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.
…and then four come along at once!! The cover shown is a rare mixed franking of a 1/2d vermilion and a Russian Zemstvo 1k violet imperf from Bogorodsk to pay the delivery or printed matter from the UK to Moscow, and then from Moscow to its final destination in the Bogorodsk distrcit. This is not the first Zemstvo and Jubilee combination cover I have seen. However the other two covers I spotted featured different Bogorodsk stamps. This brief tale begins in September, when David Feldman sold a near identical cover to this for €900. It continued yesterday in the USA, when Cherrystone sold another two near identical covers for $1’500 each! And now Cavendish have got in on the act, and are offering the example pictured with an estimate of £300 as part of the Seymour collection of newspaper wrappers in their December auction. It’s stated in the description that, aside from being one of Seymour’s favourite covers, that there are only three such covers known… So either the entire world supply has appeared on the market in the space of three months, or there are a few more than first thought. Either way, it’s still a very rare franking!
Cavendish’s auction on 5th December 2012 saw a nice collection of British Levant go up for sale, including a few nice Jubilee pieces. Of note were three mint and one used example of the “40 PARAS” double overprint on the 2 1/2d. Lot 221 (pictured) with a 1964 RPS certificate sold for £750 plus commission. Also of note was a strip of five of the 40pa provisional overprint on the 1/2d vermilion. Observant readers would have noticed that a different strip of five in perfect unmounted mint condition was hammered down at £9’000 plus commission. Lot 226 was a mounted mint strip, which has a good deal of separation on the right hand stamp, sold for £1’400 plus commission. Emphasising the importance of collecting top quality stamps! These two are the largest know multiples.