The ‘Aurelius’ Collection of Great Britain King Edward VII Postage Stamps – Part 1 Thursday 21st May 2009

KING EDWARD VII IN DEMAND “A once in a lifetime opportunity” was how a prospective bidder described this auction held at the Grosvenor saleroom on 21st May.

This specialised Great Britain collection offered just over 360 lots of outstanding material from the reign of King Edward VII, the like of which had not been seen on the market for decades.  A strong group of collector and trade buyers assembled at Grosvenor for the 2pm start.  With eager anticipation the 30 or so room bidders along with the telephone bidders soon became embroiled in a battle to win their favourite lots.

The following realisations are quoted to the nearest £1.

The very first lot of the sale, 2001, one of eleven “Paste Up” essays to be offered set the tone for the entire sale when it reached a £5,380 as the hammer dropped, against a pre sale estimate of £3,000.  The further lots in the section followed suit, all reaching similar levels.  The unique Unfinished Die Proof, as illustrated on the front cover of the catalogue, Lot 2029, estimated at the full SG catalogue value of £3,500 finally found a new home at an amazing £14,944.

With the sale arranged broadly in face value order of the stamps the lots continued to sell well, each being keenly contested, bidding remaining consistent.  The rare opportunity to acquire colour trials for the 11⁄2d, 2d, 4d and 7d values resulted in these generally fetching between £5,380 and £6,576 for each lot against a current SG catalogue value of £3,000 each.

On reaching the section for the 1910 Unissued Tyrian Plum, the audience became more excited.  Lot 2120, the Tyrian Plum Die Proof soared to £21,520 against a pre sale estimate of £15,000.  The Tyrian Plum itself, Lot 2121, one of the few known on the market and estimated at £20,000 sold at £34,670.  Colour Trials for this fascinating issue followed, fetching up to £15,500 each depending on the quality.  The sale continued with bidding remaining spirited throughout, all lots selling very well.  Towards the final lots came the 10d value.  This included an example of the Imprimatur, Lot 2301.  Not recorded in the SG Specialised catalogue it was estimated at £8,000.  It sold for just over double the estimate at £16,737.

It was certainly a day that those in attendance will not forget, indeed those participating in the sale will recall the experience as a memorable day as time moves on.  The sale catalogue will prove to be the definitive reference for collectors of the subject.

Overall the auction was 95% sold and achieved an outstanding £680,000 against a pre sale estimate of £385,000.

Grosvenor’s Managing Director, Richard Watkins stated that, “it is refreshing in this economic climate to see such an outstanding result.  It validates the claims that specialised collecting is alive and kicking.”

The next sale at Grosvenor, June 17th, will be Great Britain, a specialised sale offering a wide range of interesting and unusual material form all periods and reigns.

The second and final part of the “Aurelius” collection of King Edward VII will be offered in the Autumn/Winter of 2009.

News item published on: 23 May, 2009