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.
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).
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!
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.
Top 5 Items of the Month
April 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.
This 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.
This 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.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Yikes. Doesn’t time fly over Christmas… Back in November there was a few items that I would like to have added to my collection but managed to miss out on all of them for various reasons. First up is a Penny Postage Jubilee insert sent with a 1/2d vermilion and cancelled by the special South Kensington cds. Not only is it uncommon for the insert to have been used as a postcard, but the added interest here is the manuscript “Nature of a letter / 1d to pay”. I think a collector of Exhibition items would have been willing to pay more than the £37.78 it realised.
Next up is a cover sent during the Boer War with a 2d green and carmine tied by the Field Post Office British Army South Africa cds. It was sent to forwarding agents Holt & Co showing their cachet and redirected within the UK. A good buy at 18.93.
Uprated newspaper wrappers and postcards with the Bechuanaland 1/2d are reasonably common, but nevertheless this attractive example sent from Ramoutsa only sold for £30.50.
The cover below is a scarce usage of the Board of Trade departmental perfin. Strangely still not listed by Stanley Gibbons, these official stamps are particularly difficult to find on complete cover as they were often used for printed matter resulting in fronts being more easily available. I was hoping that no one would notice the perfin from the thumbnail image but alas, it sold for £128.80.
And finally we have a quite scarce single franking of the 4d green and brown paying 2d internal postage and 2d registration fee. They are much more often seen paying the foreign letter rate to South America. It sold for £11.59.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Well I hope you have been enjoying the summer as much as I have. Holidays and stamp exhibitions (and some work in between) have taken up a lot of my time and energy, so excuse this post for being over a month late.
I start with a 6d purple on rose with a cancel I have featured before on my blog; the Baltasound mail bag seal. As it was meant to stamp wax, the strike in ink on the stamp creates negative impression. As far as I know, no covers exist, so it is likely that stamps like this were created by favour. I’ve only ever seen it on the Jubilee issue, and even so, not on the values issued after 1887 such as the 4 1/2d, 10d, 1/d blue-green and 1s green & carmine. This example sold for £42.00.
This usage of the 1s green and carmine and 1/2d blue-green on a parcel address label sold for £72.18, despite the fact that it’s a bit grubby and not particularly nicely cancelled. A strong price in my opinion even in view of the scarcity of 1s usages.
Vying for bargain of the month is this British Bechuanaland postal stationery card sent from Vryburg and uprated with a 1/2d vermilion. By no means scarce, it’s certainly more valuable than the £18.65 it sold for.
This was another good buy. This Office of Works overprint on the 1/2d vermilion is showing the variety “chamfered O” on the O in OFFICIAL. Catalogued by Stanley Gibbons at £220 , it sold for only £10.51.
And finally we have one the only item I have bought off eBay in the last couple of months. Destination mail definitely seems to be a favourite of mine (as my tag cloud on the right hand side will prove). Sent to Grenada, I bought this stamped to order postal stationery envelope uprated with Jubilees for £18.65. Bargain!
I hope that everyone who had the opportunity had a pleasant Easter holidays. We start this month off with a couple of items where I was unsuccessful bidder. First up is an 1890 Uniform Penny Postage Jubilee envelope sent to Canada, unusually uprated with a 4d and a 4 1/2d Jubilee paying three times the UPU rate plus registration fee. Apart from being an attractive franking, it has the added interested of a Canadian customs instructional label. It sold for £85.20.
Next we have a rare usage of a “Manchester Philatelic Society War Fund” charity label which I believe was to raise funds for the Boer war. It’s actually the first example I have seen on cover and it’s extra nice that it has the 1/2d vermilion and the 1/2d blue-green. It has some little faults, but I should have bid it up past the £69.50 it realised. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in a dealer’s stock at £150+.
This interesting variety sold for only 40.62. It shows an offset, caused by freshly printed sheets being stacked on top of each other and the wet ink being pressed into the reverse of the sheet above. This is not a common variety on the 3d but would have sold for much more if a complete impression of the stamp could be seen.
This Bechuanaland Protectorate 1/2d vermilion with double “Protectorate” overprint sold for a strong £69.95
And we finish off with an item that I featured in my June 2012 eBay report; a 1s double rate single franking to New Zealand. Back then it sold for £50.29. This time it sold for £46.94.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Now that it’s the end of January, I’ve finally had the time to catch up with what I should have done at Christmas time. So without further ado, we kick off this month with “the one that always gets away”; the British Bechuanaland overprint on the 1/2d vermilion with control letter. This was bought for nothing. Only £27 for this unmounted mint example. Not only did I miss it on eBay, but it was bought by the dealers Deverell & MacGregor and was sold before I even knew it! Aaagh! One day…
Next up is this rather scruffy looking cover is only the second cover I have found with a Jubilee franking going to Trinidad (there’s also a parcel tag going to Trinidad worth a mention). £17.80 was all that this one fetched because of its condition.
Although this next cover just about qualifies for this blog because only one of the five stamps are a Jubilee, I couldn’t let this beautiful cover pass by without mentioning it. For a little extra interest, there is even the manuscript “Posted out of course”, which means it would have been dropped in a letter box instead of being taking to the post office to be recorded. It sold for £295.95.
There’s nothing particularly special about this cover, but I just thought it was worth a mention because it’s something I should have added to my collection because it’s a nice example of the 4oz letter rate and the registration fee paid by two 2d green and red which is not a common rate at all. It sold for £16.24.
This 2 1/2d has a rather fine strike of the Aden squared circle ds. This stamp would have been attached to a cover posted on board a ship and cancelled when it was sorted in Aden. It sold for £9.34.
Top 5 Items of the Month
November was an interesting month for Jubilees on eBay. Unfortunately I missed all of it due to work commitments. So I cheated and spent an hour or so searching through the “Sold” listings.
First off we have a rare multiple of the Mafeking surcharge on the 1/2d vermilion. Not expensive at all at £115.48.
Secondly we had these two Zululand 1/2d pairs on pieces with near enough complete cancellations of Nondweni and Nkandhla. Very scarce. Sold for £45.01 and £53.51 respectively.
Which is nothing compared to this Bechuanaland Protectorate 1/2d. Catalogued by SG at £50, the clean strike of the Tati cds is the reason this sold for £398.90. Astonishing.
I tried by best to do a 1/2d vermilion “clean sweep”, alas this 6d pair was too interesting to pass up. Cancelled by two strikes of the Ben Nevis cds, intense bidding saw this sell for £66.00