Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auction

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A Helmich
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Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auction

Post by A Helmich »

A block of 8 £2 Navigators on an envelope reached a price of $34,742 ($29000 plus 19.8% buyer's commission) plus any shipping and insurance, at Abacus Auction of 1st September 2018, as lot 75.

This is a fantastic price considering it is not a cover, but an envelope with stamps attached to pay bulk postage, or a telephone account.

The 20 bids had been completed by the day before the auction (either internet or postal) from an initial estimate of $1,000.

Image

Image

The description

1963-65 Navigators 10/- £1 & £2 King block of 8 - one with a small fault at the base - on unaddressed MSD (Sydney) cover with very fine 'GRANVILLE/13MY65/NSW-AUST' cds, Cat $750+ as singles; the £2 unpriced on cover & exceedingly rare thus. A truly extraordinary item which we expect was for payment of bulk postage or a telephone account. [We can't recall seeing a used block of the £2 this large even off-cover]
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Pretty amazing figure.

The Estimate was silly low - the block off cover was worth that, but $35,000 ................... :lol:
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Looks like MSD are after a half Century - still at the same PO Box address -

Merck & Company, Inc., d.b.a. Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) outside the United States and Canada, is an American pharmaceutical company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

MERCK SHARP AND DOHME (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD,

Merck Sharp & Dohme Granville - South Granville, NSW

Street Address:
54-68 Ferndell Street South Granville NSW 2142

Number of Employees:
244

Owner/Operator Details:

Company Name:
MERCK SHARP AND DOHME (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

ABN:
14000173508

ACN:

Contact Details:
Name / Position:
EHS Facilitator / EHS Facilitator

Phone:
02 9795 9500

Email:

Postal Address:
PO Box 79 South Granville NSW 2142

Web Address:
http://www.msd-australia.com.au

Industry Details:
Main Activities:
Pharmaceutical formulation and packaging
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

A Helmich wrote:A block of 8 £2 Navigators on an envelope reached a price of $34742 ($29000 plus 19.8% buyer's commission) at Abacus Auction of 1st September 2018 as lot 75.

This is a fantastic price considering it is not a cover, but an envelope with stamps attached to pay bulk postage, or a telephone account.

The 20 bids had been completed by the day before the auction (either internet or postal) from an initial estimate of $1000.

Image

Image

The description

1963-65 Navigators10/- £1 & £2 King block of 8 - one with a small fault at the base - on unaddressed MSD (Sydney) cover with very fine 'GRANVILLE/13MY65/NSW-AUST' cds, Cat $750+ as singles; the £2 unpriced on cover & exceedingly rare thus. A truly extraordinary item which we expect was for payment of bulk postage or a telephone account. [We can't recall seeing a used block of the £2 this large even off-cover]
I posted this subject on another thread:

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=15712&start=1350

It probably deserves a dedicated thread such as this.

Usage is the emerging new paradigm in Philately, at least in most OECD countries (GB, an exception, puzzlingly, remains transfixed with pre-KGV Usage).

This remarkable item is eligible for exhibiting as an example of Postal use.

I have my theory on what Postal service was applied, but that is within the subject of my Australasian Stamp News column in October 2018.

The message, following the Abacus result is now clearer: Traditional philatelists might need to brace themselves for more of such developments.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Temora22 »

I would be interested to know the third highest bid.

Was there a cluster of bidders above, say, $15000 or were the two highest bids outliers?

Regards,

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

Temora22 wrote:I would be interested to know the third highest bid.

Was there a cluster of bidders above, say, $15000 or were the two highest bids outliers?

Regards,
I can reliably say there were at least three collectors prepared to pay beyond AU$20k, and two others up to $15k.

For those who have not followed the development of enthusiasm for Usage of Australian stamps during the past decade or two, I can also reliably add that this is a Top Ten Usage item of that kind.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Kainnikanada »

Isn't the title misleading? It's not a cover just an envelope with a few cancelled stamps - certainly no postal usage inferred or confirmed notwithstanding the cancel of dubious origin.
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

A nice Bulk Postage receipt type piece, but I agree it is is not a cover as such, or even a parcel fragment.

It got what it got, so that cannot be argued with. :)

Kannik .. my research above shows Merck had the same Granville PO box back then as now, so I have no doubt the Granville cds and useage is genuine.

I sold these below 10 or 15 years back, for a pittance in comparison - a few $100 each as I recall, so my client buying this $10 half sheet will be laughing his head off at the $35,000 Abacus piece! These were used only a few years later, in 1977, than the £2 Block.
Image

Image
1977 $10 "Coming South" Painting stamp, ½ Sheets of 25 fine used.

When this new $10 stamp was issued - our highest face value stamp EVER by miles at that time, these were used for a receipt of some kind - for bulk postage or Reply Paid Mail most likely.

This striking Tom Roberts painting "Coming South" $10 stamp design, was only issued October 19th, 1977, so these were used only 3 weeks or so after issue date - over 40 years back.

A first class domestic letter in 1977 was 18¢, and today it is $1.50, so this is a $A2,083 type face item in today’s buying power
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

Global Administrator wrote:A nice Bulk Postage receipt type piece, but I agree it is is not a cover as such, or even a parcel fragment.

It got what it got, so that cannot be argued with. :)

Kannik .. my research above shows Merck had the same Granville PO box back then as now, so I have no doubt the Granville cds and useage is genuine.
There is no doubting the provenance of the article.

Abacus advised that the consignment included other high denomination multiples, which had been soaked-off. (e.g. see Lot 73 in the sale)

The subject item escaped the dreaded soaking, probably because of its compact nature.

I believe it's a receipt for Business Reply Post aggregate of 700 articles at 6d per unit = £17.10.0.

A postal service article, eligible for exhibiting under Traditional and/or Postal History, it is.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod yes, a receipt for bulk postage, or Reply Paid mail it very likely was. Very cool but not $35,000 cool, or anywhere remotely close, but not my money. :lol: :lol:

The reply paid deal I forget now all the finer points, but received paid a lot more than the postage rate I do know that. [/u]

Postage was 5d, and 6d might have been the Reply Paid rate - I'd have guessed a little more, but someone will know for sure.

I recall in the mid 1980s at Hunters Hill, well before emails and computers, I mailed collectors my garish colour paper lists of offers each month and included a Reply Paid Permit Envelope for their hopeful reply and orders. It worked well. :mrgreen:

Back then I seem to recall it was 50% more than the domestic postage rate or something? Plus an annual $ fee for the Permit.

My PM would give me an account reach month of what was owed. Luckily for me his "memory" was not great, and I dimly seem to remember paying for only a small % of those I got. :lol:

I did not really care, as for years he was able to give me as a "receipt" for payment, sheets of cancelled stamps to that value of what the cheque was for. (Back then everyone could pay for Telephone bills with mint stamps at any PO - a very different world!)

So I'd cunningly ask for cancelled sheets of full sets of recent Commems or mini sheets. The attractive 'AUSIPEX 84' Mini Sheet I recall having 100s of with Hunters Hill steel cancels that back then, sold for far higher than face value! So my "Reply Paid" facility actually made me money. :idea:

This "receipt" practice the rug was pulled on nationally around late 80s as I recall, around the same time PO ceased to accept buying back mint stamps at 10% less than face.

Getting cancelled stamps as a receipt had been possible for decades if the businessman was savvy.

Kevin Duffy, who lives behind me in Castlecrag, and once owned Seven Seas Stamps, ran an approvals Business called Rocket Stamps in nearby Cremorne in the 1950s/60s. Kevin was always smarter than most other dealers here combined, and asked for his receipt in Postage Due stamps, in full sheets with gum.

Why - as USED copies of seldom used values like 4d Dues even then sold for way more than face! I sold this bunch of 500 x 4d Dues here for 5% of Cat ... all with "CREMORNE - NSW" cancels with gum. :D
Image

Image
Aust 1959 4d Postage Due x 495 FU. Scott $A6,500, 5% of Cat
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

From October 1 1959 Business Reply Post was equal to letter rate postage (5d) + fee of 1d = 6d.

As mentioned above, the £17.10.0 aggregate was for 700 articles at 6d per unit.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by pertinax »

Rod Perry wrote:From October 1 1959 Business Reply Post was equal to letter rate postage (5d) + fee of 1d = 6d.

As mentioned above, the £17.10.0 aggregate was for 700 articles at 6d per unit.

Rod
Did the whole amount have to be paid up front, on delivery of the envelopes?

If so, what a rort since surely only about a fraction of them actually get used (though I suppose it depends on the precise nature of why a business is using them).

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Scott, as clearly explained in my post above, the business paid a billed figure (monthly in my case) of envelopes that had ARRIVED back to my Reply Paid account at PO Box.

So if I mailed out 1,000 official Glen Stephens Reply Paid envelopes in with orders, I might receive 200 or so that were used back to me. And then should have been billed for 200 x whatever the prevailing rate was, and the receipt for that sum was given to me in cancelled stamps of my choice. :mrgreen:

A larger business might be billed weekly - even daily if large enough, I am sure.

A figure of exactly 700 inward envelopes sounds totally implausible to me, but also might have been a bulk postage receipt, none of us will ever know - but whatever it was, big blocks are nice to see.
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

Rod Perry wrote:
Temora22 wrote:I would be interested to know the third highest bid.

Was there a cluster of bidders above, say, $15000 or were the two highest bids outliers?

Regards,
I can reliably say there were at least three collectors prepared to pay beyond AU$20k, and two others up to $15k.

For those who have not followed the development of enthusiasm for Usage of Australian stamps during the past decade or two, I can also reliably add that this is a Top Ten Usage item of that kind.

Rod
The underbidder has advised me today he was informed by the Auction house: "there were 6 bidders over $20,000".

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

No doubt at least one of them was a well known Melbourne dealer 8)
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by pertinax »

Global Administrator wrote:Scott, as clearly explained in my post above, the business paid a billed figure (monthly in my case) of envelopes that had ARRIVED back to my Reply Paid account at PO Box.

So if I mailed out 1,000 official Glen Stephens Reply Paid envelopes in with orders, I might receive 200 or so that were used back to me. And then should have been billed for 200 x whatever the prevailing rate was, and the receipt for that sum was given to me in cancelled stamps of my choice. :mrgreen:

A larger business might be billed weekly - even daily if large enough, I am sure.

A figure of exactly 700 inward envelopes sounds totally implausible to me, but also might have been a bulk postage receipt, none of us will ever know - but whatever it was, big blocks are nice to see.
Thanks Glen and my apologies for not being attentive.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Scott .. yes paying when you mailed each one out, in with the orders, would be very pricey!

Seven Seas Stamps in Dubbo I think also made good use of this quirky deal - sending a wad of approvals out via comic books etc, and adding a tiny SAE for you to send the cheque or money order back, to buy them all via Bill's usual Barnum and Bailey speil - "And NOW the offer of the year - buy this 34/- of utter wallpaper crap for just 25/-, if you pay NOW via the enclosed SAE!"
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by David Benson »

I have been reliably informed that the buyer is from Asia and that other bidders were from Australia UK and US,

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by David Benson »

I was also informed that the estimate of $ 1,000 was at the vendors request,

David B.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

David Benson wrote:I was also informed that the estimate of $ 1,000 was at the vendors request,

David B.
Vendor wanted $500 est; Gary talked him up to $1k.

Just as an after event comment: In the early days of the marketing, I asked a couple of Trade mates what they thought the item might fetch.

One thought the estimate was optimistic, the other suggested maybe $1500.

Keep sifting through those Trader cover boxes!

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by David Benson »

Rod,

I spoke to Gary when I was there on Friday and that is what he told me.

David B.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

David Benson wrote:Rod,

I spoke to Gary when I was there on Friday and that is what he told me.

David B.
I'm not disputing what you were told, David.

The version I received was a little more detailed in nature.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

The Abacus auction description in post #1 mentioned it might have been a receipt of an Telephone Bill payment. No-one here seems to have focused on that possibility. (Telegrams were also huge in the 1960s.)

Until 1975, The Postmaster Generals Department (PMG) was one animal, that ran both phones and post and telegrams as a monopoly. For decades after 1975, that historical quirk allowed stamps to be used to pay phone bills.

This was common back then. Over the years I paid $10,000s of bills for me and others by affixing stamps to cards, and the very rubbery 'rules' were, if you affixed stamps to a sheet of plain paper etc, and lodged them along with the relevant card on top, they were acceptable.

Mint stamps, then as now, were regularly buyable wholesale at well under face, so my $1000 phone bill really only cost me $600 etc. For quite a while a MINIMUM vale of stamp was 50c, and that later escalated to $2 a stamp as per the card shown.

My PO would let you add sheet of 100 of $2 stamps with gum as long as you added a check list of what was being tendered. The PO duly cancelled them, cancelled you telephone account as paid, and left them in the safe for 12 months in case they even need to be audited, and then were ALLEGEDLY destroyed by Postmaster. Coff.

Since 1913 as we know, the Postmasters, being human, would often source a stamp dealer to very quietly sell off their more than 12 month old Telegram forms and such FAP cards, for cash money.
Image
Telegraph used high value Roos right up to £2 are of course pretty common and often seen. So LOTS leaked out via the "back door" of POs. Used from all around the country. All stolen goods from PO essentially, but they still sell. The £1 block 4 above from Launceston I sold very fast. :mrgreen:

Here are the PO FAP30 cards I used to pay 100s of phone bills with mint stamps!
Image

Image

Image

Below is something I bought in an Estate that I mailed to a member here, who had asked about them. Stamps could be used to pay Radio and TV Licence sees of course.

Unusual use of $2 Navs -- in period, as the $1 and $2 Paintings had not yet been issued, and were not, until 1974. The FAP 784 card has a print date of 1972, so perfectly timed.

NOT "covers" but official PO cards for payment of TV Licence fees, and a strange Telegram form with a bunch of TEN x 40c Navs cancelled on THREE different days in 1971. Dec 2/3/4. :lol:

These were current stamps, as the Pioneer 20c, 30c and 40c were not issued until 1972.

In 30 years in stamps I've never seen these cards before. Seen a lot (and used a lot!) of the later blue FAP30 cards to pay phone bills as mentioned above.

The earlier 1955 printed W.84 card has unused pre-decimal stamps with a pencil date of 15/7/59.
Image

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Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reached $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod Perry wrote:
Temora22 wrote:I would be interested to know the third highest bid.

Was there a cluster of bidders above, say, $15,000 or were the two highest bids outliers?

Regards,
I can reliably say there were at least three collectors prepared to pay beyond AU$20k, and two others up to $15k.

Rod
Who says there is no money about for better Australia QE2 era pieces. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Interest in this area is growing for sure. :idea:

I wrote about this $35,000 result in my latest 'Stamp News' and 'Philatelic Exporter' articles, as it will gobsmack many I am sure -

https://www.glenstephens.com/snoctober18.html

Interestingly the buyer of the half sheet of $10 used in 1977 (for over $2,000 in today's buying power!) and for probably the same useage as the £2 Navs block, read my column online, and contacted me.

Seeing there are clearly a number of keen and well heeled collectors chasing such high value usage in multiples, he told me he would part with his used half sheet below on piece for $A1,000, (no 'buyer fees' or GST either!) as his collecting interest now lies in a different direction, and he would like them to find an appreciative new home. (He bought 2 such half sheet pieces off me, from same original source a decade back.) $1,000 versus $35,000 makes it a rather enticing offer I'd suggest, to those keen in this area. :?:

If anyone is interested, or knows anyone who is, contact me and I'll pass on his details, so you can complete the deal between you. Very striking looking blocks I always thought. Great eye-appeal piece for an Exhibit etc. He is a Minister of Religion, so can be trusted to mail the goods! :lol:

Glen
Global Administrator wrote:
I sold these below 10 or 15 years back, for a pittance in comparison - a few $100 each as I recall, so my client buying this $10 half sheet will be laughing his head off at the $35,000 Abacus piece! These were used only a few years later, in 1977, than the £2 Block.
Image

Image
1977 $10 "Coming South" Painting stamp, ½ Sheets of 25 fine used.

When this new $10 stamp was issued - our highest face value stamp EVER by miles at that time, these were used for a receipt of some kind - for bulk postage or Reply Paid Mail most likely.

This striking Tom Roberts painting "Coming South" $10 stamp design, was only issued October 19th, 1977, so these were used only 3 weeks or so after issue date - - over 40 years back.

A first class domestic letter in 1977 was 18¢, and today it is $1.50, so this is a $A2,083 type face item in today’s buying power.
.
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Didge »

Folks,

What an amazing article and price.

Tim

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Didge »

Folks,

I did not bid on this two pound item but was going to do so. My maximum was $24,000 including commission. So that’s another person who would have exceeded $20,000 for what in my uneducated opinion is the best QE11 usage item yet known.

It is the only stamp that I do not have commercially used on cover from the QE11 pre-decimal era.

I have one on a piece that I have posted a scan of on another site. It’s not in the same league as this item. I was blown away before I could even bid.

Tim

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

Didge wrote:Folks,

I did not bid on this two pound item but was going to do so. My maximum was $24,000 including commission. So that’s another person who would have exceeded $20,000 for what in my uneducated opinion is the best QE11 usage item yet known.

It is the only stamp that I do not have commercially used on cover from the QE11 pre-decimal era.

I have one on a piece that I have posted a scan of on another site. It’s not in the same league as this item. I was blown away before I could even bid.

Tim
You can up the ante on "best QE11 usage item yet known.", Tim.

I know of nothing that comes close in postwar era usage.

Certainly, the only postwar Australia cover which is comparable in value is the 1955 YMCA Red triangle omitted cover, ex Morgan Collection, ACSC AU$25,000.

However, that is an error, rather than a usage item per se.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Didge »

Folks,

Here is a scan of my £2 King piece I mentioned above. It was sent from Tamworth to Newcastle on a large parcel. It was kept by a Post Office employee at that time. Unfortunately there is not enough information remaining to determine the usage. It has a paid stamp on it and the edge of a timeclock stamp. It came with the other piece below it with the £1 Bass franking which was sent from the same location on the same day. They may have been on the same parcel but this is not certain. It has a printed matter stamp, a time clock an a paid stamp as well.

I think genuine postally used £2 Kings are rare in their own right.

Oh what might have been.

Tim

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod Perry wrote:
Certainly, the only postwar Australia cover which is comparable in value is the 1955 YMCA Red triangle omitted cover, ex Morgan Collection, ACSC AU$25,000.
Well not quite actually, and that YMCA cover is badly defective of course. :lol:

Even those incompetents at Spink London invoiced this unique 1965 2/6d Bird "Missing Red" cover for well over $A20,000, at their appallingly badly "promoted" Arthur Gray QE2 sale, which was an unmitigated disaster generally. :roll: :roll:
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Both this 2/6d Bird and the YMCA were at least postally used. And both are SG listed at huge prices. The £2 Navigator block was an accounting receipt at best, and was never postally used, and will never be SG listed, nor even ACSC listed or noted I'd suggest.

If at some point, all these 3 items were offered on the same day, at a competent stamp auction, the YMCA and 2/6d Bird covers will likely fetch similar prices (the Bird getting more in my view - every time) and both of them would realise many times the folly $35,000 just paid for the £2 Navigator receipt IMHO.

We will probably never see them all offered together, but it would be interesting result, I am sure. :)

Agree the £2 Navigator is VERY scarce on any kind of postally used piece - the large 'PAID' handstamps on both of Tim's pieces are extremely curious, but they do seem to have been on a parcel at least.

I have little doubt there are covers or parcel pieces lurking out there with Blocks on them. There are ENDLESS blocks out there of the £2 Arms postally used, which preceded this issue. Ken Baker told me he once bought several hundred BLOCKS 4 to 10 of the £2 Arms at one time when trading in London. I still sell Blocks 4 used for $100 or so of that issue, so there is NO reason £2 Navs do not exist.

New finds do turn up - all the time. My dealer friend here Martyn Greive found this parcel piece of near £18 face of Kangaroos (the £2 were Small Multis!) literally lining the base of a box of stamp junk he bought here locally.

Rod very publicity bet his house in front of a bar full of stamp witnesses - not that long ago either, that no such franking ever existed. It was simply unheard of at the time. I never got the house (sadly), but Rod later went on to offer the piece on ebay, for ever increasing 'Buy It Now' figures up to $155,000!

Despite it now being repaired, re-backed, and many stamps having chunks added etc, with more work done on it than Joan Collins has had, as can be seen below.

I am not sure if he ever sold it in the end? It was unsold at $64,000 start price last year at Phoenix. But it did exist, and unlike the £2 Navs, they were actually used in the mail system.

However it is a very important Kangaroo piece, and will look nice in an Exhibit somewhere, I am sure.

So new finds do occur all the time. And a pair or block of £2 Navs will appear at some point, on a genuine postal piece, I am sure. I'd be a bidder on THAT! :lol: :lol:
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A far higher rez and huge sized image showing the extensive repairs more clearly is on this link -
https://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=49593

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Didge »

Glen,

I agree with your comments about the £2 Arms but the difference is the usage period of that stamp compared to the £2 King. The King was only on sale for about 18 months where the Arms went through the reign of two monarchs. Not sure exactly how long but it was decades not months and there are only a handful of £2 Arms known commercially used. They sell for around the $5000 mark.

In my first decimal collection the successor $4 King does not start to show up postally used until the late 60's early 70's when rates increased enough for it to be more prevalent. I don't have one used in 1966.

I agree with your comment that others will show up but they will be extremely scarce. I would bet a bottle of wine (not my house) that there will not be more than five in existence. This sale might bring some out of the woodwork. I think this example is still very displayable in an exhibit. I have quite a lot of items in my exhibit that have not been through the post. Many are paying exactly what Rod believes this was used for. Business reply items.

I have many used as postage dues that have not been through the mail. Just affixed and cancelled at the PO to pay for a service. I also have telephone payment cards as you displayed. In fact I brought those ones from you. The whole challenge of usage is to track down interesting and unusual usages of a stamp not just the common.

My scenario for the item is that someone at Merck went to the PO with an envelope of cash to pay for the business reply items, had the stamps affixed to the envelope and cancelled to pay for the service and took the envelope back to the office as proof of payment. I guess as you surmise we will never really know exactly what it was for but the exact calculation of the business reply items for me is evidence enough to come up with that conclusion.

The fact is that stamps commercially used on cover in their correct timeframe are rare beasts. Most went into the water bath to be soak off the postal article they were on and put in a stockbook or an album. That's if they did not go in the bin. Some of the items in my exhibit are at this stage unique and underrated I think.

I don't think anyone could find the material to put together a better exhibit because it does not exist. It took me 15 years to get it all together and still would be doing so if it was not for Rod's pioneer work in this exciting field of philately.

Now is the time to get into usage in my opinion.

Tim
Last edited by Didge on 20 Sep 2018 12:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Didge »

Folks,

It would be interesting to see what other usages of the £2 King turn up and see what they sell for. It seems there was a lot more than two people that pushed it to the level it went too. Can that sort of price be maintained?

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Didge wrote:Folks,

It would be interesting to see what other usages of the £2 King turn up and see what they sell for. It seems there was a lot more than two people that pushed it to the level it went too.

Can that sort of price be maintained?

Tim
Tim, to answer your last question first - if auctioned tomorrow, that price would get nowhere even close to $35,000 is my unshakeable view. Now that penny has dropped on some who had a simultaneous rush of blood to the head on sale day, that this receipt was possibly not even for postal purposes at all. It may have paid the company telephone bill - we will never know. One VERY happy vendor however!

I do agree however some new pieces bearing the £2 King might emerge after all the publicity! Postally used pieces. Sure hope so. :mrgreen:

Within months of Simon Dunkerley discovering and publicising the then hitherto unknown 1913 Kangaroo ½d sideways watermark - that the dopes at RPSV branded "treated and faked" in their bad "Expert" (sic) Certificate - TWO more examples soon turned up after all the publicity. After near a century of not being known, suddenly we have THREE copies.

And we are talking major SG listed RARITIES here - cat £35,000 apiece - all many times more desirable and valuable, (IMHO) than this recent £2 Navigator receipt.

So pieces will exist of this £2 Navigator stamp for SURE. £2 Roos are pretty often seen on mailing pieces for goodness sakes!

Someone here from the USA sold me this bunch of Gold Bullion Parcel Tags a few years ago. From Perth Mint, to Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco etc, surprisingly cheap, as he obtained them very cheap over there as 'average used stamps'. They had never been seen by the market before. I onsold them the same day to someone else here (coff!) remarkably cheap, for a few $1000 the lot as I remember.

I did not look at them at all, but it now transpires there was an Aniline ink 10/- Roo (unique on parcel piece) and a few Small Multiple Wmk £2 Roos as I recall, and each piece has been changing hands at far more than I cheerfully moved the lot on for! Indeed I think the aniline ink piece alone is 5 figures if I recall. However, "Turnover is King" :)
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Made me a very quick profit, as a little more than I had paid only that week, and that is the cornerstone of my business - fast turnover. I only had time to take 1 fuzzy photo, before I mailed them off that afternoon to the very astute buyer!

Gary Watson from Prestige/Mossgreen/Abacus told me I was quite certifiably insane, and vowed he would have got me 10 times that. But as always, I was happy to move them fast, with no fees, and no delays, and no possible Administrator/Liquidator gobbling up the lot - as occurred to MANY mossgreen stamp vendors - including Gary, who himself lost $100,000 cold there via his material that has been sold, and paid for by buyers, and he saw not one cent of it. Sad.

My stamp mentor, Ken Baker, the most successful dealer ever in this country, stressed time and time again, to always remember his sage advice - "Son, you CAN’T go broke, by making a quick profit". :lol:

Ken did not have a Harvard MBA, and neither do I, but oddly, simple and time proven business principles, often work better than fanciful theory, and greedy mark-ups, and dreamer aspirations. A fast sure sale, is money in the bank. 8)

So yes, more £2 Navigators on piece or parcel tags or full cover will appear I am sure. "The last word in Philately is NEVER written". :lol:

Glen

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

Global Administrator wrote: Despite it now being repaired, re-backed, and many stamps having chunks added etc, with more work done on it than Joan Collins has had, as can be seen below.

I am not sure if he ever sold it in the end? It was unsold at $64,000 start price last year at Phoenix.
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To set the record straight:

1. "Despite it now being repaired, re-backed, and many stamps having chunks added etc"

The article was restored, and mounted with soluble glue to a distinctly different paper stock. This is consistent with practise when document fragments and such like are restored for Museums.

2. ". . . many stamps having chunks added . . ."

One stamp was repaired. Perforations were folded under in a few other instances, and were returned to their rightful position.

3. ". . . more work done on it than Joan Collins has had . . ."

Joan's record was unchallenged.

4. "I am not sure if he ever sold it in the end? It was unsold at $64,000 start price last year at Phoenix."

It was sold on two separate occasions: $101,000 in 2012, and close to the Phoenix $80,000 estimate in 2017.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Rod Perry wrote:
To set the record straight:

2. ". . . many stamps having chunks added . . ."

One stamp was repaired. Perforations were folded under in a few other instances, and were returned to their rightful position.
Rod, remember that I inspected the Harkness piece VERY closely when it was found, and have a 5 MEG scan of it for my files, showing all the faults in sharp detail, before the very major surgery. At that point I had no idea what its future was to be, but always agreed it was an interesting piece. 8)

I also obtained a massive size scan of the heavily repaired job at time of the auction which is five times the size we can host here- https://tinyurl.com/RooHarkness

This was way before you bet me your house that such a parcel piece - "never existed." :D Some relevant detailed sections from that scan are below.

I might be mistaken, but looking at the original piece scans below, I note it had missing corners, very many missing perfs and pieces, and internal splits and tears and creases and stains and scuffing.

One £1 was roughly torn totally in half with a hunk missing from side as well (and as can be seen, was later moved about, and repaired) another had a HUGE chunk of the stamp missing, and the absent piece was clearly added later, and many other serious faults, tears and creases etc were patched up.

Arthur Gray offered Marty Greive $1,000 for it, due to its “sh!tty condition” in Arthur’s hallmark colourful words (!), and that was refused. I offered a bit more, but was not especially keen on it, due to the quite horrible shape, and did not care one jot, when he said he was going to auction it, and did not bid.

Martin Walker in Adelaide bought it on spec. for a few $1000 at Prestige Stamp Auctions when Marty sold it soon after, as interest in it was minimal, and Martin too will recall the horrible appearance, I am sure. You swapped it with him for a SA addressed 1919 'Ross Smith' cover, and were both very happy it seems clear. WIN-WIN. :idea:

The 2 photos above on a close look, clearly show all reading here, that the stamps were lifted and moved around a LOT during the makeover repairs, and pieces and perfs and corners added, and tears sealed etc, and staining minimised - the stamp positioning on near all units also differs significantly all across the "Before Joan Collins" and “After Joan” images. :mrgreen:

I fully accept anyone can choose to professionally restore or repair anything they own. I've never done it, and never will, and like regumming, do not like seeing it being done. Right from the word go I never liked the look of this one, as it looked me ME like a pulled tight facelift, gone rather horribly wrong, and I was most certainly not alone in that view. But someone appears not to have minded that, and c’est la vie. 'The customer is always right'. :D

The Phoenix auction of 2017 had it unsold at the $64,000 opening bid, on estimate $80,000. That is on the public record here. Curiously, that Harkness Facelift image appears to be the only one deleted from that entire Phoenix sale catalogue?

https://www.phoenixauctions.com.au/cgi-bin/wsPhoenix.sh/viewl ... auction=53

Anyway, a huge size image of the heavily repaired fragment was luckily obtained at the time, and it can be seen here - FIVE times larger than our normal photo size in thread -

https://tinyurl.com/RooHarkness
Link to the Donald Harkness restored Kangaroo parcel piece large size detailed scan

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

I previously considered the restoration of the Harkness Kangaroo record-franking to be very skilful, Glen.

Seeing those "before" scans, I now appreciate the restoration was brilliant.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Yes Rod, somewhat more than one stamp repaired on there, that is for sure. :)

Anyway, we are meandering well away from the £2 King receipt. :mrgreen:

Hope all the discussion around the place on it and this $35,000 price, smokes out a few more nice pieces. 8)

There surely must be some hiding out there?

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by alltorque »

Do I feel a bit of Jealousy amongst Glens reply...???

It sold well and does look a lot better with the Joan Collins improvements!!!

Rod didn't lose his house over this, still making money in retirement ,and still has a bigger one than Glen.

BUT getting back to the KING piece...very nice and agree more might come out now the "knowledge "is out there...

Prices might come down if more surface but good to see the healthy interest in it and how the bidding went.

Cheers

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

alltorque wrote:
Rod .... still has a bigger one than Glen.
Hope you mean his HOME? :D :mrgreen:

Yes, my humble little caravan here is rather dwarfed by most other member dwellings, but I do somehow get by, and sorting stamps by candlelight is rather fun. 8)

No "jealously" at all - I saw the Harkness piece first, and had option 2 to buy it, and passed, and of course also Auction option 3, had I been at all attracted, but was not really interested at all. I dislike offering highly defective material, even rare pieces, and do not even chase it down, as I take pride in buying only attractive and sound pieces, and scanning those. I've never had anything professionally restored, sadly. No regrets, and most certainly no 'jealously' - just a simple business decision.

Glad those extensive repairs met with your approval alltorque. Some feel that regumming heavily hinged and toned stamps also appeals to them, I understand that view exists widely - you too possibly, if you like 'Joan Collins'? Again, I do not believe in that regumming, and have ALWAYS been violently and vocally opposed to it occurring, and have never done it, but oddly, for some in the hobby it is perfectly acceptable - we all have different standards. C'est la vie. :idea:
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Philatelics (Australia) »

We are offering this £2 Navigator block of 4 on Parcel piece in our next auction with the very conservative estimate of $130, it will be interesting to see what it realises....

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Didge »

Yes it will be interesting.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Rod Perry »

Philatelics (Australia) wrote:We are offering this £2 Navigator block of 4 on Parcel piece in our next auction with the very conservative estimate of $130, it will be interesting to see what it realises....

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Put me down for $130, Steve.

I don't care what the stamp missing at base was!

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Philatelics (Australia) »

Not sure it is a stamp that has been removed Rod, perhaps it was, we also have this piece found in the same shoebox, that has similar light paper thins, which I had put down to tape being removed. between the 2 pieces there is a fair portion of the set. I actually prefer the parcel piece £2 block as a usage item, to one that was probably used to pay something like bulk reply paid items myself.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Steve, there were more likely TWO more stamps under the Block 4 on piece - the part cds along base of the Block 4 was covering TWO stamps it seems very likely. It is not tape that was removed I'd suggest. :lol:

I also personally prefer postal used blocks, even if some stamps were removed, and not Bulk Post or accounting type receipts.

Put a 5000 lumen LED light under the piece - the rate in red manuscript ink will likely show. :idea:
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Temora22 »

I am curious.

Do members here consider the above £2 Navigator block of 4 on paper to be worth significantly more than the same £2 Navigator block of 4 if it had been carefully soaked off the paper?

If so, why?

Regards,

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Didge »

Philatelics (Australia) wrote:We are offering this £2 Navigator block of 4 on Parcel piece in our next auction with the very conservative estimate of $130, it will be interesting to see what it realises....

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Folks,

Does anyone know what this actually sold for?

Tim

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by MJ's pet »

Didge wrote:
Folks,

Does anyone know what this actually sold for?

Tim
$700 + 15% Buyer's Premium

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

A genuine and clearly postally used block for $800 that CAN be exhibited, or a Bulk postage or Telephone account type receipt etc, for $35,000 that likely can't be exhibited safely (except to show the folly of having far too much money and ego when outbidding others they know!) - I certainly know who got the better deal here - IMHO. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

In 10 years time, selling 43 postally used blocks 4, or a PO receipt with a block 8, will see one holding get TEN or TWENTY times the other - IMHO.

Glen

(My friend's asking price of a mere $1,000 for his unique half sheet of $10 used in period in 1977, looks even more enticing!)
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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Didge »

MJ's pet wrote:
Didge wrote:
Folks,

Does anyone know what this actually sold for?

Tim
$700 + 15% Buyer's Premium
Wow. That's pretty solid. Any ideas what a used block of four would be worth if it was not stuck onto a bit of brown paper? Reasonably pricy I would have thought. They are reasonably scarce postally used.

Tim

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by Global Administrator »

Image

Looking for something else today I found this on the web. A strip of £2 King Navigator stamp used with a back room audit puncture from some kind of duty or fees or bulk charges payment etc.

Added to the knowledge data base here.

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Re: Australia £2 King cover reaches $34,742 at Abacus Auctio

Post by MJ's pet »

Many people have been waiting to see if the block of 8 £2 Navigators on the Merck envelope would flush out any "big" Navigator covers.

Over 2+ years on and nothing has materialised.

Now at the current Philatelics Australia auction #147, a highly-franked parcel front that has been through the post appears.


Link here: https://www.philatelics.com.au/my_catalogue.php?sort=AUSTRALI ... ES&aid=147

Image
£7/13/0d Pre-Decimal Navigator franked parcel, 1966 Sydney to London

Lot 153 Starting Price: $5,000 Estimate: $6,000

1966 Large part of cover addressed to Castrol Limited Marylebone Road, London with amazing franking of 1965 £1 White Paper Bass pair (perfs slightly creased at top), 1965 White Paper 10/- Flinders (6), 1964 5/- Dampier (10), 1957 2/6 No Wmk Aborigine and 6d Thornbill, tied by Sydney roller cancellations dated 11 Feb, 1966. The total franking of £7-13-0 represents 68 times the 2/3 Air Mail rate per ½oz, interestingly sent on the last business day prior to the introduction of Decimal currency.

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