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Group of about 50 rare People's Republic of China stamps fetches $126,000 in online-only auction
A group of about 50 People’s Republic of China stamps – including a rare block of four Golden Monkey stamps – sold for $126,000 in an Internet-only auction held Dec. 29 by Gordon S. Converse & Company, based in Wayne, Pa.
Nearly 500 lots of Chinese and Asian objects were pursued by more than 300 registered bidders, who participated through LiveAuctioneers.com and the Gordon S. Converse website, at www.AuctionsatConverse.com. Bids poured in from three of the five continents, with most of the action coming from the U.S. and Europe. The stamps were purchased by a bidder in China.
“We were surprised the stamps did as well as they did, but we underestimated the value of the Golden Monkeys,” said Todd Converse of Gordon S. Converse & Company. “Many of the lots, in fact, exceeded our expectations. With this auction, we made important headway into the burgeoning Asian market, which represents a new frontier of opportunity and business for us.”
It was the firm’s largest auction ever, in terms of total number of lots. Featured were stamps and currency, carved Zitan furniture and brushpots, seals and scrolls, bronze and jade, porcelain and bamboo. A lightly attended in-person preview was held at a gallery in nearby West Chester, and some, but not many, phone and absentee bids were taken. It was a true Internet sale.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 20 percent buyer’s premium.
A large Chinese Qing Dynasty Imperial jade central seal with 18 smaller seals in a Zitan box with finely carved cover, measuring 9 ½ inches by 13 ½ inches, was the sale’s second top lot, bringing $14,400. Also, a Chinese Qing Dynasty Imperial seal box with 36 green (or spinach jade) seals in a Zitan box, measuring 11 ½ inches by 5 ¾ inches by 3 ½ inches, garnered $7,200.
A group of four Chinese currency bills brought $20,400 and a lot of six Chinese currency bills realized $16,800. Also, a lot of 318 early Chinese stamps (from Qing Dynasty to Republic) chalked up $4,200, a Chinese watercolor of leafy plants in a museum envelope went for $4,800, amd a Chinese watercolor of lettering and crossed flags in a museum envelope rose to $10,500.
A fine Chinese silk and metallic rug – with the gold metallic field surrounded by various silk colored designs, suggesting it may belong to a group of rugs from the Imperial Palaces of Beijing, measuring about 70 inches by 96 inches – commanded $13,200 (making it the third top lot of the auction); and a Chinese bronze statue with superior casting, 17 inches tall, hit $3,000.
A pair of Chinese Zitan chairs, with fine and sophisticated carving, 31 ½ inches by 18 ½ inches by 18 ½ inches, breezed to $10,200; a Chinese Huanghuali chest with very fine carving, 12 ½ inches by 13 ½ inches by 9 inches, earned $4,200; and a Chinese famille rose porcelain tea pot from the Republic period decorated with a landscape scene, 5 ¾ inches tall, achieved $3,000.
A set of four 18th or 19th century double-paneled fine antique Chinese silk Kesi-like embroideries, apparently part of a set, gaveled for $2,400. The embroideries – framed, with each set of panels measuring 33 inches by 12 inches – boasted finely detailed stitching work depicting figurals of 18th and 19th century Chinese culture. Some scattered damage did not deter bidders.
A large Chinese Zitan vase stand with fine and sophisticated carving, 31 ½ inches tall, made $6,600; a pair of Chinese Huanghuali vase stands with very fine construction, 29 inches tall, brought $3,000; a Chinese watercolor painting book, 16 pages, 13 inches by 6 ½ inches, sold for $3,600; and a famille verte lidded jar, 4 inches tall, went to a determined bidder for $3,600.
Buoyed by the success of this auction, Gordon S. Converse & Company is planning another Internet-only Chinese and Asian sale, probably for sometime in March. Another, smaller auction may be held between now and then. The firm is also planning a sale for sometime in early 2013 that will feature a large collection of tribal arts and silver. More details will follow.
Gordon S. Converse & Company is always seeking quality consignments for future sales. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them directly at (610) 722-9004, or you can e-mail them at either Todd@ConverseClocks.com or Gordon@ConverseClocks.com.
Anyone interested in finding out what an antique item might be worth may do so by sending a photo of the item, along with a check for $40, to Gordon S. Converse & Co., Attn: Gordon S. Converse, 758 Mancill Rd., Wayne, PA 19087. To learn more about Gordon S. Converse & Co., and the upcoming auctions, please log on to www.AuctionsatConverse.com.