Tag Archives: Bechuanaland

July/August Ebay Report

This month is a bit focused on only the 6d and Bechuanaland postal history, but there are some lovely things that I would have liked to have added to my collection.

First up is this stunning used block of 36 of the 6d purple on rose. Bidding started at £1500 but no one took up the offer. I messaged the vendor afterwards to see if it is was available for a bit less but unfortunately by the time he saw my message he had already sold it. The new owner now has it on eBay “Buy-it-now” for £2’750…

Sticking with the 6d, this mint never hinged lower marginal block of four sold for £110. For those interested in the marginal settings on the 6d, note the cut in the Jubilee line below the lower left stamp which looks like it is from plate 6a.

Next up are three Bechuanaland covers, funnily enough, which were from a collection we sold at David Feldman called the “Koi” collection. I recognise the beautiful and painstakingly hand-drawn pages. I’ve spent quite a bit of time during my summer holiday going through my Bechuanaland files on my computer. Partly because it was long overdue, but also as my other role as editor of The Overprinter for the GB Overprint Society, where there has been some interesting debate about the postal rates from British Bechuanaland to the UK and abroad. I’m hoping to update that section of the site this week before the end of my holiday.

This is an attractive philatelic franking from “PALACHWE / KHAMAS TOWN”, bearing Bechuanaland Protectorate 1888 1/2d and 4d on 1/2d, was sent in 1891 to Port Elizabeth in the Cape Colony which at this time should have been at the 2d rate. Still a particularly nice example and scarce usage of the 4d on 1/2d. It sold for £121.15.

This 1899 cover from Francestown in the Protectorate is paying double to 2d rate to a chemists in the Cape Colony called Lennon Limited. I did a quick search and came up with a page on the Rhodesian Study Circle website so I presume it’s a decent sized correspondence across Southern Africa. This cover sold for £131.50.

Finally this 1894 cover is an example of British Bechuanaland stamps used in the Protectorate, sent from a general dealer from Khamas Town to the famous merchant Isaacs in Mafeking. The two British Bechuanaland 2d’s are paying the 4d rate from the Protectorate to another Southern African territory. It’s also an extremely fine example of the “676” BONC (barred oval numeral cancel) which are so often poorly struck. It sold for £105.50 and I regret not bidding more!

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May/June 2021 Ebay Report

Prices for Jubilee material seems to have been getting stronger in recent months, which has been noticeable not just on eBay but also in recent auction sales such as the ones at Grosvenor and Corinphila (with the “Besançon” collection which I’ll have to get round to writing about) in the first six months of this year.

One item that highlights the increase in demand is this rare single franking of the 1s green and carmine on a registered envelope, which is paying 9d in registration fee as annotated at the lower left and double the UPU rate to Germany. It is one of only 10 single franking covers out of the 93 that I have recorded with the 1s green and carmine. It sold for an impressive £805, which looking back on it is worth it but I don’t think it would have sold for so much a couple of years ago.

Another scarce item which very rarely pops up on eBay with a 99p start was this 4d head plate die proof, cut-down to stamp size, which sold for £225.12

This registered postcard was an item I wanted to add to my collection but not as much as somebody else unfortunately. Registered postcards are unusual and it is a nice example of using a single 2d to uprate a stationery item. It sold for £45.77.

The postal stationery envelopes with the advertising ring around the die are very popular. This one is for W & T Avery of Birmingham and it sold for £112, which even with its minor imperfections I think is cheap because I think it should be £200-300.

And finally this “British Bechuanaland Government Gazette” wrapper, although it has a bit of rough life, it is a correct usage of the ½d. I can’t say that it’s not philatelic because it is addressed to Isaacs who was a merchant and a prolific creator (or at least recipient) of covers, and whom Bechuanaland collectors have a lot to be thankful to. It sold for £64.11.

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June 2019 Ebay Report

Top 5 Items of the MonthIt’s the second month in a row that I’m kicking off my eBay report with an addition to my collection. I was very happy to pick up this Board of Trade perfin on a ½d vermilion on a Board of Trade cover for the opening bid of £99.99. Forgeries abound of the Board of Trade perfin so I’ve been aiming to get them on cover (or front when necessary) to significantly reduce the chances of buying a forgery. They are also still not listed in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue, so they are definitely undervalued and under-appreciated. From used stamps and the limited number of covers I have seen, there seem to a four or five different London cancels which are used consistently, and this London “89” district office duplex is certainly one you’ll find on genuine items.

The stamped-to-postal stationery envelopes come up reasonably frequently (on eBay and on my reports) and always sell well. There’s a correspondence of these covers that go to Canada and Grenada. This one’s a bit nicer because it has two 1887 1s greens. It sold for £84.05.

This attractive lower marginal block of 8 of the Niger Coast 5d unfortunately had no gum, hence it only sold for £69.Uprated Bechuanaland postal stationery cards are reasonably common but the vast majority are philatelic and sent to Germany. So this card to New Zealand is an attractive and proper usage. It was a good buy at £56. Whether the buyer, a dealer, can sell it on for their price tag of £225 is another matter…

And finally an Army Official ½d vermilion “Q” control pair. Another cheap buy for somebody at only £28.14. In my head they are worth £40-50 for a pair, but if you search eBay you will find dozens of them being offered by different dealers at £100+…

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Bechuanalands & Botswana Society Auction

The Bechuanalands & Botswana Society is holding a postal auction of 132 lots which closes on 1st March 2019. It features a section of Joe Taylor’s collection with many of his used stamps which have been carefully selected for their postmarks.

Bidding is open to everyone and is not restricted to members of the Society. Virtually every lot (excluding Botswana) is illustrated on the website: http://www.bechuanalandphilately.com/

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David Feldman Sells the “Koi” Collection of the Bechuanalands

Last week David Feldman in Switzerland sold the “Koi” collection of the Bechuanalands, and I had the pleasure to describe and lot it for the auction! There were many overprinted Jubilee stamps including essays, specimens, controls and postal history.

Of particular note were two essays for the 1889 “Fourpence” surcharge, lots 30421 (with a light crease, sold for £1’098) and 30420 (sold for £2’318) below (respectively)

Little is known about these essays produced by Messrs. Townshend. Mention of them is made in Holmes’ book but he doesn’t illustrate any. From what I’ve found appearing in auction catalogues over the years, there seems to be three types; “PROTECTORATE / FOURPENCE”, “Protectorate / 4D” and “Protectorate / 4d”.

Staying with the Fourpence surcharge issue, the following two varieties also saw strong competitive bidding.

Lot 30423 has the green surcharge variety, which was the result of faulty cleaning of the inking roll. Although not listed by Stanley Gibbons, it is mentioned and priced at £1’500 in the footnote for this stamp. It sold for £1’159. All the known examples are used in Shoshong, and this is only the fourth example I have found. More well known is lot 30424, the inverted surcharge variety (SG.53c, £4’000). This example is one of 19 I have found in auction catalogues and literature and sold for a solid £2’074.

On the postal history side of things was lot 30401, this interesting bisect of the 4d from Palapye Station.

Again from my brief research I have so far found 9 examples. Although undoubtedly philatelically contrived, they have only been recorded on November 22nd 1899, December 13th 1899 and March 12th 1900. This is one of only two used on March 12th, and unusually both are diagonally bisected as opposed to the rest which are vertically bisected. It sold for £854.

And I’ll finish with one item which sold for multiples of the estimate.

Lot 30474 is a cover from Gubulawayo during the Trans-Protectorate period, and shows the Gubulawayo cds with “MASHONALAND” excised (if I remember rightly). Estimated at £200-300, it sold for £1’342 including buyer’s premium. A rarer cancel than I realised.

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Appeal for Information: Bechuanaland Overprint Varieties on Cover


I’ve had a request from a fellow enthusiast into the existence of overprint varieties on the Bechuanaland 1/2d vermilion used on cover. Specifically inverted or double overprints on SG numbers 53, 54, and 55.

I have not seen any before, but I have heard that in his long search the enthusiast has managed to find a 1913 Tamsen cover with a SG54a block of four. Presumably other philatelic covers from Tamsen must exist?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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March / April 2018 Auction Report

2018 continued to be a busy year for Jubilee collectors in the London auction houses. First off on March 9th was Argyll Etkin’s sale which included Brian Brookes’ collection of Channel Islands, which included this complete used pane of the 4½d (lot 1067), which is the only example I have seen. There was also a used 10d pane, but I’ve seen several of these and they are always cancelled in the Channel Islands as they were used to pay customs duty on products such as tobacco. Even though there is a little soiling and minor fading of the green, it sold for  £290 plus commission.

 

Lot 257 in the Murray Payne sale two days later caught my eye, but I scoffed at the £800 estimate. It sold for £1’600 plus 20% commission. Shows how much I know! The double circle cancellation of “CROCODILE POOLS / SOUTH AFRICA” is obviously a rare one. However from this auction I did manage to pick up an envelope from Ascension with a pair of ½d blue-greens which I was very pleased about.

 

Grosvenor had further material from the Dr. Peter Young collection in April. The highlight in terms of Jubilees was lot 193, this appendix page from the De La Rue archives for the unissued Reply Paid stamp. It’s unique in private hands, as an almost identical page resides in the Phillips collection in the Postal Museum. It sold for £4’200 plus commission.

 

The next lot was another essay for this stamp which I hadn’t seen before. Interestingly, it has the centres of two ½d vermilions cut-out with the rest of the design done by hand. It sold for £1’800 pus commission. Would have loved to have bought both!

 

And I’ll finish with lot 925, this exquisite hand-painted essay of the 10d from the De La Rue archives. At £2’900 plus commission I thought it was a very reasonable price for a unique essay (there is another in the same design on tracing paper and cancelled by a pen cross in the Postal Museum).

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January/February 2018 Auction Report

There may have been nothing on Ebay since the start of the year but there was plenty of material to interest a Jubilee collector which came up in the British auction houses.

Lot 1541 in Spink’s latest offering from the never ending “Lionheart” collection (part 7!) included a Bechuanaland Protectorate 4d on 1/2d with inverted surcharge, which inspired me to publish my census of all the examples I have come across. This example has a small wrinkle at the lower right, and sold for £1’100 plus 25% in fees.

Also from Spink but from their January Philatelic Collectors Series was lots 1032 and 1033, two British Levant covers with “Express D’Orient” labels.

As far as I’m aware, these labels didn’t pay for any postal service and are basically vignettes/cinderella stamps which were likely created by the enterprising Postmaster of the Constantinople office for collectors. Note that both of these envelopes come with his Post Office cachet and I believe are in his handwriting. The black label is rarer and this cover fetched £950 plus commission. The envelope with the red label was in better condition (and looked better in the flesh than it does in the scan) and sold for £850 plus commission.

Among a nice selection of Niger Coast (of which many items were ex Sacher) in Grosvenor’s March 1st sale was this attractive item. With two 2d and two 1/2d tied by orange-red Benin circular rubber cancels, I couldn’t resist bidding on it. Estimated at £500-600 I guess I was the only bidder as I got it for £500. Unfortunately it was liable to 5% import duty, so commission on the hammer price was 29% (gulp!). They also wanted to charge me £18 for submitting the bid through their website but I’m not going to be paying that!

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December 2017 Auction Report

Grosvenor managed to come up with a couple of Jubilee gems in their November 29th sale, which unfortunately I got outbid on. Lot 214 was a complete pane of the Bechuanaland Protectorate overprint on the 4d. This is the third example I have seen so far (ignoring the different settings) and it sold for £500 plus commission. Lot 232 followed soon after; a complete pane of the British Levant 4pi on 10d which sold for £920 plus hammer and is the only example I have seen so far (so I should have probably bid more…).

Elsewhere, David Feldman in their Jubilee auction on December 9th had a scarce Mafeking cover (lot 60136) with a pair of the 6d on 2d green & red Jubilees which sold for £1’300 plus 20% commission.

And lot 2126 in Cavendish’s December 6th auction was a group of Boer war covers which included a scarce 1s green & carmine franking with two examples along with a 5d pair on a cover (the 83rd cover I have recorded with a 1s green & carmine franking). It realised £480 plus commission.

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April 2016 Ebay Report

Top 5 Items of the Month

81.76April seemed to be a quiet month and didn’t bring any particularly interesting items but I’ve managed to find a few to write about.

First up is an attractive parcel post label sent registered from Ilfracombe with a reasonably high franking of 1s7d, which sold for £81.76.

27.25This Niger Coast Oil Rivers 1s green has a neat Benin River cds in red, but what is of more interest is the break in the first “R” of “RIVERS”. Whether it is constant or not I’m not sure. I’m currently a member of the GB Overprint Society, but have a backlog of journals to go through to glean more information on the overprints on Jubilee stamps. It sold for £27.25.

 

123.00This stamp was a bit of a surprise at how much it realised. Obviously the “TATI / BECHUANALAND” cancel is scarcer than I realised. It realised £123.

Another item of cancellation interest is the cover below with a machine cancellation. Not the scarcest type by any means, but it sold for a solid £35.65.

And finally only 1 bidder was interested in the cover at the bottom at£25.74. Sent underpaid by 1 1/2d, it was sent to Munich then redirected to Paris before being sent to Glasgow. The colours in the 1/2d vermilion are slightly faded which put me off, but a collectable item nonetheless.

35.6525.74 (1 bid)

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