The Richard Tompkins Collection of Malaya, Borneo and British Empire – To be sold by Auction 2nd and 3rd November 2006

Richard Tompkins was looking forward to a semi-retirement during which he could concentrate upon the collection he had built up over the previous 35 years. He had been bringing together an extraordinary wealth of material of the British Commonwealth (excluding the Dominions) ready to mount in albums which he had had specially embossed with his monogram.  Sadly, in July 2004 he died at the young age of 57 with his philatelic dream largely unfulfilled.

His remarkable accumulation of material is to be auctioned by Grosvenor in November.  Its scope, diversity and quality are astounding, and will offer wonderful opportunities, especially for those who collect British Africa, British West Indies and Malaya.  Much of what is on offer has a certificate from one of the leading expert committees.  What follows is but a small selection.

Turning first to Africa, from Northern Rhodesia comes fine mint and used examples of the King George VI 11⁄2d. ‘Tick bird’ flaw, the former with BPA Expertising Ltd. certificate.  Nyasaland is well represented with several rarities.

From Sierra Leone there is an exceptional group of the 1897 Fiscal stamps overprinted “POSTAGE AND REVENUE”, other items include the 1893 ‘HALF PENNY’ on 11⁄2d. surcharge in a mint block of four with the surcharge inverted, one showing variety “PFNNY” – this has a Royal Philatelic Society London certificate.  From Southern Rhodesia there is the 1937 1s. black and green mint, with a double print, one albino, of the frame (with Royal certificate).

An unusual item is the 1900 Mafeking One Penny light blue fine used in a block of four, with the sheet margin at the top of the block.  This item has a David Brandon certificate.

The stamps of Transvaal overprinted in 1889 for use in Swaziland are included with an extensive array including inverted and double overprints, and the ‘Swazielan’ for ‘Swazieland’ error.  For collectors of more modern material there are many of the errors, such as misplaced and double surcharges, on the Swaziland decimal currency overprints of 1961.  Equally well covered are the stamps of Tanganyika with German East Africa overprinted for use in Mafia Island.

The collection is particularly strong in Malaya, especially the Japanese occupation period.  Examples include, from Negri Sembilan, a complete sheet of the 1c. black with overprint inverted (SGJ266a) with Royal certificate, and the 1922-41 Trengganu handstamp Type 1 (Chop F) $50 in an unused horizontal pair (SGJ117) with a BPA certificate.  From Kelantan there is an unused block of four of the 2c. on 40c. orange and blue-green Type 9 surcharge (SGJ42/a) with Handa Seal showing the error ‘Cente’ for ‘Cents’ on stamp 1 of row 5 with a BPA certificate.

As for the Straits Settlements issues, the collection includes lovely copies of both watermarks of the George V $500 (SG215 and 240d – with Royal and Brandon certificates respectively).

The British West Indies is well represented with strong sections of Bahamas including War Tax varieties, Nevis including 1876-78 1s. pale green in a horizontal strip of three imperforate between (with BPA certificate), St Lucia including 1949-50 4c. grey perf. 14 1/2 x14, fine used (with RPS certificate), British Guiana including 1850-51 12c. pale blue, very fine used cut square on a small piece (with RPS certificate), and many others.

The sale includes something of interest to all Commonwealth stamp collectors.  Further examples which confirm its diversity include, from the British Solomon Islands imperforate between pairs of the 1907 2d., 2 1/2d., and 6d. values, (all supported by certificates), and a very fine unmounted mint example of the 1939-51 2 1/2d. in a vertical pair, imperforate horizontally, and from the Seychelles the 1957 5 cents on 45 cents surcharge mint, with the surcharge double.

For more details of this wonderful sale write to Grosvenor at 399-401 Strand, Third Floor, London WC2R 0LT.  Alternatively, please telephone Tristan Brittain or Francie von Schönfeld on +44 (0)20 7379 8789 for further information.

News item published on: 5 November, 2006