In Grosvenor and Spink this April, the following Army Telegraphs overprinted Jubilees turned up within a week of one another. The first to come up was this impressive used block of 16 still on piece. Unfortunately it was part of a larger lot (lot 2099) with other Army Telegraph issues, so my top bid was a bit far off lot the final hammer price of £2’200. It’s the largest multiple I’ve seen by far! (The second being a block of four that sold on ebay in February).Next up was lot 2106, an unused telegram form franked with various Army Telegraph issues including two overprinted 1/2d vermilion Jubilees, which dates from when the Army was doing manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain. I was a bit closer this time with my bidding but was still beaten to the final hammer price of £380. This was the first complete and franked telegram form I have seen but I’ve heard they exist.
And finally Grosvenor had this mint 1/2d vermilion “O” control strip of 3, lot 137 estimated £100-150. This was one I really wanted and even used an agent for the first time to bid in the auction room on my behalf. Disappointment turned to despair as my top bid was surpassed by a measly £50 and it sold for £1’250. This is only the second I have seen (which was corroborated by a dealer I know).
We start this ebay report with what is I think the most valuable Jubilee item I’ve seen sell at auction on ebay. I would have been gutted to have missed it but I would never have thought of paying as much as $2’850 for the cover below. Sent to the Portuguese colony of Macao with a 5d Jubilee, it was then re-directed to Japan with a Macao 40r. It’s an extraordinary mixed country franking and Macao collectors have the hunger and the cash for such unusual items.
This is a rare used block of four of the Army Telegraphs overprint on the ½d vermilion. I’ve seen very few used examples (less than a dozen of the vermilion and I don’t think any of the ½d blue-green). So I might regret not trying to beat the final realisation of £129.25.
This unmounted mint example of the 1 ½d with inverted watermark variety sold for £460, which is just a little under half the Stanley Gibbons catalogue price of £950.
This slightly ugly cover is an unusual usage of the 4 ½d. It is paying the 2d registration rate and 2 ½d to send the cover from York to Plymouth. It is only the third single franking of the 4 ½d I’ve seen on an internal letter.
And finally quite an attractive uprated postal stationery cover to Belgium from Jersey. These types of covers from Jersey always sell well; this one realising £135.10.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Only nearly 3 weeks late so let’s get going! First off is a cover “going home” from the Boer war at the 1d rate with a COGH stamp, and then redirected to the Netherlands with the necessary 1 1/2d Jubilee added to make the 2 1/2d foreign rate. A dealer is likely to charge about double the £30.76 price it realised.
This Army Telegraphs overprint on the 1/2d vermilion is scarce used and this item is especially nice as it is still on a piece of the telegram they were used for! Typically stamps were placed in the corner of telegraph forms, from which an enterprising individual could “liberate” with a swift and sneaky tear across the corner before the forms were destroyed. I do wonder if any complete forms exist… Sold for £82.39 by Stanley Gibbons no less.
Next up is an uncommon usage of the 9d in addition to a 6d making an even more uncommon 1s3d rate plus the 2d registration die. Worth more than the £30.85 it fetched.
This group of literature was my surprise of the month. I have the the two books by Nicholson and the auction catalogue for the Colonel Danson collection. None of which are scarce. So presumably everyone was trying to add the A. J. P . Baumann collection of British Africa to their library.
And finally an interesting item of destination mail. A cover sent to Jerusalem and then redirected to Beirut. Competition was strong and £60.94 was more than I wanted to pay because of the condition (although this is only the third cover I have seen going to Israel/Palestine).