Tag Archives: Bechuanaland

Argyll Etkin Sell Strong Selection of Bechuanaland and Mafeking

Argyll Etkin’s recent sale on 4th May featured (again) a strong section of South Africa, and even had some rare Mafeking covers which very infrequently appear at auction.

The best Jubilee item was a pair of the Mafeking 1s on 4d green and brown on cover to Bulawayo. Estimated at £1’200-1’500, it sold for £2’200 plus 17% commission.

However the one that I had spotted for my collection was the 1d on 1/2d vermilion cover estimated the same. Sadly I was outbid at £1’700 plus 17% commission. Although I did pick up a nice Bechuanaland cover which helped to take the bitter taste of defeat away

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March 2012 Ebay Report

Top 5 Items of the Month

March was such a strong month for Jubilee items, that I’ve had to do a top 5 of the month! First off is this Niger Coast cover, which features three different issues. Sent registered from Opobo River, the franking pays the correct registered rate to England, and fetched £132.02

Next up is this attractive British Bechuanaland 6d purple on rose block of four cancelled with a single central Pitsani cds. The buyer snapped this up for only $37.90. If I had seen this item before it had finished I would have certainly bid more than that. Not too long afterwards, it was on Deverrell MacGregor’s website for £55, and sold very quickly.


This high franking on a parcel post label sold for £119.50. It bears a 1s green and a 4 1/2d green & carmine, both of which are scarce as singles on parcel labels, so it was no surprise it fetched a good price. Parcel labels are very collectable.

This superb Bechuanaland cover is definitely the star eBay item of the month, and probably the year. This registered envelope is franked with no less than 27 stamps worth a total of 5s!! Eight different bidders bid seventeen times to try and take this item home, and unfortunately the usual last minute bidding took the price beyond what I was willing to pay for it, and it fetched £339.50. The philatelic nature of the cover put me off bidding higher, but it is still an outstanding Jubilee and Bechuanaland cover.

This cover definitely wins the title as “Most Unassuming Cover”, but look closer and you’ll see that it’s a little gem. Sold for a measly £4.20 (I am still kicking myself for forgetting to bid), it has been franked with four 1/2d vermilions. However, I assume that the registration label at the very top left was mistakenly applied, and was partially torn off by the sender before dropping it in the post box. The post clerk having seen this, has still assumed that the letter is intended to be sent registered. So not only is the franking insufficient, but the sending of registered letters was only allowed over the post office counter, hence the manuscript “Posted out of course” and the 6d worth of postage dues. Take another look, and you’ll notice that the stamps are cancelled in Torquay in 1916, and the post clerk has deemed them as an illegitimate franking and placed crosses next to the stamps. Hence explaining the 6d fine. A great little cover with a great story to tell.

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March 2011 Ebay Report

Top 3 Items of the Month

This cover from Bechuanaland in endorsed “Last Day Cover of postal use”, and bears six Queen Victoria issues tied by a Francistown 31 MAR 38 cds, over 40 years after their issue. I have yet to find out if this actually the last date of legal use. Obviously philatelically inspired, it is not unique, as I bought one several months ago for $80. This one sold for $141.00.

This parcel post label bears a 1 1/2d and 9d Jubilee issue with the “GOVT PARCELS” overprint and is very scarce as such. The creasing slightly lets this one down, but considering its scarcity, it was a good buy at £82.00.

The British Levant 80pa on 5d is quite difficult to find on cover, with the 40pa on 2 1/2d being much more common. However, what differentiates this on is the “ORIENT EXPRESS” handstamp. The rarest covers from the British Levant bear stamp-like labels for the Orient Express, but this is the first time that I have seen this cachet, although I presume it to be privately made. Bidding reached £68.00 on this one.

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