February 2020

Signature Auction offers Indian rarities

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The Malcolm Domingo Collection and Uttama Series Signature Auctions were held in January 2020 at The Strand Palace Hotel.

The Malcolm Domingo Collection and the Uttama Series Signature Auctions offered collectors of India and Indian States a truly unique experience. Lots featured included items that were never offered on the market before or were only discovered in the past 30 years. A previously unknown example was also uncovered.  

Both Signature Auctions saw a total realisation just under £500,000 on the day (all prices quoted before the addition of Buyers' Premium and VAT on the Premium). 

Over three days, an atmosphere of healthy competition was generated by bidders in the room and online. A large number of sales came via online bidders through the company's live-bidding service.

The first of the two Signature Auctions, the Malcolm Domingo Collection saw a 92% sale rate on the day. 

Highlights from the Malcolm Domingo Collection

One of the exceptional items on offer was an 1886 4a6p perforated colour trial, block of six. The lot sold for £4,500 nearly four and a half times its estimate.

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A collection of 1883-6 imprimaturs that were previously part of the De La Rue archives. It sold for over five times its estimate at £6,500, further cementing its importance in Indian philately.

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Another lot to mention was a rare 1898 2½ Type 5 in red on 1a6p Sepia featuring variety ‘b’ and ‘r’ inserted by hand from Zanzibar also sold for over five times its estimate of £900 - £1,000.

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Highlights from the Uttama Series

The Uttama Series offered collectors exquisite items from India and Indian Feudatory States of Alwar through to Jammu & Kashmir.

Two lots from the Indian Feudatory State of Charkhari saw the highest level of interest from bidders. The first being an unused ¼ Anna, one of only two known examples, that sold for £7,000. The second, a used 1894 ¼a Anna imperforate, possibly the earliest known usage of a Chakhari stamp, sold for £9,000.

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This Signature Auction also brought with it a notable and rare collection of Dungarpur. Included in the collection was an extremely rare unused 1933-43 2a brought under the hammer, sold for the fantastic price of £7,500, over seven times its estimate. Another remarkable lot: a rare unused 1939-46 ¼a horizontal pair that sold for a remarkable £8,500.

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A truly distinguishing moment, the Uttama Series brought to light a very first sighting for Stanley Gibbons-- an 1877 ½a on native paper, unused horizontal pair with the stamps printed tête-bêche, sold for £6,000. The discovery will make a feature in the upcoming 2021 Commonwealth and British Empire Stamps catalogue.

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The two successful Signature Auctions are evidence of the market's insatiable interest in the area of Indian philately. Stanley Gibbons Auctions will continue to offer collectors more exciting opportunities to acquire philatelic rarities this year. The 3-4 March, will feature Stamps and Postal History of the World.

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