Chinese monkey stamp sheet sells for $120,000 at New York auction

A sheet of Chinese Year of the Monkey stamps has sold in New York for $120,000.

This mint condition sheet was purchased by the consignor direct from the post office and is a reminder to collectors of the power of the Chinese stamp market.

The stamps were printed in sheets of 80 to mark the start of the Chinese New Year in 1980.

With over five million copies produced, rarity - normally the deciding factor when determining stamp prices - is not an issue.

Chinese monkey stamps
This set of Chinese monkey stamps sold for $120,000

Yet it is their huge popularity with Chinese buyers that is keeping prices high.

The sale follows several major auction results in recent months for the stamps. The current world record stands at HK$1,495,000 ($192,521), set in September 2011, an impressive increase of 186% in 18 months from the previous record.

Chinese stamps as a whole are a booming market. The value of 100 of the most collectible Chinese postage stamp sets is up 46% pa since March 2009, according to the China 100 Stamp Index.

A $2 Dr Sun Yat Sen inverted centre postage stamp set a new $311,00 record for its type at a March sale, while the country's first airmail cover sold for $85,520, 30% above estimate, during the same month.

Those looking to capitalise on the buoyant sector may wish to take a look at this jewel of Hong Kong philately, an extremely rare block of four 96c Hong Kong Olive-Bistre stamps, currently available at Paul Fraser Collectibles.

We will continue to bring you the latest news on Chinese postage stamps over the coming months, so check back here regularly.

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