Top 5 Items of the Month
We start of this month’s report with a very recent discovery for me, when in the course of describing a collection for our next auction at David Feldman SA, I came across a presentation album of German local stamps which was produced by a German dealer in the 1940s. When I looked closely, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that some of these stamps were copied from the design of the 1887 halfpenny Jubilee! Since then, I have had an Ebay search saved to alert me when these stamps pop up again, and it wasn’t long before two pages cut out from the album came up. There was only one bidder at the asking price of £19.99 each. So now I need to find out some more information about whether these were actually ever used or just philatelic concoctions (I’m assuming the latter).
This attractive block of four with the hexagonal “ARMY POST OFFICE / STANDERTON / NATAL FIELD OFFICE” cancellation used during the Boer War fetched a surprising £114.55.
But even more surprising was this Midland Railway invoice sent from Hitchin with a ½d vermilion tied by a Hitchin squared circle cancel. Even with a spike hole through the stamp, it fetched £48.95.
This very attractive four-value franking was sent by the Continental Night Mail service to France, paying a total rate of 9d. I was a bit put off by the peripheral discolouration to the envelope, but someone else was happy to pay £78.89.
And finally this item struck me as unusual. It appears to be part of a parcel card, that I think would have been retained and destroyed by the receiving Post Office (if anyone knows better then please let me know in the comments section below). As far as I can recollect I haven’t seen a piece or a complete example before so £24.90 might be very cheap, especially as the stamps are so neatly cancelled.
Top 5 Items of the MonthWell I’ve broken my mini spell of talking first about an item I’ve bought. This is an item that I absolutely should have bought and is my biggest regret in the last few years. People who regularly read these posts will know I have an interest in recording all the usages of the 1900 1s green and carmine I find. So this item caught my attention especially because it was sent from the British Army Post Office during the Boer war. But as it’s a bit ugly (it’s reduced at the top and some of the backflap is missing), it’s philatelic and I have nicer usages of this stamp from South Africa, I put in a miserly bid of £75 and it sold for £77.50. It was only when I came to include it in my listing did I notice the date. The stamp was issued on July 11th 1900. This cover is clearly dated JU 15 1900. Even presuming that the month on the handstamp should be July and not June (unfortunately the arrival backstamp is missing the date entirely), it is the earliest recorded usage of this stamp, and to be sent only 4 days after issue 5’000+ miles away in South Africa is extraordinary.
Surprise of the month goes to this Lunn & Co., “Tennis, Cycle, Croquet, Golf, and Cricket Manufacturers” printed advertising wrapper. It sold on ebay.com for $309.29. Golf evidently a highly popular thematic for stamp collectors!
This group of Jubilees affixed to card come from a butchered 1884 “Before and After the Stamp Committee” presentation book by De La Rue, of which only thirty six were produced. Consisting of three pages, the third page featured the original issue of Jubilee stamps plus the 1881 1d lilac. Part of me can understand dismantling the book, but why someone would then cut up a perfectly attractive page is beyond me. And I’m pretty sure the information at the top of the page is incorrect. The Jubilees were not line perforated for this book (some other stamps in the book were), they have comb perforations as normal. It sold for £185.50.
The type 15 SPECIMEN on the 1900 1s green and carmine is catalogued by Stanley Gibbons at . This one, described as having small faults, with no explanation or scan of the reverse, sold for only £20… I think, not just because it was poorly described, but because it is a fake specimen overprint. There’s two or three discrepancies in the appearance of the shape of the letters when compared to the reasonably common 10d with type 15 specimen overprint (the curvature of the “S”, the central point of the M descends all the way to the baseline). But I’m not an expert. I had somebody recently just point out two Specimen forgeries in my collection that I’ve had since I first started collecting Jubilees, and never thought to question them as when I looked at the time they were identical to the illustrations in the SG catalogue. Unfortunately I’ve come to realise that the illustrations are misleading and should be corrected!
And we finish this month with what looks to me like another forgery which cost someone £110.77. I think a regular stamp with a Crown watermark has been bleached white and on it someone has printed the 1900 1s green and carmine design upside-down to create an inverted watermark variety. It could be the poor clarity of the image, but the definition of the stamp looks blurred, which is especially noticeable at on the side ornaments which appear as red blobs with a dash of white (I’ve conveniently put this stamp after the specimen stamp so one can compare). There also appears to be different shades of green in the lettering and the white area inside the frame is definitely not white like the perfs around the edge.
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
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.
Top 5 Items of the Month
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Had some time to monitor eBay this month but still managed to miss some items I would have loved to have added to my collection.
First up is this impressive franking of the 2½d in a block of 8 sent from a Field Post Office during the Boer War. Used on a large OHMS envelope to a Captain in Pretoria and redirected to Kroonstad, I’m presuming it’s a philatelic franking as I think it should be something like 1d per oz for Military mail. Still it sounds a good buy at £45.10.
Next up is this very attractive parcel label with a pair of 4½d and ½d paying 7½d rate plus 2d registration fee. An unusual combination and another good buy at only £35.25.
I had a query this month about the largest known used multiples of the Jubilee issue. So it seemed appropriate to show this block of 8 of the 6d which sold for £52.10. It’s something I aim to publish in the future as I have always kept a track of large used multiples I’ve found in dealer’s stocks and online.
This block is definitely one I would like to have bought. It’s a bit unknown as it isn’t mentioned in the Stanley Gibbons Queen Victoria Specialised Catalogue, but this example shows the sheet watermark letter “B” in the right hand margin (at the far right located between the first and second rows, and only showing the left half of “B”). These watermarks are very scarce. Several different letters are known and listed by Wiseman in his essential book “The De La Rue Years 1878-1910“. This block sold for £20.88 but is worth much more to the specialist.
And I’ll finish with another Boer War item. This cover has the “MAIL SERVICE SUSPENDED” handstamp that was applied to incoming mail to areas in the hands of the Boers, as this was sent less than a month after it started. It sold for £56.
Top 5 Items of the Month
June brought us some attractive and high value items (compared to the usual eBay offerings at least). First up was this advertising parcel post label from the Thorton-Pickard manufacturing company. Unusually it has a 6d stamped-to-order die and is also uprated with a 2d Jubilee. Although a little creased, it sold for a healthy £155.
The surprise result of the week was this 4 1/2d marginal block of four with a crisp central Darlington cds (which was against the regulations as each stamp should have been cancelled individually). The green is slightly washed, but that didn’t stop this multiple fetching £217.47!
The item of the month that I missed bidding on was this scarce Mafeking 1s on 6d (with serif overprint) tied to small piece. With a RPS certificate and a catalogue value of £850 in Stanley Gibbons, it only sold for £217. Doh!
And to finish with we have a couple of incoming Boer War covers. The first with a 4d green & brown with “GONE – NO ADDRESS” handstamp struck on arrival in South Africa. It was then returned to the UK and a large “Officially Sealed” label of the Returned Letter Office was stuck on the reverse. It sold for £122.70.
And this cover was sent at the triple rate to a Prisoner of War in Pretoria. The cover was censored at the neutral United States Consul in Pretoria. Although the franking is a little tired, incoming mail to prisoners of war are very scarce, and this cover realised £164.
Top 5 Items of the Month
After a lazy start to 2016 I’m going to try get back in to the rhythm of doing my monthly eBay reports. We’ll see how long it lasts…
First up is a scarce Qua-Iboe River cancel from Niger Coast on an overprinted 1/2d vermilion which sold for £30.35.
Next up are two blocks featuring constant varieties listed in the Stanley Gibbons Specialised Volume 1, although neither were highlighted by the vendor. The 4 1/2d block shows the variety “broken bar to fraction” (SG K34h) which affects the fraction bar on the right “1/2” on the lower left stamp in this block. Catalogued at £90, it sold for a respectable £52.10 so a couple of people must have spotted it.
However the variety featured on this block of 1 1/2d was a much better buy. The lower right stamp in the block shows the variety “retouch left of tablet and around large figure 1” (SG K29f) which catalogues at £600 for a mounted mint example. So I was rather happy to pick it up for £67.09. Stanley Gibbons are currently offering a mint nh interpanneu block of 8 with this variety for £1’200! In fact if I hadn’t had been studying the catalogue the day bidding finished I probably would have missed it.
This block of 12 6d Jubilees is a scarce used multiple, but what it more interesting is the cancellation. Without my references in front of me, I think that the “FPO / 43” cancellation was used during the Boer War. So even with the faults (some splitting and creasing), I think the right person would pay more than the £29.70 it realised.
This attractive franking is on a printed envelope from the stamp dealer H. G. Hanson in Cardiff. Funnily enough I recognised this cover as I described it for a David Feldman SA auction and it sold a couple of years ago for €180. I don’t know if the buyer then was the same as the seller now, but it only sold for £93.78 this time.
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.
Crikey. For the first time in over 4 years I’ve missed my monthly blog post completely.I mostly blame my hectic work period over the last two or three months, meaning I haven’t had much free time to scour eBay like usual. But even so, there seems to have been a dearth of interesting Jubilee material. Even going through items that have already sold, I didn’t find one thing I was disappointed to have missed out on.
Top 5 Items of the Month
First up is this very clean strike of the Royal Niger Company Akassa boxed datestamp tying a pair of 1/2d vermilions to a piece. It sold for £105.41 which is a strong price considering a cover is probably worth £400 to £500.
This cover from the Boer war is more interesting as the envelope has split and has been resealed by the post office in Edinburgh, which is not uncommon. However the most interesting thing, which unfortunately I only spotted when it was too late, that it was sealed by the PO using the selvedge from a pane of the 4d green & brown! It sold for £25.46
Just to make sure that it’s not a clean sweep of 1/2d vermilion items, I have a bit of destination mail for you. Sold for a miserly 1.34, this cover to the Canary Islands was returned to England, and the reverse shows a Plymouth Ship Letter cds, a redirection mark, and a Canary Islands arrival. A much scarce destination than the price achieved.
And lastly, three covers with 1/2d vermilion controls, which sold for £25, £27 and £29 each. All from the same correspondence, usages of controls on cover are very scarce. Even though the condition of the covers are a bit grubby, this is still a very good price as they tend to retail between £75 and £100 each.
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).