Spink put on four solid auctions this weekend, including the highest grossing stamp auction ever held in Asia which achieved HK$84,000,000, with the combined total in excess of HK$100mn

SPINK CHINA | We are only halfway through the first month of 2016, Spink's 350th year, and already Spink is smashing records and raising the bar of Asian auctions. The event starred: Meiso Mizuhara, The Exhibition Collection, Chinese Customs Post on Sunday  17th.

The Mizuhara collection proved to be a new bench mark for stamp auctioning in Asia by being not only the largest stamp auction held in Hong Kong or even China, but for the entirety of Asia. It was also the largest single vendor auction; the previous record was over 20 years ago and spread out over seven catalogues and several years. The results of this auction add further dignity to an already great philatelic collector and stand as a firm testament of success for a lifetime dedicated to Chinese philately. Despite the challenging environment in Chinese financial markets, the auction broke many world records.

Mizuhara's fantastic array of essays, die proofs and exquisite rarities captured the heart and soul of the auction room; achieving an incredible World record for a stamp essay of any country. This honour was awarded to lot 1515: the unique pair of essays which are an important part of the development of the Large Dragon design.


Lot 1515 - A pair of fine brush painted essays on stout wove paper.  A delightful and highly important pair of essays which have a prominent place in the history of the dragon design. Realised: HK$4,800,000

Lot 1516, the Elephant essay sold at an incredible price for HK$3,000,000.


Lot 1516 - 1878 -83 The Large Dragon Issue and Proofs. The third fine brush design in the series.

The dragon proved to be a very lucky motif for Spink and a mere 6 lots later, another record was smashed; Lot 1522 proved to be a world record for a die proof of any country, realising HK$2,040,000.


Lot 1522 - 1 ca. die proof in black on stout wove paper, 48 x 68 mm. This displays the final dragon design with three dots for each eyebrow. Only two examples have been recorded.

Two of the legendary rarities, "The small dollar" where sold as separate lots; lot 1719 going under the hammer at a HK$4,320,000, and lot 1720 achieving a World record for China's most iconic stamp, realising HK$6,240.000.


Lot 1719 and 1720 - 1897 Revenue Surcharges. The One Small Dollar. $1 on 3c. red.

Apart from these bright shiners there were many excellent results in this auction, affirming Spink's place at the head of philatelic auctions in Asia; sourcing quality material of the highest caliber for collectors world-wide. After a very intense and very strong battle between several bidders; Lot 1682, The United States Post office cover, was sold for almost quadruple its estimate at HK$5,760,000.


Lot 1682 - 1878-83 The Large Dragon Issue. United States Post Office.

The small dragon issue covers, 1885-88 with Lot 1699; The French post office, large dragon and small dragon used in combination realized HK$1,800,000.


Lot 1699 - 1885-88 The Small Dragon Issue covers, French Post Office

Spink is extremely proud to be part of this magnificent event in Chinese philately. Spectacular results were achieved due to the importance of this collection from one of the great collectors - Meiso Mizuhara.

On Friday 15th evening Spink kicked off with the the Fine Whiskey, Cognac and other Spirits sale. The entire event was prefaced by an auction of some of the world's finest liquor and saw the sale of the First Official Organic Whisky Cask, a Springbank 1992, which sold for HK$683,200. Spink is now firmly established as the leading auction house in Asia for selling casks of whisky and rum, having sold more casks than any other auction house.


Lot 61 - Da Mihile Organic Springbank cask. Unique piece of Scotch whiskey history. 1992, 24 years old . Cask No.240. At cask strength 50-52%, should produce about 280 bottles.

Following this delightful evening we woke up on Saturday to our Numismatic auction of Banknotes, Bonds & Share Certificates and Coins of China and Hong Kong, which must be mentioned as an event full of rarities. For the first time ever, a complete set of 1912 specimen notes from The Mercantile Bank of Bombay was offered at auction. The Bank issued the pictorial series from 1912 in denominations of $5, $10, $25, $50 and $100. The $5 and $10 were printed until 1941 but the $25 was only a one year issue (1912), the $50 until 1930 and the $100 until 1960. The iconic $25 performed extremely well and the total set sold for HK$921,600.

Lot 1269 achieved a fantastic result. It was a Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, $50 cancelled issued note from 1898. A true rarity in superb condition for its type and very likely a completely unique offering and appropriately realised: $504,000.


Lot 1269 - $50 cancelled issued note from 1898.

The sale included some very interesting Chinese coins and Bonds. For the coin section it was Lot 115, one of the top lots; the fine and rare silver $1 Coin that sold above its high estimate at HK$33,600.


Lot 115 -1924, Duan Qi Rui on obverse, Chinese characters "He Ping" on reverse.

We had a solid and short section of Bonds and Shares  as part of the Numismatic sale where Lot 318, The Szhechuan Hanzhong Railway Company Limited, a very fine and scare item comprising 5 shares of 5 taels, remainder sold  at HK$12,000.


Lot 318 - 5 Shares of 5 taels, republic' overprinted on 2Kuangxu!, number 27, blue ornate border, dragons at top, pale green underprint, reverse black, steam train with crossed dragon flags at top, text in English and Chinese. 

A World Breaking philatelic auction and two sales packed with the fine collectable material was not enough for Spink HK. In the afternoon session of the 17th, Spink put on another auction to delight and thrill the shrewdest collectors achieving once again, very solid results:


Lot 2100 - China. Large dragon covers. 1883 (22 Mar.) Kennard Davis envelope to Shanghai bearing Great Britain 1880-83. Realised HK$420,000.

Lot 2073 - Large Dragons Postmarks. Shanghai - Type B; 1ca to 5ca. Wide setting set of three with 1ca deep green. Very rare and believed to be the only wide setting set. Realised: HK$348,000


Spink would like to thank everyone who was part of this historical and successful week, specially to the old and new passionate collectors who supported us during the sales, who we had the pleasure to personally meet during the extremely busy auctions and  to our dedicated clients were integral to the excellent results achieved in this intensely packed three days!

For more information, please contact:

Tel: + 852 3952 3000 | Email: [email protected]

SPINK CHINA | 4/F Hua Fu Commercial Building | 111 Queen's Road West | Hong Kong

About Spink

Spink is the world's leading auctioneer of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, bonds & shares, autographs, books and wine.  Since its foundation in 1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition, experience and integrity. Holder of royal warrants and numerous records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offers an unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide.  Headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland, Spink holds over 70 auctions a year.  Catalogues can be accessed through the Spink website (www.spink.comor via the Spink App for iPhone and iPad.