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.
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.
On the 26th and 28th of January 2015, Spink will be offering the East Africa collection of Lord Vestey and part 1 of the British Africa collection of James F. Hudson. Both have some fabulous material, and thankfully even some Jubilee items to talk about.
The only items of interest from the Vestey collection for me are on the first page of the catalogue, with the most interesting lot having come from the “Shivani” collection of British East Africa sold by Spink in 1997. Lot 1 is the 1d lilac, 2d green & red and 5d deep purple & blue with the B.E.A. overprints all with “CANCELLED” handstamps. In fact the lot also includes a Zululand 1d lilac and 2d green & red with the same. Stamps with this “CANCELLED” overprint were used as colour specimens by De La Rue and the Inland Revenue. Bought for £2’185 in 1997, the estimate is £3’000 to £4’000.
From the Hudson collection, there is a decent section of Niger Coast (without anything spectacular in way of Jubilees). But the most interesting lot for me is a Zululand 5d deep purple & blue, used, with inverted watermark. Catalogued at £1’800 by Stanley Gibbons, the estimate is £600-700. I would have thought it would do better than that because it’s not a stamp I remember ever seeing before.
Top 5 Items of the Month
November was an interesting month for Jubilees on eBay. Unfortunately I missed all of it due to work commitments. So I cheated and spent an hour or so searching through the “Sold” listings.
First off we have a rare multiple of the Mafeking surcharge on the 1/2d vermilion. Not expensive at all at £115.48.
Secondly we had these two Zululand 1/2d pairs on pieces with near enough complete cancellations of Nondweni and Nkandhla. Very scarce. Sold for £45.01 and £53.51 respectively.
Which is nothing compared to this Bechuanaland Protectorate 1/2d. Catalogued by SG at £50, the clean strike of the Tati cds is the reason this sold for £398.90. Astonishing.
I tried by best to do a 1/2d vermilion “clean sweep”, alas this 6d pair was too interesting to pass up. Cancelled by two strikes of the Ben Nevis cds, intense bidding saw this sell for £66.00
Top 5 Items of the Month
September was a good month for the Jubilees (please ignore the fact that it’s nearly November…). I was actually a little spoiled for choice! First we have a cover sent from the USA with 1883 Washington 2c pair and 1887 Franklin 1c, redirected on arrival in England with two 1887 1/2d vermilion paying the single letter rate. Not a common franking as US/Jubilee combinations are more often seen with later US issues. It sold for £70.
This little scarce book on the control letters on the 1881 1d lilac, 1887 1/2d vermilion and 1900 1/2d blue-green sold for £21.00. Although it won’t have any information that can’t be found in the essential Queen Victoria specialised catalogue by Stanley Gibbons, it’s still a nice addition to a Jubilee collector’s philatelic library.
Another redirected cover with mixed country franking from the same seller. This time from India. As coincidence would have it, I bought a very similar cover the same day this one finished for £25 (a bit tatty on top unfortunately but still attractive) which bore a 1a brown instead of the 1a plum which this cover features. I had already set my heart on making this a pair with mine to make an attractive page. Alas, I underbid the cover to £43.
This Zululand set with Specimen overprints sold for a very reasonable £103 in mounted mint condition. I already have this set and I paid more than that…
And finally we come to the only item I actually added to my collection this month. This registered envelope was sent at 12 times the UPU rate with five 6d purple on rose, plus 2d registration (as noted at the lower left) paid by the envelope. The peripheral wear and the US customs hs also indicating that something heavy was posted inside. I was very happy to add this multiple franking for £31.98.
Top 3 Items of the Month
This month is dedicated to Stanley Gibbons! Not too often will I say this, mainly because they are expensive but they do get some great Jubilee stamps! And the first item is this beautiful piece with the complete set of the Zululand Jubilee issue tied by Eshowe cds. Stanley Gibbons were listing this on eBay for £300. Unfortunately at the time of going to press, it is no longer available. Kicking myself a little bit for not snapping it up.
This item here is a marginal block of four from setting 3B. This is in reference to the continuous purple line and intermittent blue lines in the margins around the stamp. This is actually not an area of Jubilee collecting I have got into yet, as it can get expensive for the rare (sometimes near unique) settings on all the values. This one has a Wiseman scarcity rating of J (A being the most common and M being unique), and sold for £450.
And we finish off with an expensive rarity. It is a 1901 2d composite “Paste Up” essay with a lithographed three-quarter face portrait of King Edward VII facing left cut and pasted in to an 1887 2d green and red Jubilee. It is believed to be one of only two or three examples in private hands. These series of essays will be the subject of a future article. When I find the time… For now, it’s yours for £10’000.
The last week has seen a variety of attractive and interesting Jubilee items up for sale at a variety of auction houses. Here are my three favourites.
The first item to bring to your attention is a rather unattractive cover. However, this cover belonged to one of the most famous (or perhaps most infamous is more accurate) collectors of his generation. Grosvenor sold the Falkland Islands collection of John E. Dupont on March 7th. Lot 2020 was a rare item of incoming mail to the islands, and was estimated at £200-250. My bid was blown out of the water as it went on the fetch £1’150 (plus 20.4% commission and 5% VAT!).
However that wasn’t even the highest price realised for a Jubilee item last week. Warwick and Warwick discovered a correspondence of no fewer than eight Zululand covers! Including two with never before seen cancellations (unfortunately not on the overprinted Jubilee issue). Of the three with Jubilee frankings, lot 284 was the most attractive and it sold for £1’200 (plus commission).
The next lot caught my eye on the front cover of Magpie Auctions catalogue when I wandered past there stand at Stampex. Lot 356 of their March 6th postal bid sale featured an 1897 Prince of Wales Hospital Fund 1s label along with a 1887 1/2d vermilion tied by a duplex to a printed cover of the Charity. These vignettes are scarce, and more so tied to the cover, and even more so being this attractive and fresh. It sold for £170.
Top 5 Items of the Month
This attractive philatelic cover sold for £66. What drove it to this price was the use of fiscal stamps, although more likely than not they aren’t paying for the postage for the envelope to Germany. Still, they are uncommon on cover and quite collectable.
Another attractive cover was this one to Mexico. Franked with four 4d green & brown and a 1/2d vermilion, the stamps are paying four times the single rate as well as a 1/2d late fee. Multiple usages of the 4d are pretty scarce. It sold for £71.09.
These 9d and 5d Zululand overprints sold for £59.55 and £22.45 respectively. Nicely cancelled examples aren’t scarce by any means, but covers are very rare (very few bearing Jubilee overprints have come to the open market in the last 10 years).
This cover from Gaberones in British Bechuanaland fetched a measly £32.00. Most probably due to the toning on the envelope, and the fact that the 6d is probably the easiest to find on cover as it was the rate to England.
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.
Top 3 Items of the Month
This interesting piece sold for £37.05. It is a opposite halves of a bisect of a 2d and a 1 1/2d together on piece tied by a Bletchinton cds. There a few of these types of items around, all philatelically inspired of course, and they were not permitted by the Post Office at the time. As you can see, the words “not accepted” appear below the stamps. It is now up for sale by Arthur Ryan & Co. for £95.
This cover from Niger Coast also bears bisects and was sold for £765.75. A very similar cover, sent to the same address, but addressed to “Mr. Britain”, was sold by Spink in the John Sacher collection in Novermber 2009 for £850 plus 20% commission, so this was a good purchase for the winning bidder.
This unmounted mint set of specimen overprints on the Zululand set sold for £359.35