Asia, PRC and more in June 25-27 John Bull auction series in Hong Kong
By Charles Snee
John Bull, the Hong Kong-based philatelic auction firm, will conduct a series of three sales June 25-27. All lots in these sales are transacted in Hong Kong dollars.
Leading off the series on June 25 is part 1 of John Bull’s sale of stamps and postal history of the People’s Republic of China and liberated areas. Part 2 of the auction will take place on June 26. Combined, the two parts include 1,290 lots.
Among the PRC items are numerous sets and collections, many of which offer affordable opportunities for a collector interested in one of the world’s most fascinating countries.
One of the more colorful PRC collections to tempt bidders is a complete collection of the 1949-67 C and S series issues.
According to John Bull, this mint and used assemblage contains mostly canceled-to-order (CTO) stamps and “some nice mint sets.”
CTO cancels may be printed on the stamps at the same time that the stamp design is printed. CTO stamps do not see actual postal use and are sold to stamp dealers at large discounts from face value.
Most stamp catalogs state whether they price CTO stamps or genuinely used stamps.
A page from the album illustrated with the lot description includes stamps featuring a colorful array of mountain scenes, flowers and animals, such as the giant panda.
Given the substantial size of the collection, John Bull recommends that bidders examine it to assess overall condition.
John Bull is offering this collection with a starting bid of $15,000 (roughly U.S. $1,912 in early June).
On June 26, John Bull will sell the Artful House collection of Tsingtau postal history and macro history of modern China.
Collectors of classic-era postal history of India and Tibet will want to take a close look at a cover mailed Sept. 20, 1888, from Abergele, England, to Arthur Sandbach in Sikkim, India.
Sandbach (1859-1928) was a general officer who served in the Royal Engineers of the British Army.
The cover is franked with five Great Britain 1881 1-penny lilac Queen Victoria stamps (Scott 89, with 16 dots in each right angle of the frameline) and shows visible wear from its lengthy journey.
John Bull describes the cover as “one of the earliest known covers into Tibet, reflecting the Sikkim expedition in 1888.”
Sandbach participated in the expedition, which was conducted by the British to remove Tibetan forces from Sikkim, a state now located in northeast India.
John Bull lists this important piece of Indian and Tibetan post history with a minimum bid of $8,000 (approximately U.S. $1,020).
On June 27, John Bull concludes its three-day series of auctions with an 850-lot general sale. Somewhat more than half of the items are from Hong Kong and the Republic of China. Imperial Post issues are also well represented.
Individual catalogs for each of the three sales are available for viewing and download on the John Bull website. For more information, write John Bull Auctions, 7/F, Kwong Fat Hong Building, 1 Rumsey St., Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.
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