Rhodesia proves to be ‘star of the show’

The sale of stamps and postal history by Grosvenor at their auction room in London’s Strand on November 11 and 12 realised a total of £822,985, (all prices quoted include buyer’s premium + VAT). The sale was particularly strong in Rhodesia, and a number of outstanding items sold extremely well.

’Star of the show’ was the mint strip of three of the Matebele Rebellion provisional THREE PENCE on 5s, the centre stamp showing the rare error of the inverted ‘R’ of ‘THREE’. Illustrated on the cover of the sales catalogue, the strip had been expected to realise between £12,000 and £14,000, but was in fact knocked down at £24,701. Among the 1909-1912 ‘RHODESIA’ overprints was the £1 grey-purple in a mint marginal pair from the foot of the sheet, the lower stamp being without the overprint. Estimated to realise between £13,000 and £15,000, and catalogued at £25,000, this magnificent pair sold for £32,935.

A wonderful array of the ‘Double Heads’ was on offer, including the 1910-1913 £1, perforation 14, in the error of colour of scarlet and reddish mauve.

Despite the fact that the stamp had a slight corner bend, it sold for £5,293. For Southern Rhodesia the 3d value of the 1932 series showing Victoria Falls, in a vertical pair, horizontally imperforate between the two stamps, fetched £7,057. There were also surprises in the Far East section. Of the 1899 to 1900 ‘One’ surcharges on the 1897 issue of Korea, the 1(p) on 5p in the largest block known to exist, of 78, went for a remarkable £16,467, having been estimated at between £6,000 and £8,000.In the same section, the 1(p) surcharge on 25p rose-lake, the Tai-Han overprint in black, again belived to be the largest block known, of 39, went for £7,057, once more above estimate.

From the Falkland Islands, the ‘WAR STAMP’ overprint on the 1d, in orange-vermilion with comb perforation, of April 1919, in a block of four from the top right corner of the sheet, the stamps showing the overprint doubled, went for £8,881.

A full list of the prices realised at this sale is available on the this website.

News item published on: 13 November, 2004