How this little Monkey stamp sold for nearly three times its estimate...

Paris auction house Rossini's sale of stamps early this month demonstrated perfectly that, even if you can't afford stamp lots priced at six-figures, it doesn't mean you can't enjoy the investment benefits that philately holds.

For instance, regular readers might remember our report on Interasia Auctions largest-ever stamp auction held during July-August of last year. Among the sale's highlights was a complete sheet of 80 of the 1980 Year of the Monkey stamp.

In the end, the sheet set a new World Record price at HK$1,265,000 ($162,914), sold to a telephone bidder. According to Interasia, the sale was greeted with the "amazement and applause of a packed room of stunned and frenetic bidders."

The Chinese stamp collection, including the Year of the Monkey specimen (right)

However, collectors at Rossini's auction had a chance to own a little monkey of their own. What's more, this single Year of the Monkey stamp was sold within a one volume collection of Chinese stamps including pieces dating from the Cultural Revolution to the year 2000.

While the collection - with quality ranging from mint to poor and the 1963 stamps only 90% complete - couldn't boast the value or spectacle of Interasia's complete sheet of 80, it nevertheless brought a very pleasant surprise for its seller.

In the end, the collection almost tripled its €5,000 estimate to bring €14,000. Rossini's sale was held on February 8.


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