Boiling Over

Over two sticky July days in central London the Grosvenor Summer Auction blew away all expectations,  raising over £1 million for its delighted vendors. The bidding was hot, the prices hotter still, as three auctioneers battled to control waves of online bidding that arrived to compete with pre-sale bids and the challenges of attendees in the room.

The auction contained several important offerings, the first being the John Ineson collection of Scouting, a popular theme followed with enthusiasm around the world with John a well-known figure in that field. Among the countries that here caught the eye was Czechoslovakia with some remarkable lots achieving results many times their estimate. The very scarce (only 600 sets prepared and often found faked) mint 1918 Scout 10h. and 20h. overprinted “Prijezd/presidenta/Masaryka.” [lot 157] climbed inexorably to £15,000, the two stamps on cover [lot 159] almost as far to £14,400.

A major part of the Ineson collection was devoted to the issues produced in the unusual circumstances of the Siege of Mafeking during the Second Anglo-Boer War. Amongst a great richness of rarities the type 1 serifed overprint on Bechuanaland Protectorate 3d. on 1d. lilac with surcharge double [lot 332] £19,200, the 6d. on 3d. with surcharge inverted (S.G. 9a, only five examples recorded), fine used on piece [lot 338] reaching £24,000. It was perhaps not a great surprise that the full sheet of twelve of the narrow format Baden-Powell 3d. pale blue on blue [lot 383] rose to £64,800, this being the only recorded complete sheet in used condition.

This auction also included an extensive offering of Malaya & States, unusually strong in postcards and revenues and originating almost entirely from the exceptional collection formed by Gordon Peters. The levels of bidding remained high throughout, at times almost boiling over.

Many highlights compete for attention, amongst which one might cite for example the group of eight imprimaturs of the Straits Settlements 1882 Revenue values to $25 [lot 1318] that climbed to £8,440 or the matching blocks of four of the Kedah 1937 Revenue $25, $100 and $500 [lot 1466] that soared to a £12,000 realisation. Selling for £5,760, a particularly handsome cover was the 1896 Straits Settlements 3c. postal stationery card addressed to Northumberland cancelled by Singapore c.d.s., with a Johore 3c. alongside tied by the Bandar Maharani Star and Crescent alongside [lot 1447].

There was great interest also in a fine offering of India & States and this also received the now expected enthusiastic response. A used example of the 1905 ¼a. on ½a. [lot 954] with surcharge inverted (S.G. 148a, cat. £2,250) raised eyebrows with a realisation of £5,040. Rarely offered in depth, a comprehensive collection of Sirmoor was well received but with more mixed results. Unique perforated proof sheets of the 3p., 6p., 1a. (less one  stamp) and 2a. values of the 1894-99 Elephant issue [lot 1054] achieved the top price at £6,960. Similarly unusual was a fine collection of Nawanagar [lot 1021] that made £10,200.

Full listings of the prices realised may be found here.


The final sale total for this auction was £1,053,708 and realisations quoted include buyer’s premium. For further information please contact Tom Margalski or Bethany Pascoe at the Grosvenor London office.

News item published on: 12 July, 2023