Auction of the Lord Cornwallis Collection of Australia with Gambia, Gibraltar and Malta

An outstanding auction of 553 lots, including exceptional rarities of the Kangaroo and King George V Head issues of Australia View

To be held in the Grosvenor Auction Room on the Third Floor of the Stanley Gibbons building at 399–401 Strand, London WC2R 0LT
Thursday 17th March 2011 at 11 am

Public viewing at our offices is to be available on
Tuesday 15th March 9.30 am to 5 pm
Wednesday 16th March 9.30 am to 5 pm
Private viewing may be available prior to these dates. Please telephone for an appointment

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Fiennes Neil Wykeham Cornwallis OBE DL FRPSL 3rd Baron Cornwallis of Linton 29th June 1921 – 6th March 2010

Fiennes Cornwallis was born into a distinguished family with a long tradition of public service which could be traced back to around the year 1225. He was brought up at Linton, a fine family house in Kent, educated at Eton, and commissioned into the Coldstream Guards, serving during the Second World War.

In the late 1940s he turned his attention to agriculture and fruit farming, and built a prize-winning herd of Guernsey cattle. He was a driving force for British produce, especially bacon and lamb. He was a member of the Country Land Owners Executive.

After the death of his father in 1982 he entered the House of Lords, taking up several briefs for the CLA. He was appointed a Trustee of the Chevening Estate (by Mrs Thatcher) in 1979; he always thought that the re-establishment of Chevening under his chairmanship was the best achievement of his life. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.

One of his other great interests was Freemasonry. He rose through the ranks to become Pro Grand Master, second only to His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, who is Grand Master.

Fiennes’s other many interests included fishing and shooting. Since his youth he had been a stamp collector. He always considering himself a collector rather than a philatelist. He had inherited mint and used British Commonwealth collections from members of his close family who had been collectors. But it was a chance purchase of an Australian collection that led to his forming the highly specialised material now being auctioned. When he realised that additional material was becoming harder to find, he turned his attention to forming specialised collections of Gambia, Gibraltar and Malta. In later years he was never happier than when he was able to fill a gap or to locate a better copy of something he already had, more often than not from Club books from the Royal Tunbridge Wells Philatelic Society, where, at the time of his death, he was President elect.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London in 1988.

News item published on: 14 January, 2011