In an era of email, stamps aren’t in as much use these days. But collecting them is another matter; Bloomberg this week reported a record sale for a single Chinese stamp at auction. The so-called ‘Small One Dollar’ stamp fetched HK$4.8 million ($617,959) at a Hong Kong auction, where it was one of 1,800 philatelic lots. It dates from 1897, the year the Qing Dynasty established China’s national postal system. Among other notable stamps to go under the hammer was ‘The Whole Country is Red’, which sold for $267,000. This stamp was pulled within hours of its issue in 1968 when it was realised that the scarlet image of the map of China had omitted the Xisha and Nansha atolls in the South China Sea.
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