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!
…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!
Top 5 Items of the Month
We kick of this month with a block of four 1s green, but with a rather washed colour. it isn’t much of a looker. However the Kirkwall cds (which is the capital of the Orkney Islands in Scotland) was the main interest, as the faded colour did not prevent several bids pushing it to a final price of £75.62.
The next item was a cover sent to Australia from Glasgow with two 3d purple on yellow paying the 6d rate. However the cover was redirected to New Zealand and further franked with a Victoria 2d. With some foxing roughly opened at top, this scarce mixed franking still fetched £112.29 plus postage.
This attractive cover has the TPO cancel of the Edinburgh & Newcastle S. T. Day Mail, with the 1/2d vermilion paying a late fee. It sold for £37.78.
This envelope was sent using the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway company to Tunbridge Wells. Franked with the company’s 2d stamp and pair of 1/2d vermilions both tied by a blue crayon cross, the 1/2ds were tied on arrival. The prices these covers fetch is highly dependent on which Railway company stamp it was franked with, and this one sold for £78.00.
This innocuous looking cover was the undoubted star of the month if not the year so far. Bearing an 1887 2 172d purple on blue, it was sent by the future King George V on a Royal Household envelope with a superb seal from Balmoral addressed to the Duchess of York in a hotel in Germany, cancelled by the “Caledonian T.P.O. Night Up” cds. The cover bears the initial “G.” of Prince George and is addressed in his hand. I think this went cheap at £245 and regret not bidding on it.
Cherrystone have for auction the Nikitin collection of Zemstvos for sale on November 28th 2012. To my shock, there are two covers with Jubilee frankings! Lots 2017 and 2020 were both sent from England to Russia, and were affixed with a Zemstvo to pay for the local delivery.
Top 3 Items of the Month
This cover may look like quite an ordinary, if not attractive franking, but what makes it that bit more special is that it has been sent by the Continental Night Mail and with seven 1/2d vermilions paying the 1d fee plus UPU letter rate. Early bidding pushed the price up to $104.50 (around £66).
This attractive mixed franking with New Zealand surprised me when it fetched £211.95. Sent to New Zealand, it was then redirected and further franked with New Zealand stamps. Two things are odd about this though; it was franked with 6d to New Zealand when the rate had been reduced to 2 1/2d just over two years previously on 1st October 1891 when Australia, its Colonies and New Zealand entered the UPU; and the second thing is that since it New Zealand was a member of the UPU, additionally franking the cover to be redirected was necessary as it was a free service for UPU members.
This interesting stamp only had one bidder and sold for £107.45. You may be questioning how such a spectacular error that the stamp is missing the purple can go for so little. Well that’s because I believe that it has been chemically treated to remove the purple. I have seen instances in the past of the 5d with the purple or the blue missing, however every example, as with this one, the remaining colour and the cancel appears faded. Still an interesting talking point in a collection.