Apologies for bringing up my January report now that summer is nearly here. Better late than never (I think I’ve said that many times in my Ebay reports…).
What a shame that this piece was removed from its original cover! According to Alexios Popadopoulus, there is only one cover and one front sent insured from British Levant, and only three commercial covers with the 12pi on 2s6d. It sold for £59.
Strictly this item isn’t of interest to a Queen Victoria “Jubilee” collector but I’m sure many Jubilee enthusiasts will have something from the Uniform Penny Postage Jubilee in their collection. I hadn’t seen this before; it’s an advert by the stamp dealer W. R. Wolff for the price of various items cancelled at the Jubilee Exhibition in South Kensington. It sold for £103.50
Also strictly not really of “Jubilee” interest, but I thought it was worth highlighting an unusual usage of an Inland Revenue 1d fiscal along with a 2½d Jubilee on an 1890 1d Penny Post Jubilee envelope to pay the UPU single rate and registration fee to Germany. It sold for £69.
I have seen “missing colours” before, but this is the first time I have seen the purple bleached from a 10d. An interesting curiosity; it sold for £14.45.
Finally we have a very rare cancellation of “TATI / BECHUANALAND” from the Bechuanaland Proctectorate on a ½d vermilion. It sold for a very cheap price on the US eBay (ebay.com) for only $118.50 to a dealer, who then offered it for sale for £450 (and has since sold it).
Happy new year everyone! Just about managed to get this out in January…
At first glance this looks like a rather mundane 2 1/2d franking from Edinburgh to Austria on a registered envelope. But look slightly to the left of the stamp and you will see the “EDINB INTERNL / EXHIBITION” circular datestamp. The Edinburgh Jubilee Exhibition was an International Exhibition of Electrical Engineering, General Inventions and Industries, including the Jubilee Postal Conversazione which included displays brought together by the General Post Office. According to John Davies’ book “A Jubilee Reminiscence”, this is now only the fourth recorded example of this datestamp from the exhibition post office. A very good buy at £253.
I would have like to have added this advertising cover to my collection if I had spotted it. The postman had a few valiant attempts to deliver this “Church Monthly” cover. There are several datestamps and the postman seems to have recorded his attempts by putting the word “Not” in front of the datestamps of West Felton, Bucknell and Oswestry before figuring that the destination couldn’t be in Shropshire and crossing it out and writing “Try Colwich Staffordshire”! It sold for £46.
Grenada sounds a rarer destination than it actually is. There seems to be quite a correspondence that exists sent to The Honorable G. W. Williamson in Grenville with similar mixed Jubilee and stamped-to-order frankings. I highlight this one because I like the four of the same Jubilee value added to make the quintuple rate. It sold for £37.
It’s very rare that I have any British East Africa to highlight on my eBay reports. It so rarely comes up as an eBay auction item that to be honest I don’t look. But I came across this example of the 4a on 5d cancelled by a neat Lamu cds one offered by a Dutch seller, which sold for US$188.26 (equivalent to about £139).
I hope everyone has had a lovely holidays and those that braved travelling to see their families managed to do so without too much difficulty and inconvenience. I stayed in Geneva to avoid the uncertainties and was hoping to make some progress on the website but unfortunately got very little of what I wanted to get done, so this will be the total sum of my (overdue) work on the website before I go back to work on tomorrow. My girlfriend insists that it’s good to take a break from stamps occasionally, but I’m not so sure about that…
First up is a rare Cricket Ground cancellation from Nottingham. Unfortunately the green colour is slightly faded, but it’s a nice clear strike and at £145.50 it was a bargain when often they sell for more than £1’000.
This registered envelope with two 4½d Jubilees is paying a very scarce rate: 9d, with the envelope sent at the double rate and a late fee of 4d (as indicated by the handstamp). A cheap item for only £19.01. There’s a similar franking on on eBay at the minute for £75 “buy-it-now” which I still think is a very good price as this is only the sixth 4½d+4½d franking I’ve seen (plus only seven 9d single frankings).
This commemorative medal for the Jubilee of the Uniform Penny Postage is quite scarce. As you can see from the original paper packet, the medal was produced by Spink & Son, and it depicts Queen Victoria and the Uniform Penny Postage 1d stationery envelope on one side, and Sir Rowland Hill and the Mulready envelope on the other. Examples of the medal were made in white metal, bronze, silvered bronze, aluminium (as this example is according to the vendor) and solid silver. It sold for £198.50.
And finally we have this envelope sent registered from Charlestown (Fife, Scotland) to Norway at the triple rate plus 2d registration; although I’m not sure it actually got there. The reverse shows the despatch and Edinburgh transit beneath an “Officially Sealed in the Returned letter Office” label applied in London, with the front showing two strikes of London registered datestamps dated within a couple of days of sending. Perhaps the clue is on the front at the left, with the manuscript “Coin 3 Krones / Notes 10 ditto”. It could be that it was returned to the sender at London because they hadn’t made use of the more secure Post Office registered envelopes to send their money? If anyone knows any better then please feel free to use the comments section below. An interesting item at £29.01.
I struggled to find much of interest in February and March on eBay and it wasn’t for lack of searching, but the few things I did find were all interesting items.
Darth Vader would surely say “I find your lack of knowledge disturbing” if he ever quizzed my on my expertise of the postal history of the Boer War. As an example, I don’t know what the code “3MB” stands for in the centre of this large circular datestamp, surrounded by “ARMY POST OFFICE / SOUTH AFRICA”. Perhaps Mobile Box? From my quick internet search and what images I’ve saved on my computer, I know there are several different codes and some with the town name in its place (Barberton, Komatipoort and Machadodorp, as well as Volksrust instead of South Africa). But what I do know is that it’s a nice piece to have bought for £82.09.
This mixed issue franking may possibly be philatelic, but the Inland Revenue 1d lilac (which was valid for postage) in combination with the ½d and 6d Jubilees pays the triple UPU rate to Germany and is unusual. It sold for £49.03.
And this postal notice for the “SPECIAL POSTAL JUBILEE ENVELOPE” brings us back to John Davies’ book “A Jubilee Reminiscence”. This notice announces the sale of the postal stationery envelope that was produced for the South Kensington exhibition which was put on sale at 1s. Either foresight or clever marketing suggested that “it is not improbable that the strictly limited supply will be exceeded by the demand”, which indeed was true. It sold for £83.
These printed envelopes produced by photographers are reasonably popular and this example sold for £38. Photographs were allowed to be sent at the cheaper book post/printed matter rate, with this cover paying postage up to 6oz. I have two different examples from A & G Taylor from their Stockton office from 1890 which don’t feature the Royal Warrant which they received in 1886, as the one above does, but still mention “Photographers to Her Majesty the Queen”.
These attractive covers from the stamp dealer H. G. Hanson aren’t particularly scarce, but often they have unusual frankings or marginal examples of Jubilees. This neat single use of a 4d to uprate a ½d postal stationery caught several bidders’ eyes and sold for £70.
This is a 1d postal stationery envelope printed for the 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee exhibition, which was sent registered and uprated with a 2d Jubilee with both cancelled by the special South Kensington exhibition cancel. It’s a particularly nice example as such and it sold for £164.99. Now I’ve had time to sit down and look at it properly, given that the addressee is a Lady Whitehead and the cover is initialled “J.W.” at lower left, it is very likely that the sender was Sir James Whitehead. Looking at John’s book, Sir James is referenced more than 20 times because he was in fact the Chairman of the Jubilee Committee (as well as being the Lord Mayor of London in 1888 and the High Sheriff of the County of London in 1890). So at that price it looks like a very good buy to me, considering that these envelopes uprated and used after the exhibition can sell for around £100. If only I’d taken the time to do some simple research! I also only just realised he references this very website in the Acknowledgements so thank you John! Will have to make sure to keep my section on the 1890 Uniform Penny Postage Jubilee updated now…
This ½d vermilion block of four may not look like much, but to a specialist/nutter like me, I get quite excited about this sort of thing. The big black arrow is slightly misleading because it’s pointing at the wrong thing, but there is in fact a major plate flaw on the top left stamp, which shows a crack which starts in the “Jubilee” line, continues through the “T” of “POSTAGE” and continues through the “E” of “ONE”. It is the variety listed in the SG Queen Victoria Specialised catalogue as K27j. It’s a very scarce variety and even with the lower stamp creased it’s worth considerably more than the £8.45 it sold for.
I’m not particularly knowledgable on rare GB cancels, but I had seen this “LIVERPOOL LANDING STAGE” cancel on one or two covers with one being offered by a dealer at £1’000 plus. So I was interested to see this very crisp example, albeit on a faded 1s green, sell for £31.65.
And finally this was the surprise of the month. It’s an example of GB stamps used in British Levant, with a ½d green pair paying the postcard rate. Normally retailing for about £40-60, it sold for £115.15.
I hope everyone is still coping well with the current situation. I’m lucky that in Switzerland the restrictions are quickly coming to an end. I can’t say I’ve been as productive as I should have been in terms of my Jubilee research but I didn’t spend the whole time doing quizzes over Zoom and playing computer games… Recently I spent some time looking at finished eBay auctions from earlier in the year and found some interesting Jubilees that I missed at the time so I’ve included them under the umbrella of my “May” report.
The usage of this Government Parcels 1s is unusual. The Govt Parcels stamps are most frequently seen on “Postal Stores Department” parcel labels (of varying types) and seldom with a rubber Parcel Post handstamp. Only one person placed a bid at the opening price of £29.99 so a nice buy for them!
This 1887 Jubilee imprimatur of the 4d green & brown sold for £191.99. There were 46 examples taken from the registration sheets without “Jubilee” lines (or rules), a further 28 from the sheet with “Jubilee” lines as well as some which have come from spare registration sheets. I only recently discovered that the images of the remainder sheets are available on the Postal Museum Online Catalogue (as well as the GBPS website), so I have been trying to piece them back together with the images I’ve saved over the years. Reconstructing the 4d sheets looks to be a bridge too far.
This Halfpenny postal stationery card is very unusual. Firstly it was cancelled at the 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee exhibition at the Guildhall in May. The owner then obviously took it along the exhibition at South Kensington in July to get a strike of the special cancellation adjacent, and even dug it out when they went to the Royal Naval Exhibition a year later and had a ½d vermilion cancelled by the special cancellation. I’d think it is very rare to see all three on the same card. It sold for £156.83.
This group also had an unaddressed cover/card with a combination of the 1890 Penny Post Jubilee Guildhall and South Kensington exhibition cancels tying two ½d vermilions. Even with the tone spots, the group fetched £105 because of this item.
And finally this attractive franking shows a 4d late fee for the cover to be sent by Continental Night Mail to Paris. Note that the “C.X” at the bottom of the cds means that it was posted in the late box at Charing Cross. There was also “C.S.” for Cannon Street, as well as duplex cancels for both stations. This cover sold for £68.
I hope that this finds everyone in good health and fine spirits. Definitely seems to be more people bidding on items on eBay unsurprisingly. I’ve seen a few Jubilee items sell surprisingly strongly these last two or three weeks.
First up is a rare and collectable “TAUNTON / CRICKET GROUND” cancellation. Unfortunately the green of the 1s is a bit washed, but the strike of the cancellation is very good and almost complete. It sold for £355.67. In fine condition it’s worth around £1’000. I’ve been keeping a (work in progress) census of cricket ground cancellations for those who are interested.
I was ready to bid on this cover, hoping it would go in the £15-20 region. It’s slightly unusual to have a combination of a Queen Victoria and a King Edward VII stamp and it sold for a strong £37.50.
The 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee is a popular collecting area but I was still surprised to see this cover with the Guildhall cancellation sell for £64.53
And we finish with a couple of ½d vermilion controls. The first a nice cover with two different “M” control marginal examples, which sold for £29.14, which is a fair price.
And finally this Zululand ½d vermilion block of four with “K” control. Offered at a starting price of £64.99, it only found one bidder who got it for a very good price!
November finally brought some Jubilee items of interest after a drought after 2 or 3 months of very little.
First off is this mint 9d Jubilee. At first glance, nothing special. Take a closer look and you’ll see that it is a forgery! I slightly regret not going for it. It could well be a modern replica in which case it’s worthless, but something about it tells me it’s not. The fact that the perforations are a pretty good attempt at simulating the genuine stamp, given away by the fact that it looks like it is line perforated and not comb perforated (the corner perfs are misshapen when they should be more symmetrical). The definition of the printing isn’t great, but it doesn’t look like it’s been done a laser jet printer. I’ve not heard of any contemporary forgeries of the Jubilees, but at £4.85 it may well have been a worthwhile gamble.
Although philatelic, this 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee uprated with a 10 Jubilee and tied by the special cds is very attractive and sold to the only bidder at £99.99 plus postage.
This mixed issue franking with a 2 1/2d “Lilac & Green” and a 2d Jubilee surprised me by selling for as much as £77.93 in spite of the toning around the stamps. I’ve noticed that Jubilee usages in early 1887 are pretty uncommon and I see quite a few “Lilac & Green” usages still in this period on eBay, so it is very unusual to see both on the same cover.
And I’ll finish this month with a couple of my purchases. At the minute I’m into single frankings and multiple frankings of the same stamp. So when these two giant registered envelopes came up I couldn’t help myself. It’s exactly the type of thing you hear people saying you shouldn’t buy because you can’t display them in an exhibition. But this 1887 cover with the 3d is paying the inland rate up to 8oz, and the 1894 cover with the 1/2d vermilions is paying up to 6oz. I think they are very scarce and it’s amazing really that these big covers weren’t thrown out at the time. So I was pleased to pay £10.94 and £21.95 respectively.
Been a busy couple of months for me so playing catch up as usual. I’m kicking of this one with one of the most unusual Jubilee items I’ve seen. This 6d Jubilee was used in 1944 in conjunction with a 4d Manchester & Altrincham South Junction Railway parcel label, both tied by an Altrincham machine cancel. There was only one bidder at the asking price of £55. Certainly a conversation piece in a collection.
This 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee 1d postal stationery envelope was sent on the first day of South Kensington Museum Exhibition with the special datestamp, over-franked with a 2 1/2d and sent locally. It sold for £110. I may be wrong but I’m always surprised at how much these sell for as they’re not particularly scarce (although they are attractive). But as someone pointed out to me recently, they can “tick the box” of many different collectors (e.g. Jubilee issue, Exhibitions, postal stationery, horse thematics and history of stamps thematics to name the most obvious).
This fresh mint never hinged marginal block of four of the 1s green sold for a solid £741.
This attractive used marginal strip of three of the British Levant 4pi on 10d sold for £104. I have seen very few multiples of this stamp…
Finally, this cover was sent to a Irish Prisoner of War during the Boer War. Sent “Care of the Postmaster General” in Pretoria, it was then passed on the the US Consulate in Pretoria and struck with their cachet. The Consulate acted as the intermediary between the Boers and the British in the exchange of prisoner of war mail. It sold for £117.