On March 12, Spink in London offered the Harry Birkhead collection of occupation and siege issues from the Second Anglo-Boer War.
During this 1899-1902 conflict, the South African town of Mafeking, held by the British, was besieged for seven months by the Transvaal Army. When stamps ran out, the town’s leader, Col. Robert Baden-Powell, ordered the production of ad hoc ones. A photographic process was used, with Baden-Powell’s portrait the centerpiece of the design.
In traditional photography, the negative must be placed the right way up when making a print. If it is placed face-down, the image will be reversed. This happened when one sheet of the stamps was printed, and the result is a rarity, in which the image of the stamp is backward (Cape of Good Hope, Scott 179c).
According to Spink, only 10 examples of the error are known, and three are in the Royal collection. The example in the Spink sale is considered one of the finest. Postmarked April 27, 1900, the earliest recorded date of use, it sold for the equivalent of $67,600, including 20 percent buyer’s premium.
The siege was lifted three weeks later. Baden-Powell would return to Britain a hero and go on to found the Scouting movement.
On March 13, Spink offered the “Foxley” collection of British Guiana. Among the lots were several examples of the 4¢ black-on-magenta stamp of the 1856 provisional issue (Scott 14).
Siblings of the world-famous 1¢ stamp that will be offered by Sotheby’s in June and might fetch $10 million or more, the 4¢ stamps went for more modest amounts. A slightly faulty used example, its four corners trimmed off forming a familiar octagon, fetched just under $5,000.
A die proof in black of the 4¢ value of the 1860-75 Ship design (Scott type A5) with additional value tablets alongside, including a 72¢ denomination that was never issued, sold for nearly $22,000.
A mint vertical pair of the 4¢ Kaieteur Falls stamp from the 1938 pictorial set, lacking horizontal perforations (Scott 213a), sold for almost $24,000. Only about a dozen such pairs of the dramatic error are known.
blogEleanor Roosevelt said, “Great minds share ideas …,” and Linn’s is fortunate to have thoughtful leaders of the stamp hobby on its Editorial Advisory Board. Board members participated in a lively discussion of “The State of the Stamp Hobby” Aug. 21 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich. Read More ›
August 19, 2015 01:58 PMIn an unusual development for our hobby, the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service is blogging about stamp collecting. Read More ›
August 17, 2015 12:19 AMFrom 1967 to 2006, Royal Mail (Great Britain’s post office) advertised all new issues with posters displayed in post offices. Most of these posters had pictures of the stamps along with basic information such as the date of issue, instructions for first-day covers, etc. Some were a little more elaborate. Read More ›
August 14, 2015 09:46 AMWill the United States Postal Service issue a Christmas stamp this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic television musical special A Charlie Brown Christmas? Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s associate editor Michael Baadke discusses happenings at the recent APS Stampshow from the show floor.
Watch as Linn's/Scott editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the early release of the new U.S. Elvis stamp, the possibility of a Peanuts stamp and Linn's at the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses highlights of Robert A. Siegel Auction Rarities Week sales in late June, and reports that the 49¢ price for a first-class United States stamp will remain in effect until April.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the hiring of a new executive director of the American Philatelic Society, the new Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board and the upcoming APS Stampshow.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.