December 9, 2018 · 4:59 pm
Last week David Feldman in Switzerland sold the “Koi” collection of the Bechuanalands, and I had the pleasure to describe and lot it for the auction! There were many overprinted Jubilee stamps including essays, specimens, controls and postal history.
Of particular note were two essays for the 1889 “Fourpence” surcharge, lots 30421 (with a light crease, sold for £1’098) and 30420 (sold for £2’318) below (respectively)
Little is known about these essays produced by Messrs. Townshend. Mention of them is made in Holmes’ book but he doesn’t illustrate any. From what I’ve found appearing in auction catalogues over the years, there seems to be three types; “PROTECTORATE / FOURPENCE”, “Protectorate / 4D” and “Protectorate / 4d”.
Staying with the Fourpence surcharge issue, the following two varieties also saw strong competitive bidding.
Lot 30423 has the green surcharge variety, which was the result of faulty cleaning of the inking roll. Although not listed by Stanley Gibbons, it is mentioned and priced at £1’500 in the footnote for this stamp. It sold for £1’159. All the known examples are used in Shoshong, and this is only the fourth example I have found. More well known is lot 30424, the inverted surcharge variety (SG.53c, £4’000). This example is one of 19 I have found in auction catalogues and literature and sold for a solid £2’074.
On the postal history side of things was lot 30401, this interesting bisect of the 4d from Palapye Station.
Again from my brief research I have so far found 9 examples. Although undoubtedly philatelically contrived, they have only been recorded on November 22nd 1899, December 13th 1899 and March 12th 1900. This is one of only two used on March 12th, and unusually both are diagonally bisected as opposed to the rest which are vertically bisected. It sold for £854.
And I’ll finish with one item which sold for multiples of the estimate.
Lot 30474 is a cover from Gubulawayo during the Trans-Protectorate period, and shows the Gubulawayo cds with “MASHONALAND” excised (if I remember rightly). Estimated at £200-300, it sold for £1’342 including buyer’s premium. A rarer cancel than I realised.
June 5, 2017 · 3:23 pm
On a lazy Saturday afternoon I was watching Bargain Hunt when one of the teams picked up a small silver stamp box in the shape of an envelope. It reminded me of the [insert shameless plug here] phenomenal “Primrose” collection of stamp boxes which David Feldman sold in 2000, which in turn reminded me that I had seen stamp boxes in the past with enamel copies of Jubilee stamps on the lid. A quick search of eBay and bingo! This is a Sampson Mordan & Co silver and enamel stamp box, hallmarked London 1891 with a gilt interior and three enamelled stamps: a ½d vermilion, 1d lilac and 2½d purple on blue. It sold for £2670. Anyone looking for more information on stamp boxes are recommended to take a look at this site I just found: http://stampbox.org.uk/. I’ve also found a few different examples with enamel Jubilees so I’ve added a Stamp Boxes page in the Related Info section.
Next we have an important auction catalogue for the collector of overprints on the Jubilee issue. A must have and cheap at only £5.19.
The attractive cover was sent to Northern Nigeria in 1910, with a late usage of the 1887 1/2d vermilion in combination with an Edward VII 1/2d and sold for £16.95.
Another combination with Edward VII, but this time it’s a single use of the 4d Jubilee to uprate a 1d + 2d registration envelope to pay double the UPU rate to the USA in 1907. It sold for only £4.10 but I think it’s unusual combination.
And finally this was my surprise of the month. This 9d and 1/2d green paying triple UPU rate and 2d registration sold for £88.75. I’ve seen nicer ones sell for less but I think they are underrated. I should have started this a lot earlier, but I’ve begun a census of known covers bearing the 9d. I’ve only got 30 so far which I will get uploaded some time soon so any one who wants to send me some scans of frankings with the 9d will be greatly appreciated.
February 21, 2016 · 8:32 pm
Stanley Gibbons are offering the “Aureum” collection of the Queen Victoria “Jubilee” issue, one of the most comprehensive ever formed on this issue with over 500 items for sale and a total retail price of over £1.5m. You can view the PDF catalogue or visit their website to see which items are still available.
The collection features many unique and key items such as essays and proofs, as well as the more mundane but collectable controls and marginal multiples.
After seeing the advertisements for this collection at the Stanley Gibbons stand at Stampex back in September 2015, I was lucky enough to be allowed to view the collection at their offices on the Strand before work began on breaking it down. I must admit that I was expecting to see more handpainted essays after the recent sales of the Lady Buiri and Chartwell collections, but I couldn’t fault the number of die proofs, striking book pieces and colour trials, a few of which did indeed come from these prestigious sales, but with many more that I hadn’t seen since the days of the Robson Lowe catalogues in the 1970s to 1980s.
Two of the more striking items were lots 398 and 399, two essays for the proposed embossed 6d value, priced at £6’500 each. The digital images don’t do these items justice! The item featured at the top of this post is another favourite of mine, with a colour trial of the 1890 10d in the same colour as the 1887 9d alongside, with the same two stamps also struck with a experimental cancellation. This piece will set you back a cool £17’000.
I’m still learning to appreciate the scarcity of the different marginal settings of the Jubilee issue, and this collection is an important reference in this respect. In fact three of the scarcest were featured on the front cover of the catalogue; the 2d with continuous “Jubilee” lines, the 4d with thin horizontal lines and side and no block lines underneath; and the 10d with the a vertical dull purple block line down the left hand side. A collection of these marginal settings are of course more complicated by the 1/2d values with the range of control letters and the different ways of perforating the 240-set sheets.
I was told (unfortunately too late) that the item above was a potential sleeper; a much undervalued item. Although nothing special to look at, lot 40 was a 1/2d vermilion “C” control pair, but it was perforated by an experimental perforating machine which left no extension hole at the right hand side. Stated as being the first example of this that they had handled in over a decade, it was quickly sold for £650.
Although several items were sold before the catalogue was even printed, when it was released to the public at the Spring 2016 Stampex, I was happy enough to be able to add one item to my collection at a satisfactory price. Of course many of the items were far beyond my price range…
May 13, 2014 · 9:01 pm
On May 21st, Grosvenor will auction the British Levant collection of Dr. Alan Huggins. The highlight (for a Jubilee collector at least) is certainly the cover pictured to the left which features the rare “Express D’Orient” label in red tied to a cover along with three 40pa on 5d. It is estimated at £800-1’000 and I wouldn’t be surprised if it fetched double.
Dr. Huggins MBE, RDP, FRPSL, is a renowned and highly respected philatelist who is a past President of the Royal Philatelic Society. He specialises in postal stationery so the sale features unique and very rare usages of newspaper wrappers, stamped envelopes, postcards and registered envelopes in the British Levant.