Spink carried out some exceptional sales of rare stamps in Hong Kong in January, fetching six figure sums for Mongolian classics from a rare collection and even a world record for an olive-bistre 96c corner block, which lived up to its billing as the 'Crown Jewel' of Hong Kong philately.
Now, after a few weeks, the auctioneer has another sale billed back home. This values involved are less spectacular, but anyone with an interest in philately will find some of the 800 lots intriguing, especially those specialising in Great Britain itself.
The first highlight is an extremely rare stamp from Deutsch Ostafrika (East Africa) created in Tanganyika but overstamped GR Mafia, referencing Mafia Island.
Tanganyika was an East African territory which only took on the name after the stamp was created in 1915, following the British taking it over after the First World War. It is in modern Tanzania. Mafia Island is likewise just off the coast, south of Dar es Salaam.
The 3 Rupien blue-black and red stamp, unused with part of its original gum has a couple of light yellow marks on its reverse and a short perforation at top. Overall though, a very presentable example of this very rare stamp on which only eight were produced.
It is listed at £5,000-6,000 (up to $9,700) and at this price would make an excellent investment.
A very fresh and well-centred block of a British classic: King George V Seahorses 1913 Waterlow £1 (dull blue-green mint block of four), would make a nice centrepiece to many collections.
The upper pair is very lightly mounted with the lower pair remaining unmounted mint, and it is estimated at £12,000-15,000 ($24,200).
Finally, there is a Board of Education 1902-04 1/- dull green and carmine, overprinted "Specimen". With fresh colours, this fine and very rare stamp is also cautiously listed at £12,000-15,000.
Spink's auction takes place on February 28 in London. Collectors interested in British rarities will be pleased to hear that an extremely rare Tyrian Plum is currently on the market.