One of the great joys of stamp collecting is the excitement of finding something new. You just never know what might turn up!
A really extraordinary item was recently found by staff at Stanley Gibbons Auctions, while looking through a box of material which was brought into the Strand for valuation. After turning over the usual nondescript hand written fdcs, kiloware and childhood albums, a spectacular large (350x230mm) brown envelope from Singapore was found, which warranted rather closer inspection.
Addressed to Major P.J. Hills in Singapore, the envelope had originally been posted without stamps, and now bore a right marginal block of twenty (2×10) of the Malayan Postal Union 1951-63 2c deep slate-blue Postage Due with the ERROR IMPERFORATE HORIZONTALLY, comprising TEN (!) of the vertical pairs listed in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue as SG D15ac, of which just one unique example (a strip of three on piece) had previously been recorded ! The envelope also has a block of ten of the 1964 M.P.U. 10c on 8c yellow-orange Postage Due (SG D29), with both blocks neatly cancelled by the “TANGLIN SINGAPORE” cds dated 21 May 65. 1.00pm. At the upper right of the envelope is an untimed “TANGLIN A SINGAPORE 10” cds of the same day, presumably applied on despatch or delivery.
The envelope was addressed by Mrs Hills (who must have forgotten to stamp it) to her husband, and has been in the family’s possession ever since – a little matter of 53 years. This amazing new discovery, which must rank as one of the most important Postage Due covers of the entire British Commonwealth, was offered for sale in the SGA Public Auction at 399 Strand on 26 April.