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'Cultural revolution' stamps set records at auction

2011-03-29 17:00

Two "cultural revolution"-era (1966-76) stamps sold for more than HK$600,000 at an auction in early March hosted by Zurich Asia, a leading stamp auction house, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Louis Mangin, the director of Zurich Asia, said stamps from the "cultural revolution" are extremely popular.

At a standing-room-only auction held in late February, Interasia Auctions sold more than 3,000 sets for a value of HK$98 million. A block of four stamps known as "Mao's Inscription to Japanese Worker Friends" from 1968, the largest existing set of this rare "cultural revolution", stamp went for HK$8.9 million, a record for a Chinese stamp at an auction. The stamps were never issued.

Other valuable stamps included a corner strip of three 1897 five-yuan Red Revenue stamps, which sold for HK$5.5 million. Interasia Co-founder Jeffrey Schneider said, Chinese collectors have an affinity for red stamps. The Red Revenue set of three represents the most popular among collectors of Chinese stamps because of the red color, the fact that they are from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and also because of their fascinating history.

Zurich Asia held its winter auction on Feb 20 and 21. The top lots included two eight-fen (0.08 yuan) 1968 China stamps. A foreign collector, who happened to be in China during the "cultural revolution", held both mint-condition stamps for more than 40 years. Chinese mainland buyers had the winning bids for both stamps.

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