PIMCO's "Bond King" Bill Gross, also recognised as the greatest stamp collector of modern times will be selling his Western Europe and its Colonies philatelic collection at Spink Shreves in New York on May 19.
The sale - Gross's fifth in recent years - is more than likely to continue the success of his $3.2m sale of US Confederate Provisionals and British North American stamps late last year; and will put another set of extremely fine and rare stamps back into the market.
Among these is the 1900 10pf Carmine cover, a tremendously rare stamp here marked with a diagonal "China" overprint at a 45 degree angle, with a Michel Type 3 "5 Pf." surcharge and additional "5" handstamped surcharge.
Also on the cover, addressed to Neisse Germany, is a German Offices in China 1898 5pf Green, and a China 1898 ½c Coiling Dragon stamp marked with two clear strikes of a date stamp reading "Tsingtau, Kiautschau/29.8/00".
Only about 100 stamps were produced, and it is believed that only two examples of this immensely rare philatelic specimen exist on cover. This makes it without question one of the greatest rarities of both German Colonial and Chinese philately extant.
The cover appeared as one of the highlights of the famed Meiso Mizuhara exhibition collection. Signed by Drahn, Hermann and Richter, as well as being accompanied by a 1970 Bothe certificate, the historic cover carries an estimate of $82,500.