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Stamps of the Chinese Empire

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Imperial
China
Stamps
Stamps of the Chinese
Empire
1878-1912
An on-line Catalog of postage stamps with values, issued by the Chinese
Empire from the early large dragons of 1878 and the small dragons, up
to the start of the Republic in 1912. Values are compiled from various
dealers price lists and recent sales results and kept up to date by the
Siam Rare Stamp Specialist Frankly Stamps. Values are given as a guide
only and no reliance on them should be made for buying or selling
stamps, as condition is a most important factor.

See Country Catalogs

Siam/Thailand

Imperial China

China Treaty Ports

Chinese Empire Catalog


Contents
Large & Small
Dragons
1878-1888

Empress Dowager
1894-1897

Imperial Chinese Post Chinese Imperial Post


1897
1898

Unissued Revenues
1897
Hsuan T'ung
Commemoratives

The First Issue, 'Large Dragons'


In 1878 a postal service was established between the various Treaty Ports by the
Customs and a set of 3 stamps was printed for the collection of mail taxes. The first
issue was composed of 3 values, 1, 3 and 5 candareens.
The First Printing of December 1878 was on thin hard paper in sheets of 25 stamps.
Size of the stamp was 24.5mm. The stamp exists both perforated and imperforated.
The imperforated stamps are believed to be proofs.

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Stamps of the Chinese Empire

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The First Issue 'Large Dragon', first printing - 1878


Denomination

Description

Used
Fine

Used
EF

Mint
VF

Mint
EF

1 Cand

Green

$150

$325

$300

$400

3 Cand

Brown Red

$180

$350

$450

$750

5 cand

Yellow Ochre

$200

$350

$450

$800

The Second Printing of June 1882: the 1 and 3 candareens are on thin hard paper
and the 5 candareen is on pelure paper. The size of each stamp was 26.5mm, broad
margins with 4.5mm spaces between stamps The 1 candeen and 3 candeens do
exist on thicker paper. The 5 candeens in Mint condition of this printing are very
rare.

The First Issue 'Large Dragon', second printing - 1882


Denomination

Description

Used
Fine

Used
EF

Mint
VF

Mint
EF

1 Cand

Green

$220

$360

$450

$510

3 Cand

Brown Red

$250

$350

$700

$800

5 cand

Yellow Ochre

$1250 $1600

$
$
11,000 12,000

The Third Printing of march 1883 are printed on much thicker paper and the
perforations are rough, seldom clean cut. All the values are known to exist in vertical
imperforated pairs. A known variation of the 3 candeens is the 'Semi-circle'
consisting of a semi-circular line at the right of the left lower corner numeral '3'.

The First Issue 'Large Dragon', third printing - 1883


Denomination

Description

Used
Fine

Used
EF

Mint
VF

Mint
EF

$360

1 Cand

Green

$220

$450

$550

3 Cand

Brown Red

$1240 $1430 $425

$650

5 cand

Yellow Ochre

$1750 $2000 $700

$850

The Second Issue, 'Small Dragons'


This issue comprised of 3 denominations, 1,3 and 5 candareens, designed and
printed by the Statistical Department of the Customs in sheets of 40 divided into 2

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Stamps of the Chinese Empire

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panes of 20 stamps each having 5 rows of 4 stamps. The stamps were printed on
white paque paper watermarked 'Ying Yang', Two printings were made the
denominations, design and paper are the same. The only difference consisting only
in the colors and perforations.
The First Printing of November 1885, the 1 candareen exists in different shades,
green, bright green and deep green: the 3 candareen in mauve and pale mauve, and
the 5 candareen in olive yellow and bistre. The perforations are 12.5 rough. Some
clean cut perorations exist but are very scarce.

The Second issue, 'Small Dragon', first printing -1885


Denomination

Description

Used
Fine

Used
EF

Mint
VF

Mint
EF

1 cand

Green

$90

$100

$200

$250

1 cand

Bright green

$90

$100

$200

$250

3 cand

Mauve

$120

$140

$300

$450

3 cand

Pale mauve

$120

$140

$350

$450

5 cand

Olive yellow

$120

$140

$350

$450

5 cand

Bistre

$275

$350

$650

$725

The second printing of December 1888 has only one difference in that the 5
candareen stamp does not exist in bistre but only in olive green. The perforations
are clean cut 11.75.

The Second issue, 'Small Dragon', second printing -1888


Denomination

Description

Used
Fine

Used
EF

Mint
VF

Mint
EF

1 cand

Green

$50

$65

$75

$100

1 cand

Bright green

$50

$65

$75

$100

1 cand

Deep green

$50

$65

$65

$150

3 cand

Mauve

$65

$100

$75

$150

3 cand

Pale mauve

$65

$100

$75

$150

5 cand

Olive yellow

$120

$180

$250

$400

See the selection of Stamps for sale by Frankly Stamps

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Stamps of the Chinese Empire

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