Rare use of China’s Large Dragon on 1879 cover from Taiwan in InterAsia auction
By Michael Baadke
InterAsia Auctions in Hong Kong is holding a series of five auctions June 26-29. The series features the T.S. Yang collection of Chinese Customs and Imperial Post; the Nostalgia collection of mail to and from China, Indochina and Japan; the People’s Republic of China and Liberated Areas; Hong Kong and treaty ports; and Asian stamps and postal history.
A key item from these sales, and a rarity of Chinese postal history, is being offered during the Sunday session.
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The 1879 cover is addressed to William Hancock of Imperial Maritime Customs in Shanghai, with a Nov. 27 originating circular datestamp in red from Tamsuy on the island of Taiwan.
An additional Nov. 29 Amoy transit datestamp on the reverse is struck in red.
The cover is franked with China’s 1878 3-candareen brown-red Large Dragon stamp on thin paper with sheet margin at right, and struck with a black Dec. 2 Shanghai datestamp. A matching Shanghai strike also appears on the back of the envelope.
InterAsia describes this envelope as the only recorded use of the Large Dragons on an envelope originating from Taiwan, and “Irrefutably, the greatest postal history item of Taiwan.”
The auction catalog provides additional history and details of the cover.
Listed in the cover’s provenance are C.L. Kao, Sir Percival David, Bernard Stoloff, Anna-Lisa and Sven-Eric Beckeman, and Huang Ming-Jeng.
An estimate of $2.5 million to $3 million (Hong Kong dollars) is given for this cover in the InterAsia auction catalog. As of early June, that estimate converts to approximately US$322,000 to US$386,500.
The five catalogs for the upcoming InterAsia auction series are all available online.
The firm uses an online bid sheet, which is available on the website. Live auction Internet bidding is also available with advance registration, and other bidding options are available.
For additional information, contact InterAsia Auctions Ltd., Suite A, 13/F, Shun Ho Tower, 24–30 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong.
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