Top 5 Items of the Month
It was a bit of a struggle to find some interesting items this month, as it is every August as even philatelists stop thinking about stamps to enjoy the sunshine!
The first item is a scarcer control setting of the 1/2d vermilion with the letter B without marginal rule. For those that are interested, I have published the Stanley Gibbons catalogue listing for the 1/2d controls on my site, and I haven’t been told off for doing so yet… But at some point I will do my own more specialised listing and pricing as strips of three and blocks of six with controls command a premium.
This piece with a 2 1/2d Jubilee was priced at £49.99 and found one bidder. It has a Union Steamship Co. perfin and is tied by a Santa Cruz, Tenerife cds. As you can guess from the perfin, this would have been posted on board a ship and cancelled in port at Tenerife which was permitted by UPU rules.
This block of six 3d Jubilees realised £67.99 in spite of a few minor faults because it is cancelled by a Continental Night Mail cds of the Travelling Post Office. More information on this is another “To Do” for the “Related Info” section.
And this duo of 10d Jubilees is tied to a small piece by a complete Royal Niger Company Akassa ds and fetched a solid £165.70.
And bargain of the month goes to this Portuguese postal stationery card sent from Funchal on the island of Madeira and redirected from the UK to France with a 1/2d vermilion. Probably because it was hosted only on ebay.com and not ebay.co.uk, it sold for only $15.90.
I was fortunate enough to travel to the New York World Stamp Show earlier this month, as I was working on the David Feldman stand for the whole eight days. I was kept extremely busy for the first four or five days, but eventually found the time to take a look around some of the amazing exhibits. There were no collections of Jubilees sadly, but I did manage to find some items of interest amongst the maze of collections.
The first one I spotted was the sister cover to the Ascension registered hooded cds that recently sold at Spink, one of only two known examples of this cancellation. It belonged to the fabulous collection of GB Used Abroad of Hugh Wood that was on display in the Court of Honor.
In a collection of Indonesia were two covers going to Java and one to Sumatra. Surprisingly perhaps, Indonesia isn’t such a scarce destination. I have recorded 15 Jubilee frankings to Indonesia so far, with most going to the island of Java and only two going to Sumatra and three to Celebes.
In a collection of New South Wales was this attractive mixed franking on a cover sent from the UK with a 2 1/2d and redirected to the USA. The additional New South Wales franking was needed as it was before they joined the UPU. I also recognise this cover because the company I work for, David Feldman SA, sold this cover in the Baron von Uexkull collection in 1997.
Also of note was a cover featured in a collection of Cuba. The owner described it as the only recorded usage of the “MISSENT / Military Sta. No. 20 Sancti Spiritus Cuba” handstamp.
And finally on display in Alan Huggins’ collection of British Postal Stationery were five covers from a correspondence to Jamaica with stamped-to-order postal stationery, three of which were uprated with Jubilees (bringing my census of Jubilee frankings to Jamaica up to 5 known).
Spink sold an array of Ascension in their Philatelic Collector’s Series auction on 26th-28th April 2016, with items from the Stanley Cole collection. The highlight of which was this cover with a 1887 2 1/2d Jubilee tied by a registered hooded circle datestamp, which is one of only two known covers with this cancellation. It was knocked down for £7’000 plus the 20% buyers premium. The other known example was last sold as part of the Vivien Sussex collection for £6’500, although I have been unable to locate an image of the item as of yet (if anyone can help me that would be great!).
Also of interest to Jubilee collectors was this usage of the 4 1/2d value, marked as registered by the sender but obviously just dropped in the post box and not officially registered by the Post Office until it reached London where it was handstamped with “POSTED OUT OF COURSE”. Funnily enough I own a sister cover to this with a 5d Jubilee. I got mine considerably cheaper than the £800+20% paid for this example though!
Happy Easter to those who celebrate it. Hope you’re enjoying your chocolate eggs!
I’m starting this month’s eBay report with probably one of the top items that will turn up on eBay this year. This 1s green & carmine has a very rare Halifax Cricket Ground cancellation. These cancels were used by reporters to submit their match reports to their office by telegraph and are highly sought after by cricket thematic collectors. As there are so few, I have started a database of known examples as an aside. This example sold for £1’561.95.
Bargain of the week goes to this cover sent registered within Cornwall with a massive 1s3d franking plus the 2d for the registration envelope. Sent to a bank, this was obviously covering the insurance on cash being sent in the post. Not something very advisable to do these days. Obviously because it finished during the Bank Holiday weekend, it sold for a paltry 14.05.
Showing how collectable marginal multiples are, this mint never hinged block of four of the 3d, showing “date cut” in the marginal line, sold for £143.01.
This block of six of the 6d purple on rose was probably used to pay for a parcel and is cancelled by the British Post Office cancellation of Salonica, at the time, an office in British Levant and now Thessaloniki in Greece. Items from Salonica are more difficult to find than the other offices in the British Levant, so I wasn’t surprised that this sold for £130.99 plus postage.
And finally the only item I bought for my collection this month was this attractive cover sent to New Zealand and redirected to Australia with three different instruction handstamps including “UNCLAIMED AT MELBOURNE” and “NOT KNOWN BY LETTER CARRIERS MELBOURNE”. I was the only bidder at £19.99. The second best bargain of the month!
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.
Top 5 Items of the Month
Now that it’s the end of January, I’ve finally had the time to catch up with what I should have done at Christmas time. So without further ado, we kick off this month with “the one that always gets away”; the British Bechuanaland overprint on the 1/2d vermilion with control letter. This was bought for nothing. Only £27 for this unmounted mint example. Not only did I miss it on eBay, but it was bought by the dealers Deverell & MacGregor and was sold before I even knew it! Aaagh! One day…
Next up is this rather scruffy looking cover is only the second cover I have found with a Jubilee franking going to Trinidad (there’s also a parcel tag going to Trinidad worth a mention). £17.80 was all that this one fetched because of its condition.
Although this next cover just about qualifies for this blog because only one of the five stamps are a Jubilee, I couldn’t let this beautiful cover pass by without mentioning it. For a little extra interest, there is even the manuscript “Posted out of course”, which means it would have been dropped in a letter box instead of being taking to the post office to be recorded. It sold for £295.95.
There’s nothing particularly special about this cover, but I just thought it was worth a mention because it’s something I should have added to my collection because it’s a nice example of the 4oz letter rate and the registration fee paid by two 2d green and red which is not a common rate at all. It sold for £16.24.
This 2 1/2d has a rather fine strike of the Aden squared circle ds. This stamp would have been attached to a cover posted on board a ship and cancelled when it was sorted in Aden. It sold for £9.34.
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
We start May’s report off with this very attractive used block of 12 of the 1s green with neat “St. Johns Wood / Circus Rd. N.W.” cds. Multiples of the 1s green are by no means rare. The thing that is a huge factor in the price of such a multiple is the freshness of the green, as the colour all to easily becomes washed when immersed in water. This block fetch a very handsome £480.
This 2 1/2d is scarce because it has a crisp cds of the island of Ascension. All the Jubilee stamps are difficult to find used in Ascension, with the Stanley Gibbons catalogue indicating quite strongly that the 4 1/2d is by far the rarest. This stamp sold for £73.92.
This item drew my attention because it has been sent to Guatemala (making it the 3rd example so far that I have recorded with this destination). What makes it even more interesting is that the total franking is 2s4d. Although they all have the “HUTH” commercial perfin which detracts slightly. I was the only bidder and snapped it up for £29.43.
I hate shades. I really do. Back in my newbie days of collecting I was caught out by the 2d green and scarlet to the tune of £210. The stamp was sold on eBay by a reputable dealer who had left it on a Stanley Gibbons stock card; proving how difficult these things are. Of course buying over the internet, and relying on your computer monitor’s colours makes this even ore trickier. However I would say with great confidence (now I know better!) that this 2d has the rarer shade of red for the duty tablet. There is a couple of tiny marks on the stamp which put me off bidding (rule number 1: Always go for top quality!) but even so, it’s a very good buy for £45.86,
And finally another item of destination mail. Although far from being a sexy destination, this is only the second cover going to Luxembourg that I have spotted. It sold for £8.80.
Top 5 Items of the Month
This month could have easily seen a “Top 20” thanks to the amount of interesting and rare 1887 Jubilee items on offer on Ebay. I’ll start you off with my surprise of the month. Following on from last month, this time a single 4d green & brown “socked on the nose” with a crisp Continental Night Mail cds sold for a very impressive £50.89. Clearly showing the desirability of these TPO cancels.
Destination of the month was definitely this cover going to Vietnam. The stamps both have the often-seen “HUTH” perfin, but not only is the 10d reasonably scarce on cover, it is also uprated with a 2d paying a late fee. This is only the second Jubilee cover I have recorded going to Vietnam, and sold for £188.82.
This stamp is my variety of the month. Cleverly not even described by the vendor, this 4 1/2d carmine and green has the “dot between 4 and 1/2” variety in the lower right corner value. Catalogued by Stanley Gibbons at £ , this unmounted mint corner marginal sold for an impressive £82.60.
This cover is my used abroad item of the month. Although completely philatelic, I have seen very few covers sent from Ascension. If the colour wasn’t washed from this 1s green, it would have certainly sold for more than £143.82.
And finally, I end on my bargain of the month (and my biggest regret of the year). This block of 72 Zululand overprint on the 1/2d vermilion, although in slightly poor condition, is very rare with the control letter. Unfortunately I was on holiday when the sale closed, otherwise I would have definitely bid between £300 and £400. It sold for a miserable £88.00.