Auctions

By Matthew Healey, New York Correspondent

Grosvenor’s November auction included modern British errors

December 29, 2015 10:56 AM

  • Grosvenor of London offered this British error last November. Only 14 are known, printed on paper with the wrong watermark. This example realized about $67,000.

  • The Red Cross symbol is missing on this 1966 stamp in the Grosvenor auction. The modern error sold for $47,000.

  • Another modern error, missing a green ink on this 1964 British issue, was offered by Grosvenor and realized $27,800.

In London, Grosvenor held sales of British and worldwide stamps Nov. 18-20.

The highlight of the Great Britain section was a Queen Victoria 10-penny stamp of 1865-67, erroneously printed on paper watermarked with heraldic emblems instead of the intended “spray” of rose (Scott 47).

Only 14 examples of this rarity are known, of which nine are postmarked in Constantinople, presumably after a sheet of the errors was sent to the post office maintained by Britain in the Ottoman capital (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey) from 1857 to 1923.

The stamp offered by Grosvenor, fairly well-centered and lightly canceled, was described as “almost certainly the finest known.” It was hammered down for £35,000, or about $67,000, including Grosvenor’s 22.8 percent buyer’s premium.

Modern Elizabethan errors continued to shine as well. A 1963 Red Cross 3d phosphor stamp with the red cross symbol absent (Scott 398pa) fetched $47,000, while a 1964 International Geographical Congress 8d stamp with one of the green inks missing (412a) went for $27,800.