On Saturday, June 3, David Feldman International Auctioneers had the great honour to offer one of most important Japanese stamp collections including the most valuable stamp of Asia: the 500 mon Inverted Center.
An Asian gentleman, bidding via phone, was delighted to become the buyer. The underbidder, an esteemed European collector, was very disappointed to be outbid. He said, "I had prepared my bid as high as 4 million Euros and even made a few more steps, but now I must congratulate the new owner!".
In 1871, the first series of Japanese stamps comprised stamps featuring a dragon framing the denomination in "mon" currency which was inserted in the center. One sheet of the highest value, the 500 mon, had the center value inverted, and only one stamp with this error has ever been discovered, and that was over 100 years later in 1973 by an American collector. The stamp was immediately acknowledged as the most important one in Japanese philately, and from that moment onwards it rose in fame and value through private sales, from a mere $75,000 at that time to millions over the last 50 years. It was the first time that this stamp was auctioned since it was first sold in 1973.
The auction took place both in Geneva and Tokyo, in collaboration with the Tokyo stamp auction company Stampedia, while also offering online. The stampwas sold by David Feldman International Auctioneers
This stamp and its (at the time) pending auction was mentioned in an article on Japanese Philately in the recent issue of the APS' The American Philatelist. The entire article itself was an informative read on early Japanese issues.