The auction sale of the ‘Meiji’ Property of classic Japan in Geneva on June 3 was a great success. This was the most significant auction offer of Japan stamps outside the country, and it met expectations with a total realisation of €6,996,010 million, or €8,605,092 million including the buyer’s premium. 

Following a global and efficient campaign of marketing, and an impressive scholarly catalogue presentation, David Feldman International Auctioneers has been able to raise interest, achieving record breaking results for an auction sale of Japan philatelic items. Our sincere thanks go to all bidders and buyers without whose participation these results would not have been possible.

The sale featured part I of a Grand Prix collection and a selection of rarities from a different assembly. Among the most outstanding results were 19 lots of complete sheets or sheet reconstructions, selling at five-figure prices with the unique 1872 1 sen plate 1 full sheet in private hands realising €110,000; as well as early covers such as the mixed ‘Dragon’ perforated-imperforate franking, illustrated on the cover of the catalogue, which reached a hammer price of €92,500. Among the top rarities of later issues, there was the only multiple in private hands of the 1872 20 sen Government Printing and one of three examples available of the 1874 20 sen syllabic 1, which fetched €160,000 and €180,000 respectively.

Lot 30170 – The only multiple in private hands of the 1872 20 sen Government Printing

Sold for 160’000 Euros 

Lot 30070 – The Most Valuable Stamp of Asia: 500 Mon Center inverted

Sold for 4’400’000 Euros

The collection was outstandingly presented in a hardbound catalogue, with fine quality paper and excellent printed colours, reflecting  freshness and brightness. Almost every lot included very advanced descriptions highlighting all the details for rarity, involving in this process also the knowledge of the Japan expert, Florian Eichhorn. Various censuses were presented for a better understanding of the significance of important rarities compared to others, and including a research through more than 25 books and catalogues, as well as over 30 auction sales of the past. 

David Feldman International Auctioneers maintains its record for the largest number of Grand Prix collections ever sold, and also being the company which has achieved the most world records of top philatelic rarities. The 500 Mon Center Inverted of the first issue, the most valuable stamp of Asia and one of the top rarities of the world, was offered with all its deserved significance. It was presented in a single dedicated catalogue, featuring all the fascination around its production and discovery, and including an interesting interview with the last owner of this gem: Yuji Yamada. The stamp was offered at a starting price of €3,800,000 million, and with the involvement of one European and one Asian bidder, the level was raised to a final  €4,400,000. Few items in philately have ever reached seven-figure realisations, and this result is of great significance, as it is also the highest world price ever paid for a single stamp after the British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta by Sotheby’s.

The auction sale of the ‘Meiji’ Property-Part I is witness to the company’s leadership in the superlative sale of highly prestigious collections and pre-eminent philatelic gems, often establishing new world records.