Happy new year everyone! Just about managed to get this out in January…
At first glance this looks like a rather mundane 2 1/2d franking from Edinburgh to Austria on a registered envelope. But look slightly to the left of the stamp and you will see the “EDINB INTERNL / EXHIBITION” circular datestamp. The Edinburgh Jubilee Exhibition was an International Exhibition of Electrical Engineering, General Inventions and Industries, including the Jubilee Postal Conversazione which included displays brought together by the General Post Office. According to John Davies’ book “A Jubilee Reminiscence”, this is now only the fourth recorded example of this datestamp from the exhibition post office. A very good buy at £253.
I would have like to have added this advertising cover to my collection if I had spotted it. The postman had a few valiant attempts to deliver this “Church Monthly” cover. There are several datestamps and the postman seems to have recorded his attempts by putting the word “Not” in front of the datestamps of West Felton, Bucknell and Oswestry before figuring that the destination couldn’t be in Shropshire and crossing it out and writing “Try Colwich Staffordshire”! It sold for £46.
Grenada sounds a rarer destination than it actually is. There seems to be quite a correspondence that exists sent to The Honorable G. W. Williamson in Grenville with similar mixed Jubilee and stamped-to-order frankings. I highlight this one because I like the four of the same Jubilee value added to make the quintuple rate. It sold for £37.
It’s very rare that I have any British East Africa to highlight on my eBay reports. It so rarely comes up as an eBay auction item that to be honest I don’t look. But I came across this example of the 4a on 5d cancelled by a neat Lamu cds one offered by a Dutch seller, which sold for US$188.26 (equivalent to about £139).
April saw the sale of the “Eshowe” collection of Zululand at Spink. There were many interesting lots for the Jubilee enthusiast, and the following are four that I found particularly so. My research on the cancellations of Zululand has been somewhat lacking so it was good to see how well the non-Eshowe cancellations sold, even when the condition and the strike weren’t the best!
Lot 2343 was this highly attractive albeit philatelic franking from Nongoma and said to be the earliest known with this cancel. Like a moth to the flame, I was burned for £900 plus commission.
Lot 2335 was a cover with the rare “R.M. OFFICE/HLABISA’ rubber datestamp which sold £1’300 plus commission.
Lot 2338 was a rather tired looking cover with an OK strike of the triple-ring “NKANDHLA/ZULULAND” rubber cds. Even with a torn stamp, peripheral cover tears and a mostly legible cancel, it sold £1’000 plus commission.
Lot 2342 was another rather ugly cover, but obviously this oval Nondweni ds is a rare beast as it still managed to sell for £1’100 plus commission.
So not to give Spink complete dominance, we finish with lot 1055 from Argyll Etkin’s March 1st auction (apologies for the image quality but that’s what they have on their website), which is a well travelled presumed to have been written in Uganda and sent from Mombassa with 1895 British East Africa overprint on India 2a6p to a Captain Lugard (later Lord Lugard, who was sent to Uganda to assist in the pacification of the country in 1889-92 and who made terms with King Mwanga which placed the country under British influence), and then redirected from the UK with 2½d Jubilee to South Africa where it was unclaimed and finally returned to the UK. It doubled the £400-500 estimate selling for £900 plus 19% buyers premium plus VAT.
April seemed to be a quiet month and didn’t bring any particularly interesting items but I’ve managed to find a few to write about.
First up is an attractive parcel post label sent registered from Ilfracombe with a reasonably high franking of 1s7d, which sold for £81.76.
This Niger Coast Oil Rivers 1s green has a neat Benin River cds in red, but what is of more interest is the break in the first “R” of “RIVERS”. Whether it is constant or not I’m not sure. I’m currently a member of the GB Overprint Society, but have a backlog of journals to go through to glean more information on the overprints on Jubilee stamps. It sold for £27.25.
This stamp was a bit of a surprise at how much it realised. Obviously the “TATI / BECHUANALAND” cancel is scarcer than I realised. It realised £123.
Another item of cancellation interest is the cover below with a machine cancellation. Not the scarcest type by any means, but it sold for a solid £35.65.
And finally only 1 bidder was interested in the cover at the bottom at£25.74. Sent underpaid by 1 1/2d, it was sent to Munich then redirected to Paris before being sent to Glasgow. The colours in the 1/2d vermilion are slightly faded which put me off, but a collectable item nonetheless.
We start off this months retail highlights with a very important reference for every Jubilee collector. The Ernest Good Collection auction catalogue by Phillips on 3rd November 1988 is still one of the best collections of the Jubilee issue ever formed. Sold by Bill Barrell for £12.50.
Next up is the cover which, as they say in the business, is full of character! This is normally the code word for scruffy, and it’s hard to deny it in this case, but look beyond that and you’ll find an extremely interesting cover. Sent to New Zealand, it was simply addressed to “J. M. Rainbow, Post Office, New Zealand”! What is equally amazing is that the New Zealand still tried their best to deliver it. With transit markings from Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Invercargill and Timaru. Yours for £155 from Samwells.