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Best Place To Auction Off A Large Collection Of Chinese Stamps?

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Posted 09/29/2020   02:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add RayCarsmo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello all,

We have a fairly large collection of Qing Dynasty Chinese stamps that we are trying to auction off. They include Large Dragons, Small Dragons, Red Revenues, and others (some full sheets, some singles, totaling a few hundred stamps.)

Being completely new to the auctions scene, we've contacted some of the biggest names in Auction, Christie's and Sothebys. I sent them photos of some Large Dragon stamps (full sheets), and for some reason, Christie's said they're not at a value level that they currently handle for sale. Sothebys also stated that the value falls below the selling threshold, and that they are no longer handling stamp auctions (I find that hard to believe). They then referred me to an UK-based auction house called Warwick & Warwick, who Sothebys said are handling stamps for them.

I then contacted Warwick & Warwick for valuation of our stamps. They were more than happy to help, and after exchanges of preliminary photos, we were able to receive an estimate for the entire collection. While some stamps yielded expected amounts, others (such as the Red Revenue stamps we have, which are some of the highest-valued Chinese stamps) are not near our expected value.

My question is, what's a reliable source to get a second opinion on what my stamps are worth? And if anyone know the Warwick & Warwick auction house and their track records? Thanks in advance.


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Posted 09/29/2020   03:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vayolene to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You may try InterAsia Auctions in Hong-Kong

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Edited by vayolene - 09/29/2020 03:32 am
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Posted 09/29/2020   03:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redwoodrandy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 09/29/2020   05:15 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Spnk runs auctions in Hong Kong

https://www.spink.com/site/contact

Warwick & Warwick have been running auctions for sixty years. I've only bought from them, but, in my experience, they're pleasant, efficient people to deal with, and offer the range of items, from the everyday to fairly high-end. You should be able to get a sense of what they've realised for Chinese lots by looking at the "archived auctions" and "realisations" sections on their site.
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Posted 09/29/2020   07:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I second Redwoodrandy's referral to Kelleher Auctions. They have an established Hong Kong presence but are headquartered in CT so that you could have a sales contract governed by US law. I can also personally recommend them having dealt with them frequently as a seller and buyer. Speak with David Coogle or Max Wender.
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Posted 09/29/2020   07:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The expert in Chinese stamps is Michael Rogers in the United States .He is now with Kelleher Auctions . He has all the right contact into Hong Kong stamp market .
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Posted 09/29/2020   09:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If you can get a reply from Michael Rogers, I agree with floortrader. I had good dealings with Rogers, both buying and selling, when he had his own shop in Florida.

Otherwise, I do not recommend Kelleher at this time. I signed a contract for a consignment with them back in July, 2019. My stamps have never appeared in an auction and they haven't responded to status inquiries.
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Posted 09/29/2020   11:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Steve - That is very strange. Have you reached out to David? I have consigned many times since July 2019 and material is long since sold and paid for. What you described is obviously not normal and it is not indicative of how Kelleher operates. Their is a disconnect someplace that can be sorted out I am sure.

PS: If you are dealing with Rogers you are dealing with Kelleher.
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Posted 09/29/2020   10:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add RayCarsmo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi everyone,

Thank you for all the valuable info and resources. I will reach out to Michael Rogers / Kelleher and go from there.

If we decide to auction with Warwick & Warwick, which is an UK auctioneer, what legal precautions should we take to ensure everything goes as planned? Should we hire an independent lawyer to help us with the contract? Thanks!
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Posted 09/29/2020   10:27 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Be aware there was a major philatelic auction firm that declared bankruptcy last year while holding a significant amount of consigned material. Many people lost their material and/or any monies owed them. Ideally you would be able to understand the financial health of the auction firm before turning over anything but obviously this is virtually impossible if the company is private. A lawyer could tell you if you could write in some kind of recourse in a contract (I am dubious about that too).

Funny how many people here were quite upset and vocal about about this situation last year...yet we continue to recommend this method of disposition without even a mention now.
Don
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Posted 09/30/2020   08:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure why you'd need a lawyer to deal with W&W. Establish the commission, insurance arrangements, payment arrangements, date of sale etc - you can always ask whether and how they protect consignors in the event of financial problems.
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Posted 09/30/2020   08:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I mentioned legal counsel because for a United States consignor there is an added level of exposure when consigning outside of Country. If you were stiffed by Regency Superior it is hard enough to obtain redress but you have ready access to the Courts and your material is in the same Country. If you ship your stamps to Europe and something goes wrong what are your options?

My point is that for valuable properties (what would you be comfortable losing) you need to be aware of potential downsides. As Don pointed out there have been some painful occurrences in the auction world in the past few years that folks need to remember and be aware of. I consign frequently and am cognizant more than ever of the risk involved with even the most established auction houses given the lack of financial transparency.
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Posted 09/30/2020   11:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
First step is to have a expert look at what you have . That expert should give you a list of what items need to be expertize . Make large photos of everything . Don't relie on a want-to-be expert ,pay for a professional who knows China .

Get the better stuff expertised and have those cert's with you when you go to the auction firm .

Where did you get those stamps ?
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Posted 10/01/2020   03:41 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add RayCarsmo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Again thanks everyone for all the information. The reason I brought up the lawyer situation is precisely what rogdcam mentioned. While Warwick & Warwick appears to be an established and most likely trustworthy auctioneer, if something goes wrong we will be at a HORRIBLE situation trying to get compensated or any type of redress internationally. Trying to sue in the US is already not a smooth experience anyone would want to go through, let alone trying to deal with that across the sea.

Also, the preliminary estimate that we received from Warwick & Warwick has already proven these stamps to be too valuable for us to risk shipping. We will definitely hand-carry these stamps to the UK. Warwick & Warwick has already given us plenty of info regarding customs and insurance. Then again, I will have no way to research the financial standings of Warwick & Warwick.

We inherited these stamps from a family member.
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Posted 10/01/2020   06:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Ray - if you decide to sell via W&W and wish to have a lawyer, it would presumably make more sense to have one in the UK who was familiar with local consumer etc law. Sadly, international travel isn't much fun at present!
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Posted 10/01/2020   5:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Noocassel to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Warwick and Warwick are one of the bigger British auction houses, they advertise in The stanley gibbons catalogues. I have seen one of their big glossy catalogues, but havn't heard anything about how good or bad they are. The Philatelists I know never seem to talk about where they get stamps from and in the UK philatelic circles I mix with no one seems to discuss auction houses, values etc. why are you thinking of adding all the expense of selling your material through a foreign country? Surely shipping and import duties will wipe out any extra prices.
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