Stamp exhibition posts a profit
Updated: 2011-11-22 07:57
By Shi Jing (China Daily)
A set of stamps commemorating Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang. Provided to China Daily
A rare stamp auction at a record-breaking philately exhibition in Wuxi attracted both specialist collectors and hordes of visitors. Shi Jing reports.
The 1896 Red Revenue 3c stamp, one of the four rarest stamps in China's history, was sold for 782,000 yuan ($123,060) at an auction held by Shanghai Hosane Auction Co Ltd during The 27th Asian International Stamp Exhibition, in Wuxi, on Nov 13.
The "China All Red" stamp, issued in 1968.
The auction brought in 13.67 million yuan, with 83 percent of the items offered sold.
Although the bidding prices were not aimed at amateur collectors, Qiao Feng, who has been collecting for about two years, flew from Shanxi province to take a look at the priceless stamps on offer.
"I received the catalogue in early November. Although I was not able to bid I didn't want to lose the chance of seeing so many classic items," Qiao says.
Tan Xiaowei, deputy director of the All-China Philatelic Federation standing committee said the exhibition was the largest in its history, attracting philatelists from 53 countries and regions.
At least 202,200 people attended during the weekend session.
A total of 1,324 sets of stamps were shown for competition, and 89 additional sets were displayed, in addition to 24 sets of stamps from overseas, says Xu Jianzhou, deputy director of State Post Bureau.
"Visitors were fortunate enough to get a look at the six most treasured stamps collected by China National Post and the Postage Stamp Museum, as well as stamps from Thailand's Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn," Xu says.
In addition to very rare stamps, there were 315 exhibition stands selling cheaper stamps and coins, 255 of which were domestic and the rest from overseas.
Disney stamps were shown at the US stand, which were popular among young women visitors. Gu Rong from Shanghai, for instance, picked up some Snow White stamps, her favorite cartoon character.
The 1896 Red Revenue 3c stamp.
Security guards at the exhibition also got involved and made an effort to get a postmark at every stand, such as one with the silhouette of US President Barack Obama. These postmarks were collected in an exhibition passport - similar to those at the Expo 2010 Shanghai.
Stamps showing the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton were popular, as were Hello Kitty stamps from Japan.
But Qian Ling, from Jiangsu province's Lianyungang, was attracted by some Papua New Guinea stamps showing the history of the Chinese movie industry - including one of actor Ge You.
"It was so surprising to see my favorite star appear on the stamps of other countries. It is quite worth the money to buy a set of such stamps at 17 yuan ($2.68). I did not hesitate to buy one," Qian says.
The exhibition was well received among stamp dealers both from China and abroad.
"At a time of economic cooling down, when both the property market and stock market are performing badly, it is probably wiser to invest in stamps, whose value will increase over time," Wu Fengfeng, secretary-general of Wuxi municipal government, says.
"That's probably why domestic and overseas stamp speculators have gathered in Wuxi this time."
(China Daily 11/22/2011 page20)