Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Selling rare Queensland stamps at auction in 1893

Brisbane Courier (Qld.), Tuesday 28 March 1893, page 6

Valuable Australian Stamps

High prices were realised at a London auction sale in January for some specimens of rare Australian stamps. The earliest issues of New South Wales postage stamps, known as "Sydney Views," were the lots first taken up. After various lots ranging from £2 to £5 had been disposed of, a splendid unused pair of "1d. Sydneys" was knocked down at £17. Then comparatively small prices ruled until, in the thirty-fourth lot, another fine unused specimen printed from Plate II. was disposed of at the very fair figure of £12 10s. A very fine unused pair, and a magnificent used strip of three, printed from the same plate, realised £8 15s. and £6 respectively, while a splendid unused specimen of the 2d. from Plate I. was knocked down at £11 5s. The remainder of the earliest issues was sold at prices ranging from 16s. to £11 5s. In the first few lots among the laureated issues the buyers drew back a little, but were again on their mettle when a grand unused block of twelve, of the watermarked 2d. with margin showing control stamp of Sydney Revenue Office, was put up. After the sale of this lot, which was disposed of for £13 10s., the bids declined until eagerness was again manifested to secure a fine unused original of the 8d. orange, which realised £12. £3 7s. 6d. was paid for a strip of six unused 1d. imperforate of the diademed issue, and £3 12s. 6d. for a used specimen of the imperforate 8d. orange on piece of original letter.

The excitement of the afternoon was centred in the first issues of Queensland. A very fine unused block of four of the 1d. imperforate, was sold for £19 10s. This was a pretty long jump ahead of the preceding lot, which consisted of a number of New Zealand current and previous issues, and which only realised 23s. But the excitement reached its zenith when the auctioneer announced the gem of the sale. This was a splendid unused strip of three imperforate 2d. of the first issue of Queensland, with original gum. It was started at £20, but this was soon doubled, the bids amounting higher at a furious rate. When £50 was reached a murmur of astonishment was heard from the less "knowing" part of the audience, but the struggle for possession was as keen as ever, and pound covered pound until finally the lot was knocked down amidst applause to Messrs. Stanley Gibbons, Limited, at the very satisfactory price of £64. An unused block of eight of the 2d. blue with large star watermark and with original gum, sold for £6, and an unused 3d. and 1s. for £4 15s.