It starred a 1968 Chinese stamp, which doubled its estimate despite being described as 'repaired'
The latest Stanley Gibbons Public Auction, held in London on December 17, showed that Asian material is once again proving to be very popular with bidders. The China section in particular more than doubled its lower pre-auction estimate of just over £56,000 ($86,921).
According to Stanley Gibbons, room bidders were competing against determined telephone bidders and a strong log book, which resulted in the 1962 Stage Art of Mei Lan-fang 3y miniature sheet (SG MS2044a) realising £12,650.
Meanwhile, the highest realisation was scored by the 1968 The Whole Country is Red 8f. The piece sold for £31,050 ($48,195), even though it was described as having been repaired, re-gummed and with tone spots.
Another, better quality version of the once controversial stamp previously sold for a World Record price of HK$3.68m (US$475,000) in November 2009.
Collections of China were also keenly contested with one lot comprising a general collection in three volumes from 1949 to mid 1980s. It brought £20,70, while what was described as an "interesting accumulation of Postal History loose in carton" reached £13,800.
Hong Kong continued the trend with a complete sheet of Trengganu 1942 $5 green and red/yellow (SG J115) stamps realising £10,925.
The Penny Black has proved popular among Chinese collectors with Stanley Gibbons selling out of stock at an event in Beijing in November.
With demand for the stamp 100 times the normal market size and collectors prepared to pay well over the catalogue value, prices for this relic of British will surely increase in the future. "Buyers of the 1d black at this month's auction may well have secured themselves a great deal if the trend continues," said a statement from Stanley Gibbons.
All above quoted prices include buyers premium at 15%.