World Stamps

China’s 1945 Chiang Kai-shek set in demand

Aug 6, 2014, 7 AM

China — On Oct. 10, 1945, China issued a six-stamp set (Scott 605-610) commemorating the anniversary of the Oct. 10, 1943, inauguration of Chiang Kai-shek as president. The design used for all six stamps features a portrait of Chiang in full military dress uniform alongside a Chinese Nationalist flag.

At the time the stamps were issued, China was still reeling from the effects of World War II, which began for China in 1937 and resulted in the deaths of an estimated 17 million to 22 million Chinese.

Additionally, the Chinese Nationalist government was still engaged in a civil war with the Chinese Communist Party that began in 1927. The Communists would win that war in 1950, with the Chinese Nationalists evacuating to the island of Taiwan, where they continue in power today as the Republic of China.

Collectors of China generally love flag stamps. This set also appeals to flags-on-stamps topical collectors.

The 2015 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the set in unused hinged condition at $11.95. I recently saw a mint never-hinged set sell in an online auction for more than $26, a sizeable premium over the Scott catalog value for a set in unused hinged condition.

I think this set is well worth buying in unused hinged condition at or near the Scott catalog value, and in mint never-hinged condition at around $25.

A Linn’s editor found this week’s recommended stamps on at the following prices: China, 605-610 — not found; United States, 635a — $10, plate number block of four, mint never-hinged, very fine.

Tip of the Week

United States — In 1926, the U.S. Post Office Department began producing definitive stamps with the same designs as the 1922 issue, but perforated gauge 11 by 10½ (Scott 632-642). The earlier variety (Scott 551-573) was perforated gauge 11.

The color for the major-number-listed 3¢ Abraham Lincoln stamp from the 1926 issue (Scott 635) is given as violet. A bright violet shade variety is listed as Scott 635a. The 2014 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the bright violet variety at 30¢ in mint never-hinged condition.

Because of Lincoln promotions in connection with his 200th birthday, there was a time a few years ago when you could get more than $1 each for this stamp in mint never-hinged condition in quantity. I believe both the violet and the bright violet stamps are undervalued and should catalog at least $1.50 in mint never-hinged condition.

Mint panes with the majority of stamps in the grade of very fine are especially desirable.

If you can find this stamp offered at or near Scott catalog value, it is worth buying in quantity, as I believe that values will rise in the future. — H.G.