After another quiet summer on the Jubilee front on Ebay with not much of interest to talk about, I decided to go for a theme this month; beautiful circular datestamp (cds) strikes. Or as the Americans say, “socked on the nose” cancels.
Starting with the cheapest and most abundant stamp of the set, the ½d vermilion had over 13 billion printed. So it can be a little tricky to find an example as attractive as the one shown, as it takes a lot of trawling through the many, many that still exist. So the winning bidder of this stamp paid £17 instead of doing the hard graft. That’s over 14 times the catalogue price of £1.20 in Stanley Gibbons.
The 4d green and brown is hard to find nicely used because of the fugitive ink in the green is easily affected by moisture (in fact it’s the one I’m in most need of upgrading in my collection). So any that have been soaked off will have lost some of the green to a degree. You almost have to be looking for a stamp still on piece. These two appear to have been removed carefully enough to be unaffected, and sold for £12.30 (above) and £9.81 (below) against a catalogue value of £18.
The 5d dull purple and blue doesn’t often come with a cds. I think for the most part because it was used predominantly to pay the double UPU letter rate, and often duplex cancels (with the barred oval obliterating the stamp) or squared circles (collectable in their own right but undeniably less attractive) were employed. Even with a toned perf, this example sold for £15.29. Full catalogue!
And finally the 10d, which is the highest catalogued stamp (at £45 for the standard carmine shade) in this report but paradoxically, I think, one of the easiest to find with a nice cds. So I was surprised to see this one sell for a much as £26.80 as you can get equally nice examples for around £10-15. I believe the reason that the 10d (as well as the 6d, 9d and the 1s green & carmine) is easier to find socked on the nose is because it was used more often for things such as parcel labels, telegrams and the like, which were more likely to be cancelled with a cds than regular letters.
I knew better than to make a New Year’s resolution to spend more time developing this site because I knew it wouldn’t take long to get behind on my updates…
First up is an item I should have bought. It’s the type of item that I think would add very nicely to an exhibition collection as I think it would go well as the final item to complete the story. It’s a picture postcard mourning the death of Queen Victoria, with a message along side saying “Her Funeral Procession passes through London to day”, with a 1/2d blue-green on the other side dated February 2nd. It sold for £30.80. By the way, I’m also desperately looking for a Jubilee stamp used on something commemorating her Jubilee in 1887 but have yet to find it!
Next up is an item of destination mail (one of my favourite topics). I’ve only come across three covers with Jubilee frankings to Cyprus so far, and this is a nice (albeit slightly toned) example with a 4 1/2d paying the UPU rate plus registration.
Imprimaturs rarely come up on eBay for auction (there not uncommon in dealer’s stocks). So I was interested to see this example described as unmounted mint fetch £338.50.
This picture postcard was posted on board the RMS Columba, a paddle steamer which operated on the first leg of the “The Royal Route” from Glasgow to Ardrishaig. With the 1/2d blue-green tied by the “COLUMBA STEAMER / GREENOCK” cds. There was only one bidder but the vendor started bidding at £110. That despite the fact that it’s not in perfect condition.
Speaking of not being in perfect condition, neither is this cover. But I’m still absolutely gutted I missed it. Originally sent to the Eastern Telegraph Company in Sierra Leone, it was redirected to São Tomé(!), San Vincent in Cabo Verde (!!) and back to Sierra Leone stopping off at Madeira on the way! An truly fascinating item of postal history and an absolute snip at £34.88 :(
Top 5 Items of the Month
Best buy in the month of May certainly goes to this unassuming 6d. With a Royal Philatelic Society saying that this stamp has a “Taunton / Cricket Ground” cds, I was expecting this to fetch around the £1’000 mark, so I was surprised to see it only fetch £392.45. You can view my attempted census of these cancellations here.
Also a 6d of note was this example of a Board of Trade official perfin tied to a small piece. These stamps are scarce, and until they are listed by Stanley Gibbons, will remain relatively inexpensive. I picked this one up for £22.75 (as well as a 9d for a little less). Forgeries abound so I tend to pick them up only on cover (which is not inexpensive!), put the piece of paper and the hooded London cancellation are very typical of the genuine item, as are missing puncture holes, inverted perfins and reversed perfins.
This philatelic cover with the complete Oil Rivers Jubilee set isn’t particularly scarce, but it is an attractive addition to a collection and it fetched a strong price of $269 on ebay.com
This slightly tatty cover (some would say well travelled) was sent at the 2 1/2d rate from London to Melbourne. However when it was redirected to Sydney, the 2 1/2d was no longer valid and the charge of a 2d postage due stamp was added (1d for the postage and 1d for the fine). I have seen very few and wasn’t surprised to see it sell for £90.88.
And finally, my “if only I had spotted it” cover of the month. Incoming mail to the island of Sark in the Channel Islands is rare, and if I, or perhaps a more fervent Channel Islands collector had seen it, it would have sold for much more than £44.00!
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
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!
Sorry folks. To say I’m behind in my updates is an understatement… Oh well, let’s pretend that I’m not a month behind and look at the highlights of February.
First off is a scarce 1s5d franking to the USA. The 1s green is by no means common on cover, and this example is particularly attractive with the added bonus of having the “POSTED OUT / OF COURSE” handstamp. This means that the sender more than likely popped it into a postbox instead of registering it with the Post Office. Final price: £82.48
Next is an item I was hoping to get for a bargain. Those hopes evaporated quickly as bidders competed against each other seemingly every day to get their hands on this. Although not at all described, the cover features a rare and highly collectable “LATE BOX” hooded cds. This being an example of the Bradford. I believe this was applied to mail posted at a special late mail box at the train station. It fetched £227.60.
This cover was certainly the surprise of the month. Jubilee covers going to China are reasonably scarce. But I can only think that the fact this example is going to the British Legation in Peking made the difference, because the cover to China in my collection cost me about £10. Somebody paid £124.47 for this one…
Since there has been a recurring theme of parcel post labels in recent months, I thought that this single 9d on a Stockton-On-Tees parcel label was worth a mention. I think I got it at a good price: £20.35.
And finally another cover for the cancellation enthusiast. This cover actually peaked my interest because it’s a mixed reign franking. However on close inspection you can see that it has the rare “LONDON & HOLYHEAD / UNITED STATES MAIL” cds and matching “K48” barred numerals. Again this was not described by the vendor so I got it for a great price! Unfortunately as it was sent from America, the nasty customs people caught it on it’s way to the UK and charged me an whopping £21 on top. Meaning I paid about £90 in total. Still a good buy I think.
An article in the January 2014 edition of Stamp & Coin Mart featured an article about the Cricket thematic collection of Richard Ley.
When asked: “Which item was most difficult to find?”, he replied:
“It is extremely difficult – and expensive – to track down the Queen Victoria line-engraved stamps cancelled at telegraph offices set up by the GPO to cater for reporters’ submissions to their newspapers in the days before telephones. About thirty different cancellations are known”.
The pair of 1s green and carmine show the “BIRMINGHAM / CRICKET GROUND” cds applied at Edgbaston during the Warwickshire match against Yorkshire in June 1901.
In my April 2013 Ebay Report, I showed a 4d green and brown with a “LEYTON CRICKET GROUND” cds which sold for £1’800.
Top 3 Items of the Month
Since there has been several interesting, rare and spectacular Jubilee items appear on the market in the last few weeks, I thought I would start this new feature. I hope the items featured here in the upcoming months will compliment the established eBay feature with items that are too prestigious to have featured on the online marketplace.
First up is a new discovery by the family of an ex-employee of Stanley Gibbons. It’s a ½d vermilion with violet “Ogilvie & Moore. Cork” underprint, previously only recorded on the 1d lilac, but soon to be included in the next Specialised Vol.1 catalogue. Unfortunately Stanley Gibbons had already sold the only two singles by the time I had contacted them, but they are currently offering this block for £2’750.
The next two items are being offered by Andrew Lajer in his Autumn 2013 list. The first is a 5d purple and blue with a FIRST DAY OF ISSUE cancel! This is the first single that I have seen (although I have also recorded one cover which was sold by Stanley Gibbons for £3’000 roughly 3 years ago). Sold for £550.
The final item is a very rare example of the Office of Works “H. M. O. W” perfin on a pair of ½d vermilions cancelled in Liverpool. It does have some faults (horizontal crease, a few short perfs and virtually separated), importantly it has an RPS certificate. The asking price is £950.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Merry Christmas everyone! At least that was the message that this scarce Xmas cancel was spreading. Very collectible on cover, these cancels only came in during the King Edward reign, and this is the first example I have seen on a Jubilee, albeit that it’s a piece. It sold for £33.60.
This attractive cover to Mauritius blew away my expectations and fetched an impressive £100.99. A scarce but certainly not rare destination, it is one of the nicest frankings to Mauritius I have seen, and perfect for the destination mail collector.
Another cover which sold for more than I would have paid for it was this one from Jersey to Argentina. As I’ve said before on this blog, the Channel Islands are very collectible, and it shows in the price: £89.99!
This parcel tag is an item I would have liked to have in my collection. Rarely have I seen a colourful parcel label with an advert. And of course the franking makes this extra special, with a combination of 1/2d, 1 1/2d, 2 1/2d and 4 1/2d!! Although they all have perfins, they match up with the company on the parcel label which I think makes it more interesting. It sold for £51.14.
And finally I have another scarce cancel to show you. This is the Baltasound mail bag seal which which has given it a negative impression. As far as I know, no covers exist, so it is likely that stamps like this were created by favour, or by some unscrupulous little wotsit!! Still, they’re very attractive. This one sold for £18.16
Top 5 Items of the Month
We kick off this month with something of a rarity, that I’m not too ashamed to say, that I missed it completely… Starting at 29p and 32 bids later, the final price was £1’800!!! Thanks to the very rare “LEYTON CRICKET GROUND” cds, which was the HQ of Essex County Cricket Club from 1886-1933. So keep an eye out in those bargain bins!
Coming down a peg or two in terms of price, but certainly not in terms of beauty, this superbly cancelled 5d purple and blue die I. For those that struggle with the difference between die I and die II, a cds like this with the year date 1887 clearly visible guarantees it as a die I, as the die II didn’t come out until 1888. Not only is this a very crisp cds, but it also has a Travelling Post Office (TPO) cds of the Edinburgh and Carstairs Sorting Tender. Why I was the only bidder for £31.20 is beyond me!
This stamp is one of the very few and certainly best example of an offset that I have seen on the 1/2d green. This is caused when a sheet of stamps is placed on top of another sheet that still has wet ink, leaving a mirrored impression on the gum. It sold for a very reasonable £75.50.
This item is not an imperforate example of the 3d purple on yellow, but in fact printer’s waste. It’s the same with the 1/2d green on buff, this 3d purple on green paper was struck just as a test to check the quality of the printing. It sold for £93.
And finally my best purchase in quite a while. Not only are Army Official overprints on cover scarce (except for on the 1d lilac), this 1/2d is paying the postcard rate, which you can imagine for official correspondence was used rarely. The usage of the 1/2d for the open-letter rate is marginally less rare. A bargain at £47.88.