The schedule of the printers caused a risk of shortage. The administration decided to overprint the 3c revenue stamps to all the required values. Because this revenue stamp had not yet been released, there was no risk of the execution of the surcharge by a forger.
The sale by Spink in Hong Kong on January 17 includes several lots related to this operation. Here is the link to the press release.
The original revenue stamp could no longer serve its purpose and very few units remained without the overprint. A block of four in very good freshness is estimated HK $ 1.2M, lot 1718.
The first run is for the $ 1. Initially, 50 stamps are printed. The administration is not happy with the too small size of the central Chinese characters and requests an immediate change. Two stamps of this highly rare variety are offered. Their original positions in the sheet form a pair but their condition is unequal. They are estimated HK $ 2M for lot 1720 and HK $ 1.2M for lot 1719.
The collection dispersed in this sale includes examples of the smallest overprinted values, 1c, 2c and 4c. The most interesting lots have errors that reflect the hurry in which the operation was realized.
Lot 1730, estimated HK $ 600K, has a doubled 2c surcharge. Lot 1733 (which was tagged as 1731 in the press release linked above), estimated HK $ 1.5M, is a pair with both its 2c overprints in an upside down position.
RESULTS BEFORE FEES
Lot 1718 : HK$ 4.2M
Lot 1719 (illustrated below) : HK$ 3.6M
Lot 1720 (illustrated below) : HK$ 5.2M
Lot 1730 : HK$ 600K
Lot 1733 : HK$ 2.4M