In Hong Kong in January of this year, Spink held some truly exceptional stamp auctions fetching six figure sums for Mongolian classics from a rare collection and even a world record for an olive-bistre 96c corner block.
The first highlight was 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 should make an excellent investment.
It was listed at £5,000-6,000 (up to $9,700), but in the event achieved £9,450 ($15,300).
There was also a British classic Board of Education 1902-04 1/- dull green and carmine stamp, overprinted 'Specimen'. With fresh colours, this fine and very rare stamp was listed at £12,000-15,000, but excited bidders sufficiently to achieve £18,810 ($30,400).
Collectors interested in British rarities will be pleased to hear that an extremely rare Tyrian Plum is currently on the market.