It was another disappointing month again for interesting Jubilees on eBay, but the sale of the Dr Peter Young FRPSL and Iain Stephenson FRPSL collections at Grosvenor on October 25th & 26th more than made up for it.
Dr Young’s collection spanned the surface printed issued from 1879 up to the Jubilees, which featured many die proofs, colour trials and settings. The sexiest item being lot 1578, a 10d colour item bearing two colour trials in combination with two 10ds in the issued colour with one of each cancelled by a “B01” numeral. Estimated at £10’000-12’000, unfortunately it failed to sell. As did a few of the other die proofs and striking book pieces.
One group of items I had never seen before and didn’t spot until after the sale because they put it in (my opinion) the wrong place in the catalogue, was lot 641: a 1d lilac, a 1/2d vermilion, 1 1/2d and 2s Jubilees with the value printed on the reverse under the gum in black. I had seen the 1/2d and 1d before but not the other two values. Supposedly one of only 3 sets know, it sold for £5’500 plus commission.
About 1’000 lots later where the rest of the Jubilees were, my most desired item was lot 1602, a 1s green & carmine die proof of the head which sold for an impressive £2’000 plus commission which was a shame (for me). But I managed to pick up a couple of 1/2d vermilion striking book pieces pretty cheaply. And further good news is that there are more items to come from his collection in Grosvenor’s next GB sale!
From the Professor Iain Stevenson collection, items of note included his collection of 4 1/2d Jubilee usages which looked like a steal at £2’300 plus hammer. One of the better results however was lot 360, a 4d Jubilee used in combination with a 2d South Eastern & Chatham Railway stamp which sold for £480 plus hammer.
Top 5 Items
Been a busy couple of months for me so playing catch up as usual. I’m kicking of this one with one of the most unusual Jubilee items I’ve seen. This 6d Jubilee was used in 1944 in conjunction with a 4d Manchester & Altrincham South Junction Railway parcel label, both tied by an Altrincham machine cancel. There was only one bidder at the asking price of £55. Certainly a conversation piece in a collection.
This 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee 1d postal stationery envelope was sent on the first day of South Kensington Museum Exhibition with the special datestamp, over-franked with a 2 1/2d and sent locally. It sold for £110. I may be wrong but I’m always surprised at how much these sell for as they’re not particularly scarce (although they are attractive). But as someone pointed out to me recently, they can “tick the box” of many different collectors (e.g. Jubilee issue, Exhibitions, postal stationery, horse thematics and history of stamps thematics to name the most obvious).
This fresh mint never hinged marginal block of four of the 1s green sold for a solid £741.
This attractive used marginal strip of three of the British Levant 4pi on 10d sold for £104. I have seen very few multiples of this stamp…
Finally, this cover was sent to a Irish Prisoner of War during the Boer War. Sent “Care of the Postmaster General” in Pretoria, it was then passed on the the US Consulate in Pretoria and struck with their cachet. The Consulate acted as the intermediary between the Boers and the British in the exchange of prisoner of war mail. It sold for £117.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Oh dear I’m very late this time. I didn’t even have time to keep track of what was selling on eBay, so I’ve had to cheat and search the “Sold” listings. I was all ready to say that it was a quiet month and I hadn’t missed a sausage…until I took a look at what had sold under Zululand. I am constantly on the look out for the overprinted controls of the 1/2d vermilion, and have had ZERO luck in buying any of the Empire overprints. So I was annoyed to see that this D control block of six only sold for £61 (presuming it’s genuine of course).
One item I did watch sell was this scarce and highly collectable Railway cover from Dublin. Ones from Ireland are particularly collectable, and even though it’s a little soiled and has a missing backflap this one sold for £313.88. Anyone interested in Railway Stamps should check out Grosvenor’s next sale on June 4th: The Rev. Roger de Lacy-Spencer Collection of Railway Stamps.
This Niger Coast provisional is worth mentioning. It has the type 6 overprint in vermilion on the 2 1/2d and is catalogue £600 by Stanley Gibbons as mint (which this is). Quite amazingly it sold for just under £560. It’s very rare to see stamps sell for nearly full catalogue, so either this was two bidders who got into a crazy war or it’s a sign that there is a strong demand for the scarcer provisional overprints.
This attractive cover from Bechuanaland sold for £110.95. Franked with a Bechuanaland Protectorate 3d and 6d, I’m pretty sure it’s philatelic as I’m not sure about the rate of 9d (I should know really…). Nice enough though.
This is another item I would like to have added to my Jubilee collection. It’s an uncommon usage of the 1890 Penny Postage Jubilee insert for the envelope, with a 1/2d vermilion tied by the special cancellation. I would have paid more than the £26.95 it fetched.
Top 5 Items of the Month
A busy month of exciting Jubilee items means this post comes just 5 days after my late, late post of last month.
First off is the item I was most excited about. Number 48 in my census of 1s Green & Carmine covers. This is the only one I have recorded with a “LATE FEE 1/-” handstamp (which is fantastic because there is no need for guess work to work out what the franking is paying!). A good addition to my collection at £407.99 even if I was the only bidder.
Next up is a cover sent by the Continental Night Mail. This is the second example I have seen come up on eBay in recent times. Sent from Crédit Lyonaise Bank, the 5d pair and 1 1/2d have the bank’s perfin and are tied by the “CONTINENTAL NIGHT MAIL” duplex with “CS / 2″ (denoting that it was posted at Cannon St. Post Office). It sold for £92.90.
This is the second item this month with a “LATE FEE 1/-” handstamp (although for those that care, it has different dimensions to the one on the 1s cover above). Even though this is just a front, it’s an unusual franking with the 1s green and 4 1/2d green and red. It sold for a solid £57.
I had been looking for a 1/2d vermilion franking with a Railway stamp for ages. And I finally got one last month for a very good price. So I wanted to see it sell more than the £50 I had paid for mine, but I didn’t have to help it as it reached £70.66.
From the same vendor as the first three items, this was one I would loved to have had. Sent from Transvaal to England, the cover was then redirected by the Continental Night Mail with a 1 1/2d, 4d, KEVII 1/2d and 1d. If I hadn’t had my eye on the 1s cover I would have probably pushed it a bit further than the £125 realisation
Top 5 Items of the Month
Sorry for the slow start to the New Year Ladies and Gentleman! Anyway, we kick off with my surprise of the month. This Washington Station parcel label caught my eye just because I’m from the Newcastle area and have slowly started to collect Newcastle and Gateshead postal history. The label bears a 3d purple on yellow with a beautiful “socked on the nose” (excuse my American) cancel of the Washington Station. Final price: £83.74! Obviously a scarce cancel for the Railway enthusiast. Unless there is a big market for all things Washington…
Next item up is this attractive unmounted mint positional block of the 1/2d blue-green, showing the gutter margin and pin dot. Again the price realised was a pleasant surprise: £77.90. But it is an ideal item for an exhibition display to show the features of a sheet without having to display all 240 stamps.
This cover is interesting. It was sent in 1956! Deemed invalid for use, the postal worker placed crayon crosses around the stamp and applied “Contrary to regulations”, “TO PAY” and “5d” tax hs as well as applying a 5d postage due. The last day of use for the Jubilee issue was supposed to be 1st January 1902.
Although this may appear to be a cheap stamp with a great big crease through it, the interesting thing about this item is that it is cancelled by “FIELD POST OFFICE / BRITISH ARMY S. AFRICA” from the Boer War. I’ve seen very few Officials used in the Boer war, so one savvy bidder did well with the only bid of £28.
And finally, this unmounted mint 2 1/2d purple on blue sold for £34. “Crazy money” I hear you scream. Well I was disappointed in myself for missing out on it. This stamp actually has a constant variety showing a dot just about the tail of the large “2”. This is the fourth example of this variety I have seen (all of which have been this year).
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.