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Sale 722

US, British and Worldwide
Stamps and Postal History


British Commonwealth
 
 
Lot Photo Description
Lot 1

Great Britain, 1840, Mulready Envelope, 1d black (Scott U1), stereo A165, an unused envelope, with manuscript endorsement in the hand of William Mulready, "Specimen of B. [British] Govt. envelope for Coll. J. Trumbull"; lightly soiled with a small wax seal hole on reverse. A Very Fine and unique Mulready specimen, possibly given to renowned American soldier and painter, John Trumbull, as a sign of admiration.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
Unsold
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Lot 2

Great Britain, 1840, 1d black (Scott 1), o.g., hinged, decent example of the first regularly issued postage stamp; small thins, Very Good.
SG 2.
Scott $11,000.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
Unsold
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Lot 3

Great Britain, 1840, 1d black (Scott 1), plate 9, EK, four large balanced margins, tied by bold black Maltese cross on folded address leaf postmarked London straightline "T.P/ (R)ed Lion St." sent locally to Piccadilly, red dated handstamp on reverse, Dec 8, 1840, Very Fine. Quite an early use of this scarce plate, the earliest recorded use being November 18.
SG 2; £1,200 ($1,650).
Scott $640.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Realized $250.
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Lot 4

Great Britain, 1840, 1d black (Scott 1), plate 2, SC, ample to large margins, tied by twice-struck red Maltese cross on folded address leaf to Exeter; postmarked on reverse straightline "Ottery St. Mary/ Penny Post", along with red Exeter receiver, Jul 6, 1840, Very Fine.
SG 2; £700 ($960).
Scott $640.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Realized $200.
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Lot 5

Great Britain, 1840, 1d black (Scott 1), plate 3, LD, three large margins, just clear at bottom, tied by red Maltese cross on folded letter to Birmingham postmarked red ATHERSTONE/ JY 21/ 1840; cover somewhat soiled, stamp F-VF, Very Fine.
SG 2; £900 ($1,240).
Scott $640.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Realized $150.
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Lot 6

Great Britain, 1840, 1d intense black (Scott 1a), plate 6 (?), ED, large to extra large margins, tied by light red Maltese cross on folded address leaf to Yorkshire; postmarked red straightline "EXETER/ AU 18 1840/ PY. POST" and black No. 8(?)" handstamp; small repair at right edge of leaf, otherwise Very Fine.
SG 1; £700 ($960).
Scott $600.
Estimate $250 - 350.
Realized $225.
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Lot 7

Great Britain, 1840, 1d intense black (Scott 1a), plate 4, QK, four small margins, tied by light red Maltese cross on folded letter to Lanark; postmarked on reverse red Haddington c.d.s., Dec 5, 1840, along with a red "DEC/ Z 5 A/ 1840" c.d.s.; cover lightly soiled, stamp F-VF. Content is a "homey", easily readable, two-page letter from a young man to his father, otherwise Very Fine.
SG 1; £750 ($1,030).
Scott $600.
Estimate $200 - 300.
Realized $200.
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Lot 8

Great Britain, 1840, 2d blue (Scott 2), plate 1, EC, large margins top & bottom, barely clear at sides; tied by black Maltese cross on folded letter from Cuparangus to Blairgowrie, Scotland with boxed Cuperangus postmark on reverse, Jun 21, 1841, Fine.
SG 5; £3,000 ($4,120).
Scott $2,250.
Estimate $400 - 600.
Realized $300.
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Lot 9
o
Great Britain, 1840, 2d blue (Scott 2), plate 1, LB, large to enormous margins with good part of position KB at top; bright color and light red Maltese cross cancel, Extremely Fine.
SG 5; £900 ($1,240).
Scott $700.
Estimate $350 - 500.
Realized $400.
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Lot 10
o
Great Britain, 1840, 2d blue (Scott 2), plate 2, LE, clear to mostly large margins with black Maltese cross cancel, Very Fine.
SG 5; £1,000 ($1,370).
Scott $700.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Realized $160.
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Lot 11
o
Great Britain, 1840, 2d blue (Scott 2), plate 2, SB, clear to large margins with a black Maltese cross cancel, Fine to Very Fine.
SG 5; £1,000 ($1,370).
Scott $700.
Estimate $250 - 350.
Unsold
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Lot 12
o
Great Britain, 1840, 2d blue (Scott 2), plate 1, positions MK-ML, horizontal pair, large balanced margins, bright color and light Maltese cross cancel, Very Fine to Extremely Fine.
SG 5; £2,000 ($2,750).
Scott $1,400 as singles.
Estimate $750 - 1,000.
Realized $550.
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Lot 13

Great Britain, 1840, 2d blue (Scott 2), plate 2, PK, extra large margins top & left, clear at right, but well in at bottom; tied by neat black Maltese cross, on folded address leaf from Cuparangus to Blairgowrie, Scotland with boxed postmarks of both towns on reverse, both dated Jun 21, 1843; cover very lightly toned at upper right, otherwise F-VF.
SG 5; £3,000 ($4,120).
Scott $2,250.
Estimate $300 - 400.
Realized $250.
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Lot 14

Great Britain, 1884, Queen Victoria, 10s ultramarine on white paper, Anchor watermark (Scott 109), disturbed o.g., extremely desirable example with unusually large margins and brightly emblazoned color; a wonderful example of this challenging ten shilling high value, Fine to Very Fine.
SG 183.
Scott $2,250.
Estimate $600 - 800.
Realized $500.
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Lot 15
S
Great Britain, 1882, Queen Victoria, £5 pale dull orange on white, overprinted "Specimen" type 9 (SG 133s), normal, slightly "crackly" o.g., nicely centered with typical pale color, Very Fine, with 2018 R.P.S.L. certificate.
Scott 93S. S.G. Spec. J128t; £4,500 ($6,180).
Estimate $2,500 - 3,500.
Realized $1,700.
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Lot 16

Great Britain, 1919, King George V "Seahorse", Bradbury, Wilkinson printing, 5s rose red and 10s dull gray blue (SG 416-417), o.g., uncommonly fresh and well centered, Very Fine.
Scott 180-181; $725.
SG £800 ($1,100).
Estimate $350 - 500.
Unsold
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Lot 17

Great Britain, 1997, Queen Elizabeth II, deep green (as used for 2p), light grey (as used for the 29p), flame (as used for 1st class, undenominated trials), full panes of 100, a limited supply of these were discovered, o.g., never hinged, Very Fine, each with photocopies of 2017 R.P.S.L. certificates that were issued for the discovery set of sheets.
Estimate $12,000 - 18,000

Machin trials discovered after 20 years

Sheets of three trials of the Machin head, produced in 1997, have come to light in this the 50th anniversary of the introduction of Arnold Machin's iconic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Machin definitives were first printed in lithography in 1980 as Royal Mail expanded its range of suppliers. However, by the mid-1990s it had decided that all the standard definitives should be printed in gravure. At the time The House of Questa, based in south London, did not have gravure capability.

As the company wished to participate in all future tenders for Royal Mail stamps, whether printed by litho or gravure, in gummed or self-adhesive versions in sheets or stamp booklets, it decided to make a major investment in a gravure press and an automated booklet maker. To achieve the best, Questa partnered with a number of highly qualified and renowned organisations to deliver the skills, processes and technology required to ensure it would be ready for production in less than 18 months.

Courvoisier, based in Switzerland, was at that time arguably the finest gravure stamp printer in Europe. The company agreed to assist Questa with technical advice and cylinder making. As part of this process Royal Mail gave permission for a print trial at Courvoisier using the Machin head: the original material to enable the trial to take place was supplied by Questa. Part of the thinking at the time was that Courvoisier might undertake the production of the cylinders needed for final stamp printing on behalf of Questa, but this did not materialise.

The undenominated trials were produced in October 1997 in sheets of 100 (from larger sheets of 200 guillotined in two) with the Courvoisier imprint along the vertical margins. They exist in three colours: deep green (as used for the 2p), light grey (as used at the time for the 29p), and flame (as used for 1st class). Courvoisier had printed the then current Kenya definitives, these being of the same overall size as the Machin definitives. As a consequence, the trials were printed on coated paper without phosphor bands, and have perforation 15 x 14. However, the stamp image is slightly smaller than that used on Machin definitives.

Barry Robinson, then Design Director of Royal Mail, visited Courvoisier to see the preparations. It is believed the trial sheets were printed on one of the small gravure printing presses at Courvoisier, some being printed during the visit.

The gravure press and the automated booklet line were produced by ATN in France. The new machinery would not fit within Questa's original base in Camberwell: the move to Byfleet was part of the development.

Courvoisier was founded in 1880 and started printing stamps in 1937. It was noted for the high quality of its photogravure work, but sadly it ran into financial difficulties and ceased trading in 2001.

Realized $8,000.
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Lot 18

Great Britain, Army Official, 1903, King Edward VII, 6d pale dull purple, widely spaced overprint (Scott O62), exceptionally fresh and beautifully centered with full, never hinged original gum, Extremely Fine. An extraordinary example of this rare King Edward VII Official.
SG O52; £3,000 for hinged ($4,120).
Scott $3,250 for hinged.
Estimate $2,500 - 3,500.
Realized $1,700.
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