Stanley Gibbons Stamp Auction: 2-3 October 2013

From Chinese provisionals, Classic India and desirable GB errors, right through to the ever popular collections and mixed lots, there is surely something for everyone at Stanley Gibbons Auctions in October.

The sale takes place at the firm’s Strand auction rooms on 2 and 3 October and comprises over 1800 lots. It opens with foreign, where China includes two extraordinary lots of local surcharges issued in Yunnan Province during the silver Yuan currency revaluation period. Half-sheets of 100 of the 1c. to 30c. surcharged in the local silver currency (SG 1333/40) are estimated at £10,000–12,000, while an irregular block of 76 of the 12c. on $200 chocolate, surcharged in normal Chinese currency (1343) carries a pre-sale estimate of £12,000–14,000. These and other similar lots in the China section were purchased at the post of ce in Kunming by a relative of the vendor and are thus totally new to the market.

Elsewhere in the foreign section, there is a fine group of German South West Africa stamps and covers and useful USA, including some substantial collections.

Individual rarities include the French Indo-China (Yunnanfu) 1903 75c. brown on orange, with the ‘INDO-CHINE’ label inverted (13a). The stamp is reperforated on two sides but is one of only three known—it is expected to fetch £15,000–17,000.

Commonwealth features a strong India section, from Scinde Dawks onwards with a large number of the lithographed stamps including 56 lots of the 4 anna alone, topped by an accumulation of 260 examples of this iconic stamp in a stockbook, estimated at £10,000–12,000. In Malaya, Straits Settlements includes the $500 Edward VII and George V on Multiple Crowns watermark overprinted ‘Specimen’, estimated at £1500–1700 each and a collection at £5000–6000.

The sale will also feature two newly discovered Straits Settlements watermark varieties—a 1912–23 1c. black with watermark inverted and reversed, and a 1912–23 50c. black/green die II variety with watermark inverted. Both of these new discoveries will be included in the next edition of the SG Part 1 catalogue. Nigeria includes a number of the Niger Coast provisionals, as well as proofs and colour trials. Other strong Commonwealth sections include West Africa and West Indies and there is a 1901 £20 yellow-bistre of Rhodesia (92a) estimated at £7000–8000.

Great Britain kicks off with a 1649 Civil War naval letter, estimated at £4000–4400, with an interesting selection of postal history and nearly 40 lots of Penny Blacks, including two unused plate 1b examples at £4600–5000 and £5000–6000. Among the errors, there are an unused 2½d. Prussian blue Silver Jubilee (£6000–7000) and a 1966 World Cup 6d. with red omitted (694c), which is in at £8500–9500.

There are 70 general ‘mixed lots’, with estimates ranging from £50 up to £1000–1200, Commonwealth collections from £3000–3400 down and almost 60 Great Britain collections—surely something for everybody.

Viewing days for this important sale are 30 September and 1 October, or the previous week, by appointment and collectors are reminded that, while most auction houses are now charging a buyer’s premium of 20 per cent or more, Stanley Gibbons are the only major London house still operating a 15 per cent premium—a considerable bene t where more substantial lots are concerned.


  1. Stanley Gibbons Monthly, October, 2013.