Category Archives: Retail News

The “Aureum” Collection of Jubilees for sale by Stanley Gibbons

10d Jubilee colour trial with B01 cancellation

Stanley Gibbons are offering the “Aureum” collection of the Queen Victoria “Jubilee” issue, one of the most comprehensive ever formed on this issue with over 500 items for sale and a total retail price of over £1.5m. You can view the PDF catalogue or visit their website to see which items are still available.

The collection features many unique and key items such as essays and proofs, as well as the more mundane but collectable controls and marginal multiples.

After seeing the advertisements for this collection at the Stanley Gibbons stand at Stampex back in September 2015, I was lucky enough to be allowed to view the collection at their offices on the Strand before work began on breaking it down. I must admit that I was expecting to see more handpainted essays after the recent sales of the Lady Buiri and Chartwell collections, but I couldn’t fault the number of die proofs, striking book pieces and colour trials, a few of which did indeed come from these prestigious sales, but with many more that I hadn’t seen since the days of the Robson Lowe catalogues in the 1970s to 1980s.

6d Jubilee embossed essay

Two of the more striking items were lots 398 and 399, two essays for the proposed embossed 6d value, priced at £6’500 each. The digital images don’t do these items justice! The item featured at the top of this post is another favourite of mine, with a colour trial of the 1890 10d in the same colour as the 1887 9d alongside, with the same two stamps also struck with a experimental cancellation. This piece will set you back a cool £17’000.

I’m still learning to appreciate the scarcity of the different marginal settings of the Jubilee issue, and this collection is an important reference in this respect. In fact three of the scarcest were featured on the front cover of the catalogue; the 2d with continuous “Jubilee” lines, the 4d with thin horizontal lines and side and no block lines underneath; and the 10d with the a vertical dull purple block line down the left hand side. A collection of these marginal settings are of course more complicated by the 1/2d values with the range of control letters and the different ways of perforating the 240-set sheets.


I was told (unfortunately too late) that the item above was a potential sleeper; a much undervalued item. Although nothing special to look at, lot 40 was a 1/2d vermilion “C” control pair, but it was perforated by an experimental perforating machine which left no extension hole at the right hand side. Stated as being the first example of this that they had handled in over a decade, it was quickly sold for £650.

Although several items were sold before the catalogue was even printed, when it was released to the public at the Spring 2016 Stampex, I was happy enough to be able to add one item to my collection at a satisfactory price. Of course many of the items were far beyond my price range…

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March 2014 Retail Items of the Month

Top 3 Items

Literature! You can’t be a good philatelist unless you know what you’re doing! This month features 3 vital sources for the Jubilee collector all available on Bill Barrell’s website.

78655_1024x1024First off is an essential set of works for the British Levant collector (not just for those who collect the Jubilees) produced by the GB Overprint Society. They cover the Queen Victoria issues, Edward VII issues, George V issues, 1921-23 Overprinted issues, Postal Stationery, Cancellations & Cachets and Rates. If I could have found these when I was just starting out it would have helped me greatly. Snap all 7 up for only £25. And become a member of the GB Overprint Society while you’re at it!


78640_1024x1024The next important item of Literature is for Niger Coast collectors. Specifically of the provisional surcharges, entitled “The Oil Rivers and Niger Coast – Surcharge Provisionals and Bisected Stamps” by John Sacher. This is THE reference on these stamps, and given the expense of the rarest examples, vital for anyone considering to collect these issues especially for only £8. Also look out for the Ammendments printed in the “The London Philatelist” several months later.


79449_grandeAnd thirdly is a treatise by Hilary Wellsted about the Express mails service that began in 1891, and explains the various rates. Yours for £15.

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February 2014 Retail Items of the Month

Top 3 Items of the Month

Zululand set on pieceThis month is dedicated to Stanley Gibbons! Not too often will I say this, mainly because they are expensive but they do get some great Jubilee stamps! And the first item is this beautiful piece with the complete set of the Zululand Jubilee issue tied by Eshowe cds. Stanley Gibbons were listing this on eBay for £300. Unfortunately at the time of going to press, it is no longer available. Kicking myself a little bit for not snapping it up.

743278This item here is a marginal block of four from setting 3B. This is in reference to the continuous purple line and intermittent blue lines in the margins around the stamp. This is actually not an area of Jubilee collecting I have got into yet, as it can get expensive for the rare (sometimes near unique) settings on all the values. This one has a Wiseman scarcity rating of J (A being the most common and M being unique), and sold for £450.

1901 2d Composite Paste Up essay of theJubilee seriesAnd we finish off with an expensive rarity. It is a 1901 2d composite “Paste Up” essay with a lithographed three-quarter face portrait of King Edward VII facing left cut and pasted in to an 1887 2d green and red Jubilee. It is believed to be one of only two or three examples in private hands. These series of essays will be the subject of a future article. When I find the time… For now, it’s yours for £10’000.

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January 2014 Retail Items of the Month

Top 3 Items

Well my new blog feature lasted exactly one month… If I fail again I will be less ambitious and do this every quarter. We’ll see…

20140208-133637.jpgAnyway, I will recommence with this envelope sent from Prince George, Duke of York (future King George V) to his wife “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York” in Germany and initialled at the lower left. Andrew Lajer is asking £350 which seems reasonable to me considering the desirability of Royalty philatelic items.

1887 3d purple on yellow plate proofNext up is this attractive and scarce imperf. plate proof of the 3d purple on yellow. I think it’s a snip at £100. For sale by Elstree Stamps on eBay.

1-2d vermilion clock

And now, the pièce de résistance of any Jubilee collector’s den: a clock with the 1/2d vermilion!!!! Currently on sale by for a bargain £14 plus postage. As I write this I’m looking at mine hanging proudly on the wall :-). They also have a huge range of printed t-shirts, hoodies, etc. for all stamp collectors.


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October 2013 Retails Items of the Month

Top 3 Items of the Month

79034_grandeWe start off this months retail highlights with a very important reference for every Jubilee collector. The Ernest Good Collection auction catalogue by Phillips on 3rd November 1988 is still one of the best collections of the Jubilee issue ever formed. Sold by Bill Barrell for £12.50.

13348520684b1e22ec08f83Next up is the cover which, as they say in the business, is full of character! This is normally the code word for scruffy, and it’s hard to deny it in this case, but look beyond that and you’ll find an extremely interesting cover. Sent to New Zealand, it was simply addressed to “J. M. Rainbow, Post Office, New Zealand”! What is equally amazing is that the New Zealand still tried their best to deliver it. With transit markings from Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Invercargill and Timaru. Yours for £155 from Samwells.

1897 Prince of Wales Hosptial Fund coverAnd to finish with we have a scarce usage of the 1897 1s Prince Wales Hospital Fund label on cover with two 1/2d vermilions. For sale by Andrew Lajer for £165.

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NEW FEATURE: September 2013 Retail Items of the Month

Top 3 Items of the Month

Since there has been several interesting, rare and spectacular Jubilee items appear on the market in the last few weeks, I thought I would start this new feature. I hope the items featured here in the upcoming months will compliment the established eBay feature with items that are too prestigious to have featured on the online marketplace.

Ogilvie & Moore. Cork underprintFirst up is a new discovery by the family of an ex-employee of Stanley Gibbons. It’s a ½d vermilion with violet “Ogilvie & Moore. Cork” underprint, previously only recorded on the 1d lilac, but soon to be included in the next Specialised Vol.1 catalogue. Unfortunately Stanley Gibbons had already sold the only two singles by the time I had contacted them, but they are currently offering this block for £2’750.

The next two items are being offered by Andrew Lajer in his Autumn 2013 list. The first is a 5d purple and blue with a FIRST DAY OF ISSUE cancel! This is the first single that I have seen (although I have also recorded one cover which was sold by Stanley Gibbons for £3’000 roughly 3 years ago). Sold for £550.

HMOW cert prs £950 andrew lajer

The final item is a very rare example of the Office of Works “H. M. O. W” perfin on a pair of ½d vermilions cancelled in Liverpool. It does have some faults (horizontal crease, a few short perfs and virtually separated), importantly it has an RPS certificate. The asking price is £950.

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