A Balanced Overview
The Specialised Great Britain auction held at Grosvenor on 29 October presented to the market a broad spectrum of Great Britain philately from postal history to modern errors and achieved a very pleasing total realisation of £660,757.
Featured in this auction was one of the finest collections of Isle of Wight postal history, formed by the late John Minns, FRPSL. The collection contained a number of unique items including the 1838 entire letter from Batavia to London  showing the step framed “RYDE/SHIP LETTER” in black, cancelled by a very fine ‘crutched cross’ in red and this attractive item found a new home for £2,100.
Another important offering was that of Queen Elizabeth definitives formed by the late Douglas Myall, FRPSL. Lotted as a series of specialised collections, the Wilding coil leaders [lot 921] and Decimal Machin Window booklets [lot 937] climbed to impressive prices of £2,976 and £5,580 respectively. The 1970-72 20p. olive-green uncoated paper variety, in a unique plate no. 5 block of [lot 1067] sold well at £6,048.
Postcards can sometimes achieve surprising results when offered in stamp auctions, particularly when their appeal is linked to philatelic interest. A collection of 175 novelty postcards [lot 171], judged by the Post Office to be too thick, too covered in glitter or otherwise considered contrary to regulations and charged postage due as a result, far exceeded expectations with a realisation of £3,224.
Two items from the memorable year of 1840 also sold well. A fine first day of use Mulready 1d. letter sheet sent on May 6th from the London Chief Office to Stoke Newington [lot 334] reached £5,580 whilst a handsome House of Lords “ONE PENNY” parliamentary envelope written by the Duke of Wellington and sent on March 10 [lot 327] achieved £5,208.
Other notable prices in this auction include £5,580 paid for the mint 1911–13 Somerset House 6d. bright magenta [lot 733], £6,448 for an unmounted mint marginal example of the ever popular 1912-24 watermark Royal cypher ½d. ‘Cyprus’ green and £5,208 for a a mint tête-bêche horizontal pair of the 1941-42 2d. pale orange [lot 894] despite slight imperfections.
Full listings of prices realised at each auction may be downloaded from the Grosvenor website www.grosvenorauctions.com. Contact Tom Margalski for further information.