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.
Top 5 Items of the Month
I guess I wasn’t the only one being distracted by the sunshine as there didn’t seem to be as much of interest on offer in August, so I only have 3 items to show you this month.
Of course it wouldn’t have been a proper holiday for me if I hadn’t missed ANOTHER overprinted control block. This Bechuanaland Protectorate overprint on the 1/2d blue-green was in unmounted mint condition although you can see some gum creasing from the front, and sold for £88.50. One day I’ll get my hands on one…
This plate proof of the 1/2d blue-green easily qualifies as bargain of the month. One lucky bidder picked this up for only £7!!! Often retailed at around £100, I think it’s real value is £40-50.
This cover, although marked in pencil by a dealer for £28, didn’t stop it selling for £115.09, which is about double what I thought it would have sold for even though it’s an attractive high franking.
This cover is a rather unassuming one. Sent from Earl’s Court in May 1887, this cover was actually sent from the American Exhibition, the first ever exhibition at the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre! I’m sure the retail on such an item would be £300 plus, so this was a snip at £172!
The last item is something that I would have liked to have added to my collection. It’s a postcard, but with a message on the reverse, it didn’t qualify for the 1/2d postcard rate and was charged an extra penny and struck with “Of the nature of a Letter” handstamp. Sold for £44.02.
Christoph Gaertner’s usual phonebook-sized auction catalogue for their 21st-24th January 2013 sale managed to feature a few interesting Jubilee items among the 25’000+ (!!!) lots on offer. As is understandable, some are well overpriced, some are nicely priced, and it’s rare to find anything estimated low.
However my pick of their auction was lot 7804, pictured above. It is a souvenir card from the Royal Naval Exhibition on the 15th August 1891. Not only is it very attractive, but it is hard to find these cards uprated for postage abroad. I’m slightly regretting not being the winning bidder at €93 plus 20% commission.
As destination mail for the Jubilee issue goes, St. Pierre and Miquelon has to be up there with the rarest (it had a population of roughly 6’000 at the time…and it still does now!), and is so far the only one I have recorded. Although lot 7806 has some soiling and the indistinct arrival cds, I can’t help but feel that at only €60 it shouldn’t have gone unsold.
And just as a comparison, lot 7803 was a postcard sent to Algeria fetched €65 plus 20% commission. Although still pretty scarce as a destination (with it being a French colony, as St. Pierre et Miquelon, there was very little commercial mail coming from the UK), I have seen a few. Algeria’s population was roughly 4’000’000. Obviously it is helped by the its freshness and crisp arrival.