lot # 1 - 1: China Essays and Proofs
China, The Elephant Design (Unaccepted) : Imperforate plate proof of 5 cash black on thin native laid paper, rough perforation 12½, horizontal pair [71-72] with sheet margin at left, excellent colour and sharp impression on this delicate paper which has remarkably retained its overall freshness, well centred with intact perforations, very fine state of conservation for this rare and elusive essay.
Estimate HK$ 200,000 - 250,000
Provenance: Sir Percival David, Robson Lowe (London), 4.10.1967, lot 3. This was a block of fifteen with sheet margin at left, which was subsequently split up over the years into blocks, strips, pairs and singles. The lot offered above emanates from this block, originally having been the lower left pair. The lower left marginal horizontal strip of four taken from the original block was in the Giulio Mochi collection (David Feldman, 24.10.1984, lot 40552) and then further split into two pairs in the "Ming" collection.
"Ming", Corinphila (Zurich), 25.3.1987, lot 4734.
References: Sir Percival David, "Sketches, Essays, and Proofs of China's First Issue," The London Philatelist, Vol. VIII, No. 676 (March, 1949), pp. 33-37.
Jeffrey S. Schneider, "Plating the Elephant Essay", Journal of China Philately, Vol. 1 (2006), pp. 262-266.
Dr. Ji Sun, "The Elephant Essay Resurfaces after 100 Years," The China Clipper, Vol. 74, No. 6 (June, 2008), pp. 231-233.
Zhao Yue and Dr. Jeffrey Schneider, "A Study of the Elephant Essay as the Proofs of the Large Dragon Issue," Jiyou, No. 27 (Beijing, 2018), pp. 188-195.
From our records of multiples, we have reconstructed a left sheet margin block of fifty (10 x 5) from blocks of twenty-five, fifteen, six and four. These represent the bottom half of the sheet of one hundred. The blocks of fifteen and six were subsequently split into lesser multiples and singles. We have no record of any examples which do not originate from these blocks.
Research indicates that these essays were printed in the sheet format of one hundred, of which only fifty perforated examples have survived.
Estimate: HK$ 200,000 - 250,000