This month is a bit focused on only the 6d and Bechuanaland postal history, but there are some lovely things that I would have liked to have added to my collection.
First up is this stunning used block of 36 of the 6d purple on rose. Bidding started at £1500 but no one took up the offer. I messaged the vendor afterwards to see if it is was available for a bit less but unfortunately by the time he saw my message he had already sold it. The new owner now has it on eBay “Buy-it-now” for £2’750…
Sticking with the 6d, this mint never hinged lower marginal block of four sold for £110. For those interested in the marginal settings on the 6d, note the cut in the Jubilee line below the lower left stamp which looks like it is from plate 6a.
Next up are three Bechuanaland covers, funnily enough, which were from a collection we sold at David Feldman called the “Koi” collection. I recognise the beautiful and painstakingly hand-drawn pages. I’ve spent quite a bit of time during my summer holiday going through my Bechuanaland files on my computer. Partly because it was long overdue, but also as my other role as editor of The Overprinter for the GB Overprint Society, where there has been some interesting debate about the postal rates from British Bechuanaland to the UK and abroad. I’m hoping to update that section of the site this week before the end of my holiday.
This is an attractive philatelic franking from “PALACHWE / KHAMAS TOWN”, bearing Bechuanaland Protectorate 1888 1/2d and 4d on 1/2d, was sent in 1891 to Port Elizabeth in the Cape Colony which at this time should have been at the 2d rate. Still a particularly nice example and scarce usage of the 4d on 1/2d. It sold for £121.15.
This 1899 cover from Francestown in the Protectorate is paying double to 2d rate to a chemists in the Cape Colony called Lennon Limited. I did a quick search and came up with a page on the Rhodesian Study Circle website so I presume it’s a decent sized correspondence across Southern Africa. This cover sold for £131.50.
Finally this 1894 cover is an example of British Bechuanaland stamps used in the Protectorate, sent from a general dealer from Khamas Town to the famous merchant Isaacs in Mafeking. The two British Bechuanaland 2d’s are paying the 4d rate from the Protectorate to another Southern African territory. It’s also an extremely fine example of the “676” BONC (barred oval numeral cancel) which are so often poorly struck. It sold for £105.50 and I regret not bidding more!
Now it’s the summer and I’m on holiday, instead of laying by the pool in the sun all day I’m going to be catching up on my Ebay posts as well as some content for the rest of the site. So expect some more updates in the coming weeks.
The first item is an important block for the marginal settings enthusiasts. Even if I had spotted this at the time, I think its importance would have passed me by; and it’s all because of the dot in the margin! This interpane perforation dot under the 6th stamp in the 10th row means it is from setting 1B, which wasn’t known to exist at the time Wiseman published his seminal “The De La Rue Years”, in which he only postulated its existence based on examples seen of the 3d. The lucky buyer, who bought it for a snip at £84.46, I believe is going to publish an article about this find in the GB Philatelic Society’s GB Journal soon. Looking in my files, I have recorded one other example which was featured in “The Overprinter” (2019, vol.3, p.76), which was an Army Official lower right corner marginal strip of six.
Sticking on the theme of marginal settings, this pair of 5d from the top right corner of the sheet is from setting 2, showing the continuous Jubilee lines of both colours and sold cheaply to the only bidder for £29.20.
This Specimen overprint on the Inland Revenue 1/2d vermilion is type 15 which is the scarcer type which can be found on this stamp out of the two (the other being type 9). SG currently don’t price the different Specimen types separately in the Specialised catalogue but it’s something they should definitely do. This example sold for £58.78.
And finally a plate proof of the 1/2d green on buff paper that sold for £38.10, which is the right price. I remember very early on in my Jubilee collecting paying £95 from a dealer for one.
April not only brought us Easter, but also some interesting items and some strange results on Ebay along with it.
My favourite item was this cover from the Cardiff stamp dealer H. G. Hanson. I have seen many unusual and attractive covers sent by him with Jubilee frankings, with this being one of them. Not just because it has four different values including the 1s green, but because it has a corner marginal pair of the 4d from setting 4B (with the head duty rule cut away in the corner) and it’s rare to find marginal stamps on cover. It sold for the opening bid of £89.99.
This mint Mafeking 1d on ½d sold surprisingly well at £103 considering how poor the image is. It looks to be genuine but I’m not confident…
Bargain of the month was this Army Telegraphs ½d blue-green with SPECIMEN overprint. I think mostly because it finished on Easter weekend (and partly because of a few short perfs), it sold for a paltry £32.76. I’ve seen a mint nh example retail at £675 which the dealer presumably sold because he doesn’t have it any more!
This next item made my heart skip a beat! After calming down for a moment and requesting a higher resolution scan of the O. W. Official overprint on the stamp, it was quite clearly a forgery. Enough people obviously suspected the same and it sold for £140 (not that I would pay that much for a reference item). The only Victorian O. W. Official stamps on cover I have seen are the ½d vermilion, ½d green and 1d lilac, so this would have been unique if it was right.
And we finish with another stamp dealer’s cover. As attractive as it is, I was very surprised to see this sell for as much as £94 as there are plenty of them around.
This month is dedicated to Stanley Gibbons! Not too often will I say this, mainly because they are expensive but they do get some great Jubilee stamps! And the first item is this beautiful piece with the complete set of the Zululand Jubilee issue tied by Eshowe cds. Stanley Gibbons were listing this on eBay for £300. Unfortunately at the time of going to press, it is no longer available. Kicking myself a little bit for not snapping it up.
This item here is a marginal block of four from setting 3B. This is in reference to the continuous purple line and intermittent blue lines in the margins around the stamp. This is actually not an area of Jubilee collecting I have got into yet, as it can get expensive for the rare (sometimes near unique) settings on all the values. This one has a Wiseman scarcity rating of J (A being the most common and M being unique), and sold for £450.
And we finish off with an expensive rarity. It is a 1901 2d composite “Paste Up” essay with a lithographed three-quarter face portrait of King Edward VII facing left cut and pasted in to an 1887 2d green and red Jubilee. It is believed to be one of only two or three examples in private hands. These series of essays will be the subject of a future article. When I find the time… For now, it’s yours for £10’000.