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Stamp News    May  2009 

                              Woodchip-free Zone 

Recent Auction Action.

A odd snippet of recent auction results, mostly on eBay, is the best I can deliver this month. As I indicated in the conclusion to last month's column, I'm now resident in Far North Queensland, and the logistics in submitting this inaugural column from that location have been challenging, not least because the ISP was difficult to convince (in under two weeks) that I wanted the internet connected in FNQ, where I now live, rather than Melbourne, where I now don't live.

The first four subjects are the eBay contingent. I love eBay; it's delivered countless unusual and esoteric philatelic items which I would never otherwise have had the opportunity and pleasure to own. If you crave diversity in your Philately, you owe it to yourself to become an eBay-trawler.

                        
                                       Figure 1. 15c Education on Hayman Is. postcard

I featured solo frankings on overseas airmail postcards earlier this year. The 1974 15c Education, used on postcard from Hayman Is (Qld) to Canada 7 Mar 1975, shown as Figure 1, is one of the scarcer of the genre; I've seen but a few. This example realized US$58.50 on eBay, a respectable result.

               
                                             Figure 2. $2 Painting rare type of solo usage        

The 26 Apr 1979 solo use of a 1974 $2 Painting, for Overseas Express Delivery Lithgow (NSW) to U.S., shown as Figure 2, is a beaut. The rate represented 50c airmail + $1.50 Express Delivery service. Expensive, and consequently underutilized service. This item, coincidentally, realized US$58.50.

                       
                           Figure 3. Seldom seen Scipio crash item to non-U.K. destination

The Imperial Airways flying boat, Scipio, crashed near Crete on 22 Aug 1936. Salvaged mail originating in Australia, largely destined for U.K. addresses, is not particularly scarce. The Australian Air Mail Catalogue records a price of "from $175", but items are reasonably available at half this figure, or less. Much, much scarcer are surviving items destined for addresses other than within U.K. Figure 3 is one such, departing Sydney on 11 Aug 1936 for Belgium. This realized US$78.78, which I regard as a snip.

                      
                              Figure 4.
New record realization for an Australian meter?

Not your average meter, let's acknowledge that from the outset. Figure 4 is the only example I've noted of this "Don Bradman" endorsed meter, of 1951. Given the popularity of the great man, and "Cricket" as a topic in general, the eBay realization of US$331 for this item may not be all that difficult to understand. It will be to some ("But it's not even a stamp"), and I can't recall a higher realization for an Australian meter item.

                     
                      Figure 5. Sadly, we have to wave au revoir to this Aristocrat of Philately

Figure 5 has been featured in this magazine and elsewhere for some months. This unique Ballon Monté of 1870 to Sydney, appropriately auctioned in Sydney (in March, by Mowbray Australia), nearly 140 years after it arrived there, is now the record holder for a single item auctioned in Australia. The realization of $160,000 actually equals that of the Victoria 1851 "inter-pane" cover, auctioned by Prestige a few years ago, the "add-ons" creating the split for the record.

We know that the successful bidder for the was a leading Philatelic Trader from France, who flew to the auction specifically to buy it. But who was the underbidder, prepared to fork out $158 grand plus? Sadly, 'twas moi. I rate this item as one of but a handful of truly international philatelic items in Australia (now past tense), and I had long aspired to one day own it. The combination of a direct link with the Franco-Prussian War, and being the first airborne postal article ever to come to Australia, takes some beating by my assessment. I did my best for our mighty nation, but the winner had Euros, and I didn't! Curiously, I'm linked also to the former record-holder, the Victoria cover. I was the first Philatelist to own this item, which had been discovered in an attic in the U.K., only in 1981, 130 years after it was delivered to that same house. I paid a fancy price at the time, but sadly (again) sold it for a sum well shy of the price achieved a few years ago.

Rod Perry has been a philatelic trader since 1962. He founded Rodney A Perry Auction Galleries (now Millennium Philatelic Auctions) in 1971. As a collector he has exhibited    nationally and internationally. Rod prefers his used stamps on cover and likens taking a stamp off its original cover to converting a tree to woodchips.