A rare 1896 Chinese red revenue die proof essay will be among the stars of a sale at Zurich Asia.
The piece looks to be an intermediate stage between the approved design and a later black die proof.
The design differs slightly from the approved issue
It differs from the latter in the addition of seven white dots surrounding the value in the centre.
The stamps were printed in the UK and shipped to China in 1896.
They were initially used only for revenues, but when the Chinese government approved the creation of a national postal service the following year they were overprinted with different values and used as a stopgap until the official postage stamps arrived.
The auction house explains: “This extremely rare and fabulous piece comes from a recent archive discovery at [postage stamp engraver] Waterlow and Sons Ltd. in the United Kingdom.
“It is truly a fascinating new discovery for Chinese philately and is expected to arouse tremendous interest among collectors.”
The lot is valued at $153,846-192,308 ahead of the March 11-12 sale in Hong Kong.
A horizontal strip of five 1897 Dowager small figure stamps (8 cents on 6 surcharge) is also offered.
It’s the only known strip of five for this popular issue and is expected to make around $38,462-44,872.
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