No monkeying around with these stamps...

Spink are holding a sale of Fine Stamps and Covers in covers of Hong Kong and China on January 24 2010. We've already reported that the top lot was expected to be a sheet of Large Dragons worth HK$300,000-400,000 (that's up to US$52,000). It may still be.

More recently, however, a joint highest estimate has appeared. It is another complete sheet, this time displaying a monkey on an orange background to celebrate the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Republic.

Chinese stamps Year of the Monkey
Chinese Year of the Monkey stamp sheet

The eighty 8f stamps make up a fine, unfolded sheet, displaying some of the typical offsets on reverse, and the sheet has joined the Dragons at the estimate of HK$300,000-400,000.

Closely following the two leaders is a particular variation on a 1915 $1 stamp from the Chinese province of Sinkiang, which was previously part of the well known Dr Robert Yue collection.

Chinese province Sinkiang stamps
Chinese province Sinkiang stamp

The black and orange stamp, with overprint in red, has the second and third characters switched. It is slightly perforated, but is still a fresh example with most of its original gum, nevertheless, and is therefore a highly covetable example of 'one of the four treasures of the Republic', estimated at HK$250,000-300,000 (up to US$39,000).

Of course, before this philatelists may wish to look in on Spink's London auction on January 14 2010.

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