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
Sorry for the delay ladies and gents. Let’s pretend it’s still October… We begin with a couple of surprises for you (and me) this month.
These two scruffy looking covers sold for $157 and $128 respectively. Both are printed covers from the Salvation Army, with frankings with matching “S” perfins. Not only that, but they include their original contents, the first even with a publication. This is the first time I have seen such a premium for a Christian themed item.
This is one I wish I hadn’t missed. A 2 1/2d used in Niger Coast. They are pretty common with the Niger Company Territories violet box ds of Burutu, but this is very scarce with a thimble Bonny River cds. Catalogued by SG at £450, it sold for £82.28.
This beautiful franking is not only a beautiful franking, but it’s being sent to Indonesia! Although I’m discovering that this isn’t such a rare and exotic a destination as it sounds. It’s paying 9 times the UPU rate, so it’s possibly even a proper usage. I should have gone for this. It sold for only $84.48.
And finally a cover not described correctly by the vendor. Not that a quick look won’t reveal why it’s worth more than the £7.60 it fetched. As the imprint suggests, it was sent from the Postal Department in Natal, South Africa. Originally unfranked, a 2 1/2d Jubilee was added and cancelled in London for it’s onward journey to the USA.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Late again… :( After having to cheat last month due to a slow June, July has not disappointed. I start with this unassuming postcard sent from Austria to the UK, and then redirected to Ireland with my favourite stamp! Great! Another mixed country franking to add to my collection! Unfortunately the final price of $450 (£266.64 to me) blew me out of the water. I had thought this might have been a case of two people putting in big bids but not expecting anyone else to care. However, there seemed to be 18 careful bids up to this figure. A closer look revealed it was a printed advertising card from Sigmund Friedl. A quick google search and old faithful Wikipedia showed me the light. It turns out the Sigmund Friedl is one of the most famous philatelists, having sold the Sweden Tre Skilling Banco for a sum of 4000 gulden to the famous collector, Philipp von Ferrary before turning to defrauding collectors in later life. So a very interesting item for the philately historian.
This interesting piece caught my eye, but I wasn’t that excited to pay £55.74 for this 2 1/2d “in combination” with a Spanish 25c, cancelled in Seville. My opinion is that the 25c covered the cost of postage, and the 2 1/2d was fortuitously cancelled at the same time.
Controls seem to be more popular than ever, with even common corner pairs selling for £20 plus. So I wasn’t surprised that this duo sold for £57 even though they both had faults!
This attractive piece has six 1/2d vermilions cancelled by the rubber datestamps of the Army Post Office at Modder Spruit. My second use of Wikipedia in a month reveals that “Modderspruit is a town in Bojanala District Municipality in the North West province of South Africa.” Short and sweet… I’m still learning about Boer War philately, but my gut says it must be scarce, and I’ve never seen this town cancel before. If only it were a complete cover! £44.40 is a good price for a piece though.
And last but not least…I couldn’t let a month go by without a bit of destination mail! New Zealand isn’t the rarest of destinations of course, but as this letter was sent underpaid, the New Zealand post office struck it with a nice “TO PAY / 5d / DOUBLE DEFFICIENT POSTAGE” tax handstamp. Even though it’s a little aged, it sold for £39.
Top 5 Items of the Month
We start this month off with one of my favourite collecting areas at the minute; destination mail. I thought that this would have been a rare example of a newspaper wrapper going to the small island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. However it was one of nearly 10 that have appeared in the last two months, and sold for only £9.04. One slight detraction with newspaper wrappers as destination mail is that there is never an arrival marking.
Following on from last months crude forgery of a Board of Education stamp, this O. W. Official fetch a similar price at £56.75. However I THINK that this is actually a genuine example. Many of the genuine examples I have seen have the Parliament St. cds.
Another Official for you. This one being the common 1/2d green I. R. Official. However it is very scarce on cover. This one is even more interesting because it is a turned cover with the other side franked with a 1d lilac. The extra unfranked 1d lilac next to the 1/2d probably paying the postage due as presumably the rate should have been 1d both ways. I need to have a closer look when it pops through my letter box. I was the only bidder at £140.
This attractive Boer war franking sold for £33.80. The interesting aspect being that it is an Army Telegraph printed envelope. Normally this franking is less than £10.
And finally the most fought over item of the month. This attractive cover to Egypt features two postage dues as the rate was 2 1/2d and not 1d. Final price: £70.75
I was fortunate enough to travel with work to Brasiliana 2013, the international stamp exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. Although the show was a bit of disaster, in my free time (and there was a lot of it because there were so few visitors), I actually managed to find some nice Jubilee items in the exhibits.
Two exhibits listed immediately caught my eye. The first I headed for was “The Siege of Mafeking” by Antonio Cucchiani. The collection featured several rare covers with Jubilee frankings as well as an example of the double overprint on the 4d. The collection was awarded a Vermeil medal.
And the other was “The British Postal Service in the Levant, 1857-1923” by Alexios Papadopoulos. Jubilee items of note included three GB 1s green on a parcel label, one of only 3 known covers with the single ring cds of Salonica and the cover pictured adjacent which is one of only 3 recorded with the 12pi on 2s6d. Interestingly the collection did not contain a QV 4pi on 10d on cover. The collection was awarded a Large Vermeil.
Individual items of note included this 1/2d postal stationery card uprated with a 1/2d vermilion sent to Argentina and forwarded on arrival with an Argentinian stamp, which I just happened to spot in a collection of Argentinian postal history.
And this cover belonged to an exhibition entitled “Swedish Militaries & Volunteers in war, Campaigns or in active service abroad 1582-1905”. Certainly not an exhibition I would expect to find a Jubilee cover, but in fact this envelope was sent to a Swede attached to the 5th Dragoons in the British Field Army in South Africa, and had a long journey to try and find its addressee!
Top 5 Items of the Month
Just covers for you this month. And we kick off with my biggest miss of the month. Not only is it a scarce cover sent by the Continental Night Mail service, but it is also the only example of a Jubilee cover going to Corsica that I ever seen!! It sold for a poultry £69.60. Doh!
Although completely philatelic, since I hadn’t seen one before I thought it was of note to point out this item. The envelope is franked with a 1 1/2d and 2 1/2d Jubilee tied by the Guildhall Jubilee cancel, which isn’t too unusual. However this cancel is actually from the B.P.S Exhibition held at the Guildhall London 1966! Obviously didn’t go through the post but an interesting curio nevertheless. It sold for £8.95.
Next up is this highly attractive printed cover sent by the Sun Fire Office as a reminder to the recipient to pay their premium. I expected it to fetch more than £10.56.
This cover is a very attractive example of an Express cover with a pair of 1 1/2d Jubilees. More info about the Express post can be found in this article. It fetched £49.22.
And finally a cover sent during the Boer war. More unusual however is that it was sent without stamps due to their unavailability. Most mail from the Boer war was addressed to England, but this item was actually intended for Switzerland and hence franked by the Post Office in London for the onward journey by three 1900 1/2d greens and a 1881 1d lilac. Obviously more uncommon than I realised as it sold for £83.86.
On September 28th, Grosvenor are having a British Empire sale including some Niger Coast and Boer War items. Of note is lot 1399, an envelope from Niger Coast franked with three 1s green overprinted stamps. The cover was last sold at the John Sacher collection of West Africa only as recently as November 2009 and realised £1’200+20%. The estimate is £2’000-2’500… Also in this section there are a selection of mint and used provisional overprints on the Jubilee issue.
The other item of note is lot 1644, a cover sent during the Boer War, showing violet straight line ”CENSORED G.B. BEAK”, incl. the original letter with the message: ”We were supposed to be creating a diversion whilst Hunter and Clements attacked the Burghers from the north. The diversion part of the scheme appears to have been entirely successful, but as yet we have got no news from Hunter”. The cover (address faded) bears a 1/2d vermilion pair unaccepted firstly at Ficksburg where framed ”TE BETALEN” was applied before entering the military post with F.P.O. cancellations. Unusual.
Top 3 Items of the Month
This cover was sent from London to Barberton (South Africa) during the Boer war, and although the condition is slightly poor (as is often the case with Boer War material), the violet “MAIL SERVICE SUSPENDED” handstamp excited collectors enough to see this reach £83.87.
This wonderful parcel post piece was sent from Matlock Bath to Ilkley, before being returned to the sender. The piece not only bears both the parcel post labels of Matlock Bath and Ilkley, but also the frankings for both sendings! A very interesting item from an increasing popular philatelic subject, it sold for £135.45.
This unusual cover was posted onboard RMS Orizaba, and was put into the mail at Colombo, Ceylon, resulting in the 2 1/2d purple on blue being tied by a Colombo duplex, with “PAQUEBOT” hs alongside. It sold for £73.55.
One of the largest collections of Great Britain ever to be sold in one auction went by largely unnoticed in the city of Basel in Switzerland on June 7th and 8th. Although the repercussions of this auction are still being felt throughout the GB philatelic world for all the wrong reasons. Hosted by Galerie Dreyfus, several significant items (and unfortunately several significantly dodgy items) in British philately went up for sale as only 10 or so people filled the room to bid on an estimated €4’000’000 worth of material. This of course made me very optimistic about snapping up some bargains when the few Jubilee issue items came up for sale.
Top 3 Items of the Month
This 1s green as a single franking on cover is quite scarce. However, what makes it more interesting is that it is on a privately printed registered envelope from Stanley Gibbons, along with two of their red wax seals. If I’d had noticed this at the time I would have been more interested, but it fetched a good price at £72.96.
This large piece is unusual not only because it was sent from South Africa during the Boer War, but because it also has the customs declaration form alongside which is the first time I’d seen this before. It bears a 3d and 6d Jubilee tied by a “FIELDPOST OFFICE / BRITISH FORCES S. AFRICA” cds. Strong competition saw this fetch £178.45.
The past couple of months has seen one vendor put up a wonderful collection of cancellations and covers from Niger Coast and the British Levant. This unassuming pair are cancelled by the rubber parcel cancellation of Brass (in violet on the 2d and red on the 2 1/2d). Not only are they scarce cancels, but they’re also very attractive, and fetched £87.00.