Rare unissued PRC 1956 Gate of Heavenly Peace with sun rays in July 11-12 Kelleher and Rogers auction in Connecticut

Jun 27, 2023, 8 AM

By Charles Snee

Kelleher and Rogers Ltd., a division of Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, will offer stamps of classic China and the People’s Republic of China during a July 11-12 public auction at the Kelleher gallery in Danbury, Conn.

The two-day sale features more than 1,100 lots and is highlighted by the David A. Andow collection of Amoy local posts and “exceptionally high quality Classic China, extensive Liberated Areas including a number of the rarest rarities,” according to Kelleher and Rogers.

Also included in the sale are noteworthy selections of Hong Kong and Japan.

A substantial rarity will be up for bids during the second day of the sale: an unused (without gum) People’s Republic of China 1956 8-fen red orange Gate of Heavenly Peace stamp with sunrays. Normal examples of the stamp (Scott 292) do not show the sunbeams streaming through the clouds in the sky.

Kelleher and Rogers describe the stamp as having “deep rich color which highlights the fine detail of the sharp engraving” and exceptional centering “within large margins.”

Faults noted by Kelleher and Rogers include a vertical crease through the middle of the stamp, some light paper bends and wrinkles, and a trace of thinning near the top.

Overall, Kelleher and Rogers describe the stamp as a “highly appealing example of this great rarity.”

The stamp, which was not regularly issued, is acknowledged in a footnote in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue and valued at $250,000 unused and $80,000 used.

Kelleher and Rogers estimates this Gate of Heavenly Peace stamp with sunrays at HK$350,000 to HK$400,000 (approximately US$44,750 to US$51,140 in mid-June) and lists it with an opening bid of HK$180,000 ($23,000).

A notable item among the offerings of China treaty ports is an unused vertical pair of the Amoy 1895 ½¢ postage due stamp with the top stamp missing the red two-line “POSTAGE DUE” overprint (Scott J1b).

A trace of a hinge mark is visible on the top stamp, and the pair retains a large part of its original gum.

In unused condition, Scott J1b is valued at $1,500 in the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940.

Against an opening bid of HK$3,000 (US$383), Kelleher and Rogers estimates this Amoy 1895 ½¢ postage due error pair at HK$6,000 to HK$8,000 (US$767 to US$1,023).

Also up for bids is a 1962 mint, never-hinged Mei Lan-fang souvenir sheet from the People’s Republic of China (Scott 628). Kelleher and Rogers describes the sheet as having a “pristine face, crisp corners, and immaculate gum.” Kelleher and Rogers estimates this popular PRC sheet at HK$80,000 to HK$100,000 (US$10,200 to US$12,770) and lists it with an opening bid of HK$40,000 (US$5,100).

Kelleher and Rogers has prepared a single catalog for the sale of stamps from classic China and People’s Republic of China that is available for viewing and download on the firm’s website, with online bidding options available on Stamp Auction Network.

For additional information, contact Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, 22 Shelter Rock Lane, Unit 53, Danbury, CT 06810.

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