Large Dragon stamp triples its estimate at Kelleher and Rogers sale

Dec 5, 2016, 9 AM

By Matthew Healey, New York Correspondent 

Kelleher and Rogers held a sale of Chinese and other Asian stamps in Hong Kong on Nov. 5-6.

A Large Dragon stamp, issued in 1866 by the foreign-run Shanghai local post, was distinguished by having antique-style numerals, the denomination “candareens” as plural, and being printed on laid paper in a lovely shade of terra cotta (variety of Scott 28).

Called “a stellar example of this great rarity,” it tripled its presale estimate to bring the equivalent of $17,800, including the 15 percent buyer’s premium added by the firm.

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Among issues of the People’s Republic of China, a withdrawn set of 1953 stamps honoring the 35th anniversary of Russia’s October Revolution (a variety of People’s Republic of China Scott 194-197) was offered both unused and used.

The stamps were pulled back from sale because of an inaccuracy in the inscriptions: the use of the Chinese character for “Soviet.” The Soviet Union was not established until 1922, so referring to the 1917 revolution as “Soviet” was an embarrassing anachronism. The stamps were subsequently issued with revised inscriptions.

The unused error set, without gum as many early stamps from the People’s Republic were issued, sold for $22,200, while the used set, with a couple of small flaws, fetched $5,900.