Extremely rare Hong Kong and mainland stamps with errors will be auctioned in the city, and one of them dates back to 1865.
Zurich Asia, the leading stamp auction house in Asia, will hold its postal history spring auction from April 24 to 26 at the Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay. It will offer 2,258 lots, from Hong Kong and other Asian places, with an estimated total value of more than HK$15 million.
A Queen Victoria 96 cent stamp is among the highlights. It was issued in Hong Kong in 1865 with an error in its colour. It is olive bistre but it should have been printed in grey brown and is expected to fetch HK$500,000.
Another rare error stamp was issued between 1914 and 1919 in China. The image of the Peking Hall of Classics in the $2 stamp was printed upside down. It is expected to fetch HK$550,000. A rare full pane of red revenue surcharge stamps issued in 1897 during the Qing dynasty is expected to fetch HK$500,000.
A rare and unissued stamp of Chairman Mao Zedong's inscription to a Japanese labour friend is expected to fetch HK$400,000.
Stamp collector Poon Kam-leung said these stamps were valuable because of their limited number and the printing errors. 'They are rare and valuable to collect. Some of them were unissued. It is rare to see the printing errors as well,' he said.
Zurich Asia director Louis Mangin said the market for philately had grown significantly. 'There is a strong demand for a variety of rare stamps, and postal history of China... This phenomenon is enhanced by the rapidly increasing interest among mainland Chinese collectors who covet rare stamps with historical significance. The accessibility of stamps also makes it a highly desired category for collectors who are looking to invest in alternative assets from art, wine and jewellery.'
This is the amount a rare $2 stamp from China is now expected to sell for, in Hong Kong dollars,: $550,000