Spink is delighted to be auctioning
the David Pitts Collection in its entirety over the course of 2017.
The 19th April will see the third in a series of sales
dedicated to the remarkable collection of postal history and used
stamps of the British Empire formed by David Pitts. It is the first
of two sales focusing on Bermuda, his favourite and most important
collection. The sale spans the period from 1796 to 1965 and
encompasses a range of postal history and stamp issues,
cancellations and unusual postal history subjects.
David Pitts is a lifelong
collector, buying his first stamp at the tender age of eight. As he
advanced in his professional career he became a serious
philatelist, focusing on the British Empire. His interests have
always been limited to used stamps and postal history; believing
unused mint material, while frequently attractive works of art, are
not as interesting as "cancelled" stamps.
His goal over the years has been to
collect every issued stamp, used, and, their pre-adhesive postal
markings, from each component of the entire British Empire through
David has always been particularly
interested in Bermuda. His exhibit, "Bermuda: Crossroads of the
Atlantic", met with considerable acclaim in presentations before
the Royal Philatelic Society and the Collectors Club of New York,
and is the only Bermuda exhibit to ever win an international Large
Gold medal. There will be two sales dedicated to his collection of
Bermuda, the first will be in April 2017, and the second in October
April's sale of David Pitt's first
auction of his collection of Bermuda commences with a range of
Early Letters and Handstamps with mail to and from the island and
includes Military Mail with a fine 1851 soldier's cover from
Bombardier Chapman of the Royal Artillery stationed at Ireland
Ship Letters with 1845 and 1882
letters showing different strikes of the rare "BERMUDA/SHIP LETTER"
handstamp, the latter in blue.
There then follows a fine range of
Packet Letter covers carried on the various routes by the
Admiralty, Cunard and Royal Mail Packet Company. Although a little
late for this year the pre-stamp era concludes with two Valentine
envelopes, the first made from pierced lace paper and sent in 1851
to Miss Godet at Paget, the second being an embossed type sent to
A Ponsomby Esq. at Hamilton. Both these delightful items
would grace any important collection of Bermuda.
The stamps are represented by many
fine sections. Queen Victoria issues offer the 1865 1d. rose-red
imperforate and the perf. 14x12½ 1/- green vertical pair
imperforate between and neatly cancelled at Ireland
In 1874 the island the stock of 3d.
stamps became exhausted, and until new supplies could be obtained
from London it was found necessary to resort to a provisional. 1d.
rose-red stamps were surcharged "THREE PENCE" in fancy
With few of these known it has been
suggested that they may have been an essay and that the issued
stamps were actually meant to be surcharged on the 1/- value. The
collection contains an extremely rare used example cancelled "B/1"
at St. Georges.
In 1875 the island ran low on 1d.
stamps and a decision was made to surcharge some existing stocks of
2d., 3d. and 1/- values "One/Penny". Rare varieties offered
include the 1d. on 2d. and 1d. on 1/- values with no stop
after "Penny" and 1d. on 1/- with surcharge inverted of which few
There is an 1891 envelope, complete
with letter, written by Prince George, later King George V, to Sir
Henry Blake, Governor of Jamaica, whilst he was in command of H.M.
Gunboat "Thrush" from 1890-91. The Price mentions having received
stamps (his favourite hobby) from Turks Islands, and goes on to
discuss his stay in Bermuda and proposed trip to Halifax.
1918 saw the introduction of the
well-known Keyplate design and the collection features a range of
the various printings including a selection of the head plate flaws
and some covers. The highlight of this section is the Revenue
12/6d. which was brought in to postal service in 1937 due to a lack
of the Postage stamps.
The collection contains a fabulous
block of four with central Hamilton datestamp, a used single and
another example, used with 10/-, on locally addressed Hamilton
Other items of note during the
reign of George V include a 1921 Tercentenary Issue 6d. block of
four with variety substituted Crown in watermark and 1935 Silver
Jubilee 1/- block of four containing the variety kite and
At the outset of the reign of King
George VI the Keyplate was again introduced and is represented by a
remarkable range of over 100 lots offering ranges of
printings, scarce multiples, head plate flaws and covers.
In 1901 an agreement was made
between the Imperial and Bermuda Governments whereby a number of
Boer War Prisoners of War were sent to Bermuda for interment. The
collection offers a range of covers from and to prisoners who were
kept on small islands within the Great Sound. Several different
censor marks were used on mail from Bermuda and these are well
During both World War I and World
War II Bermuda was a centre for censorship and used a variety of
different handstamps and labels during these times. The Pitts
collection offers a fine range of covers from both these
The sale concludes with a selection
of early Numeral and Datestamp cancellations, Airmails, Incoming
Mail, Instructional handstamps, Maritime, Official, Postage Due and
This fine sale offers a range of
lots to suit all pockets and we feel sure that collectors will not
be disappointed in the range of items on sale.
Part 2 of the Bermuda collection
with be offered in London in October and will comprise the
outstanding award-winning exhibit collection which includes
five of the Postmasters' stamps, together with a fine offering of
Clients interested in finding out
further details about the sale should contact David
Tel: +44 (0)20 7563 4072 | Email:
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