Following on from the gargantuan first sales of the Chartwell collection of the British Empire, Spink immediately presented an intriguing sale of stamps from Islamic countries in the form of the fascinating Pasha collection.
As expected there were some highlights from Turkish philately.
One of these was an 1866 wrapper from Athens to Constantinople bearing Greece Large Hermes Heads of 1L, 5L and 10L with "1" in lozenge of dots cancellation, which on arrival at Istanbul was passed by the Greek Post Office to the Liannos Office for local delivery.
Described by Spink as a magnificent exhibition item of the highest calibre and one of the highlights of Greek and Turkish Philately, it breezed past its €9,000-11,000 to €21,165.
However, there were results from Iranian pieces which were at least as spectacular.
From over a century ago came an example of the 1902 Meshed Issue. Bearing a 1kr red, this showed true colour, large margins and very fine condition and was used with a 2ch horizontal pair on the reverse of an "Imperial Bank of Persia/Meshed" envelope.
Registered to Edinburgh and re-addressed to London, with "Meched 12/4" (inverted date) cancellations, Gahdan Trans-Caspian Province Russian Mail Exchange Office and Moscow transit markings and some more British markings this sold for €35,545 against an €11,000-15,000 listing.
Likewise, an 1857 (26 Feb) mourning envelope to London bearing an Indian 1854-55 4a blue and red stamp, cut-to-shape and tied by "131" in a diamond of bars, brought €17,655, trouncing a €2,200-3,000 estimate.
Perhaps Iran is the next place to look out for alternative investments.