The Spink sale on 12th January 2011 had a strong selection of Boer War material, and with it, a number of fine usages of the 1887 Jubilee issue.
The first interesting item was a strip of six of the Mafeking Siege 1d on 1/2d vermilion, which is one of only two known multiples showing the complete setting. Estimated at £400-500, it sold for £650, and was quickly placed on David Brandon’s website for £1600!
Also from the Mafeking Siege issues was a block of six of the 6d on 2d green and red, which only fetched £500 against an estimate of £600-800. Multiples of these issues are very scarce and I’ve not seen any larger than this one.
Next, was my favourite item from this sale (pictured). A 1/2d vermilion with “ARMY / OFFICIAL” overprint tied to an envelope by a blue “LADYSMITH SIEGE POST OFFICE” datestamp. The Army Official stamps are very scarce on cover anyway, and are much under catalogued by Stanley Gibbons. So it was no suprise to see the estimate of £150-180 get smashed by a realisation of £400. Throughout all the catalogues and literature I have scoured, I have only seen this franking once, in a book about the Boer War. So I was very happy to have snapped this one up!
Unfortunately for me, not all my bids were successful, and a cover bearing five 1/2d vermilions tied by the temporary “VOLKSRUST” cancel in violet escaped me. Although it had some minor faults, the cover fetched £400 against a pre-sale estimate of £250-300.
The last item worthy of note from this Boer War section, was an unusual cover bearing a 3d purple on yellow tied by a Harrismith cds, along with a strip of five Natal 1d stamps cancelled by a manuscript “Harrismith”. Estimated at £150-180, it unsuprisingly fetched £380.
And finally, the last item to peak my interest was a beautifully hand illustrated cover from the famous King Harman correspondence, showing a man riding a horse in front of Gibraltar rock, and bearing five 1/2d vermilions. These covers always command good prices, although they appear on the market relatively frequently. It was sold for £480 against an estimate of £400-500.
Please note that all prices realised are subject to a further 20% commission