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Stamps, Postcards & Postal History Sale Preview

29th January 2019.

Highlights of the sale include a Great Britain Queen Victoria 1875 6d Grey Plate 14 Specimen Stamp (estimate: £600-1,000 plus buyer’s premium). Very rare and unused, the stamp has a type 10 ‘specimen’ overprint. It is believed to be the only example held in private hands and comes with provenance from the collection of Marcus Samuel - the distinguished philatelist and expert on Great Britain specimen stamps, then sold by Stanley Gibbons.

From the same collection comes a small group of lots of China interest. Amongst them is a scarce first printing set of nine 1894 stamps commemorating the 60th birthday of the Dowager Empress (£1,000-1,800 plus b.p.). The first printing of these stamps was done in Japan, on white woven paper. Also of note are a set of seven Yunnan Province 1932-34 Sun Yat Sen over print stamps (estimate: £300-400 plus b.p.), and a vertical pair of 1898 Dragon 10c Deep Green Stamps from the London printing (estimate: £500-700 plus b. p.).

Also of Chinese interest, is a very scarce 1927 Military Field Post Office Cover. On 25th March 1927 a strike in the Shanghai Chinese post office forced the British Military post offices to open to civilians. Civilian letters were to be franked at the ‘foreign rate’ of 2 ½ d in British adhesive stamps, rather than the military rate of 1 ½ d. Whilst many 1 ½ d covers are known, very few are in existence with the ‘correct’ 2 ½ d such as this. The Chinese post office re-opened at midday on 26th March, and the service was withdrawn. The cover is for a letter from Shanghai to Germany via Siberia, and is estimated at £100-200 plus b.p.

The Postal History section includes part of a large collection of letters, telegrams, cards and other material sent from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to Reverend H M S Taylor and his son Jimmy between c.1930 to the early 2000s. The Revd. Taylor was the headmaster of Cheam School, which Prince Philip attended as a boy. Philip’s letters, starting from his time at the Petty Officers’ School, Kingsmoor, are frequently affectionate and recall his time at Cheam fondly. He occasionally writes about the family, but mainly addresses the content of the letters he has received. Some letters are from Equerrys and secretaries, but the majority are from Philip. Part of the collection will be sold in the Stamp Sale on 20th Feb and part will be sold in the Book Sale on 15th March. Included in the Stamp Sale is one letter from Prince Philip to Rev. H M S Taylor in a mourning envelope written on 16th February 1952, just eleven days after the death of George VI and the day after the funeral. The Royal Household Mail envelope is stamped ‘GR’ and the piece is being offered with an estimate of £150 to £250. Other lots from the collection entered in the Stamp Sale include envelopes with various Royal Household Mail cachets and their accompanying letters, and telegrams.

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