Top 5 Items of the Month
We start the month off with this attractive advertising cover from the stamp dealer William Brown of Salisbury. In my ever-expanding “Related Info” section, I have started an encyclopaedia-type listing of famous 20th century stamp dealers and personalities (by started, I mean I have done two…), so you can find out more about William Brown here. Even though it is “tainted” with two 1d lilacs, it is still a very attractive cover and deserving of the £160.55 paid for it. I picked up an even more attractive example (although of different design) from a dealer at Stampex for £140 which goes to show that dealers aren’t always overpriced!
This attractively used Niger Coast 1/2d sold for £44.51 due to the dot between “R” and “S” of “RIVERS”. I’ve not seen this variety before, so I’ll be on the look out in the future to see if this proves to be a constant variety.
This cover has a very scarce single usage of the 9d sent to the USA. Unfortunately it was reduced at the left and top, but that didn’t stop it selling for £51.95. Probably paying 3 times the UPU rate with a late fee of 1 1/2d because I don’t think it’s philatelic.
Blocks of the 1s green aren’t rare, but this example with a fresh colour is surely worth more than £43.10!!
Finally we have a postcard sent from Jersey, with a 1/2d blue-green pair cancelled in transit by a French Granville cds, with a French “Boite Mobile” (or Mobile Box) hexagonal datestamp adjacent. Unfortunately the stamps are a little discoloured, but it still sold for £21.17.
David Feldman’s December auction series included the Richard Pearmund collection of British Offices Abroad, which featured Jubilees used in Aden, Ascension, British Levant, Jamaica, Niger Coast and South Africa. Not to mention two 1s green & carmine frankings (one was a new addition to the census and the other now has an image) in the GB section along with this beautiful Insured franking to the Netherlands (with sold for €228 incl. commission).
Niger Coast was a particularly strong section and included this possibly unique cancellation of Benin on a 2 1/2d on piece which sold for €840 incl. commission. Also of note was a 2 1/2d on cover with a black Old Calabar oval ds in the same style.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Sorry for the delay ladies and gents. Let’s pretend it’s still October… We begin with a couple of surprises for you (and me) this month.
These two scruffy looking covers sold for $157 and $128 respectively. Both are printed covers from the Salvation Army, with frankings with matching “S” perfins. Not only that, but they include their original contents, the first even with a publication. This is the first time I have seen such a premium for a Christian themed item.
This is one I wish I hadn’t missed. A 2 1/2d used in Niger Coast. They are pretty common with the Niger Company Territories violet box ds of Burutu, but this is very scarce with a thimble Bonny River cds. Catalogued by SG at £450, it sold for £82.28.
This beautiful franking is not only a beautiful franking, but it’s being sent to Indonesia! Although I’m discovering that this isn’t such a rare and exotic a destination as it sounds. It’s paying 9 times the UPU rate, so it’s possibly even a proper usage. I should have gone for this. It sold for only $84.48.
And finally a cover not described correctly by the vendor. Not that a quick look won’t reveal why it’s worth more than the £7.60 it fetched. As the imprint suggests, it was sent from the Postal Department in Natal, South Africa. Originally unfranked, a 2 1/2d Jubilee was added and cancelled in London for it’s onward journey to the USA.
Top 5 Items of the Month
January was a month of disappointments for me. And not because of any failed New Year’s resolutions I might add! Nope, this month saw me completely miss out on three of the five featured items here. The first was this slightly scruffy looking cover to Egypt. However upon arrival it was redirected and featured several different Egyptian backstamps making this much more attractive than the £2.55 realisation.
My next frustration was this 10d single franking parcel label. Although slightly scruffy, it’s a very scarce usage and I would have bid beyond the final price of £18.76.
This parcel label is probably just as scarce. It features a pair of 6d purple on rose paying a 6d rate for the parcel post plus an additional 6d for registration and insurance
This attractive cover to Switzerland was redirected on arrival, with a 50c postage due applied to pay for the additional fee required for Express delivery. Most unusual and fetched a decent £27.10.
And finally my nemesis has escaped me again!! I’ve still yet to purchase any of the 1/2d vermilions with Commonwealth overprint WITH THE CONTROL. This example was just like so many before; it was sold before I even knew it was available. They are very scarce and also highly collectable. So I was shocked to see that this one only sold for £45.87. A proper bargain.
Top 5 Items of the Month
This month was a bit of a slow month for Jubilee items coming to the market. The most attractive item was this parcel label with an unusually high franking of 1s 4 1/2d which sold for £42.
This piece bearing five 5d purple & blue is cancelled by the boxed ds of the Niger Company in Akassa. All the Niger Company cancels are listed by Stanley Gibbons and priced for each stamp. In this case the catalogue value is £100 for a single stamp. It sold for £86.33.
This attractive maritime cover only received one bidder at £40…me! Featuring a block of four 1/2d vermilion and a single, they are cancelled by Glasgow cds, but also by a dotted lozenge with anchor. I’ve read something about these covers before being the work of a Captain with a philatelic eye. When I find the article I’ll be sure to post it here.
This advertising cover is from Alfred Smith, a stamp dealer in Bath and profuse publisher of advertising envelopes. This is the first time I have seen this type (the most common ones being with the “New Address” overprint. There was only one bidder at £49.99 (not me this time).
And finally this slightly soiled cover sold for £41.75 due to it’s scarce destination: Singapore!
Spink’s Collector Series auction in London on 9th to 11th of July 2013 had a plethora of items of interest for the Jubilee collector. Lot 239 was a Bechuanaland Protectorate 1889 4d on ½d vermilion with “rpence” omitted. Catalogued at £6’000, the upper estimate was at full catalogue (when commission is taken into account) at £4’000-5’000. Not surprisingly it sold for less, but £3’200 hammer (or 64% of catalogue incl. commission) is still a good price. There were many other items of interest from Bechuanaland including a nice selection of covers not too often seen.
The sale also featured the “Dunrovin” collection of Niger Coast. There were many of the provisional overprints, but the highlight for me was lot 1085; a cover with a ½d vermilion, 1d lilac pair and 2 ½d purple on blue all tied by Old Calabar rubber cancels, which according to the description is the only known example of this cancel on cover. It sold for £1’400 (plus commission).
And the items of interest concluded with a several lots of Zululand Specimen and Cancelled overprints, with the Cancelled overprint set (lot 2017) selling for £1’200 (plus commission)
Top 3 Items of the Month
Niger Coast covers are scarce, and this one went cheaply at £118.15. If I hadn’t have missed it, it would of gone for more! However covers from Old Calabar River are the most common.
Postal history from the Channel Islands is very collectable, and this attractive registered cover from Jersey fetched £56.68. Increasing its desirability is the 4 1/2d green and carmine which is one of the more difficult values to find on cover.
This cover sold for £58.75 because it is being sent to the Orange Free State (well at least that’s why I bought it!). In my September 2011 Ebay Report, I feature a cover also going to Orange Free State that sold for £97.45, so I’m happy with this purchase. The 7d rate is paying twice the 2 1/2d UPU rate plus 2d registration fee.
Top 5 Items of the Month
March was such a strong month for Jubilee items, that I’ve had to do a top 5 of the month! First off is this Niger Coast cover, which features three different issues. Sent registered from Opobo River, the franking pays the correct registered rate to England, and fetched £132.02
Next up is this attractive British Bechuanaland 6d purple on rose block of four cancelled with a single central Pitsani cds. The buyer snapped this up for only $37.90. If I had seen this item before it had finished I would have certainly bid more than that. Not too long afterwards, it was on Deverrell MacGregor’s website for £55, and sold very quickly.
This high franking on a parcel post label sold for £119.50. It bears a 1s green and a 4 1/2d green & carmine, both of which are scarce as singles on parcel labels, so it was no surprise it fetched a good price. Parcel labels are very collectable.
This superb Bechuanaland cover is definitely the star eBay item of the month, and probably the year. This registered envelope is franked with no less than 27 stamps worth a total of 5s!! Eight different bidders bid seventeen times to try and take this item home, and unfortunately the usual last minute bidding took the price beyond what I was willing to pay for it, and it fetched £339.50. The philatelic nature of the cover put me off bidding higher, but it is still an outstanding Jubilee and Bechuanaland cover.
This cover definitely wins the title as “Most Unassuming Cover”, but look closer and you’ll see that it’s a little gem. Sold for a measly £4.20 (I am still kicking myself for forgetting to bid), it has been franked with four 1/2d vermilions. However, I assume that the registration label at the very top left was mistakenly applied, and was partially torn off by the sender before dropping it in the post box. The post clerk having seen this, has still assumed that the letter is intended to be sent registered. So not only is the franking insufficient, but the sending of registered letters was only allowed over the post office counter, hence the manuscript “Posted out of course” and the 6d worth of postage dues. Take another look, and you’ll notice that the stamps are cancelled in Torquay in 1916, and the post clerk has deemed them as an illegitimate franking and placed crosses next to the stamps. Hence explaining the 6d fine. A great little cover with a great story to tell.
Top 3 Items of the Month
This attractive unmounted mint block of four of the 6d purple on rose-red sold for £107.22. What makes it more interesting is that it shows the marginal marking signifying the middle of the sheet.
The Jubilee issue stamps used in Salonica are scarce, and the 1s green and carmine is the most scarce of them all. It is catalogued in the Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth catalogue at £190 and fetched £111.90.
This attractive piece bears the Niger Coast 2 1/2d and 5d tied by the oval cancel of Old Calabar (SG type Z1) in violet, and is in fact only recorded used on the 2 1/2d by the Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth catalogue. It sold for £148.
On September 28th, Grosvenor are having a British Empire sale including some Niger Coast and Boer War items. Of note is lot 1399, an envelope from Niger Coast franked with three 1s green overprinted stamps. The cover was last sold at the John Sacher collection of West Africa only as recently as November 2009 and realised £1’200+20%. The estimate is £2’000-2’500… Also in this section there are a selection of mint and used provisional overprints on the Jubilee issue.
The other item of note is lot 1644, a cover sent during the Boer War, showing violet straight line ”CENSORED G.B. BEAK”, incl. the original letter with the message: ”We were supposed to be creating a diversion whilst Hunter and Clements attacked the Burghers from the north. The diversion part of the scheme appears to have been entirely successful, but as yet we have got no news from Hunter”. The cover (address faded) bears a 1/2d vermilion pair unaccepted firstly at Ficksburg where framed ”TE BETALEN” was applied before entering the military post with F.P.O. cancellations. Unusual.