The Landmark Oriental in Central Hong Kong will see a lot of action this week end as the foremost stamp in Hong Kong’s postal history will be auctioned. The 96c olive-bistre block of four has already aroused a great deal of interest from around the world as it became known that it could become available in an auction. Spink is following up swiftly on its Winter Series sale with what is termed as “Hong Kong’s most important philatelic item”.
This unique block of four 96c olive-bistre is believed to have been made in 1864 by De la Rue. 52 sheets of 240 stamps each were unexpectedly made in the olive-bistre color. It appears to be a simple mistake. And since the mistake was corrected from the next batch no more olive-bistre were ever made. This block of four has formed the centerpiece of the most important collections on Hong Kong.
It is believed that only about forty unused examples of 96c olive-bistre exist today including this unique block of four. And that is the reason why it is being touted as a strong investment. It has been auctioned only twice in its long life. The pre sale estimate for the block of four is HK$8,000,000-12,000,000 which is equivalent to US $1.5 million.