Today, 16th October
2014, Spink London broke the world record for a single Australian
philatelic item in an auction of Australian Commonwealth from the
Vestey Collection; a corner block of the prepared but never issued,
Edward VIII 2d. stamps.
Quoted by Spink Specialist, Nick
Startup, as "one of the most prized rarities in all Australian
Philately", the famed sheet realised a fantastic £240,000.
The legacy of these stamps began in
Australia, 1936. The Governor of Victoria, Lord Huntingfield, was
invited to the Note and Stamp Printing Branch of the Commonwealth
of Australia to witness the first printing of the King Edward VIII
issues. As a memento of the occasion, Huntingfield marked a sheet
of the freshly printed stamps for identification.
Following the abdication of King
Edward, a month later, instructions were sent by the
Postmaster-General's Department to not go ahead with the King
Edward issue. As a consequence, everything in connection to the
issue had to be destroyed, including the sheet given to Lord
In a letter sent by John Ash,
General Manager of the Commonwealth Bank, to Huntingfield
requesting the sheet back states; "…We have been in communication
with the Postal Authorities and the Chairman of the Bank in the
matter, and we find ourselves in the position that we are
reluctantly compelled to ask that His Excellency will arrange at
his convenience to have the sheet returned to us."
However, by this point,
Huntingfield had already removed a block of six stamps from the
sheet and sent to England, which he states in his reply "very
doubtful if I could obtain possession".
The 3x2 block of six is printed in
vivid scarlet on C of A watermarked paper and include the
initialled and dated (29/9/36) signature by the Governor of
Victoria with interpanneau margin at the foot.
Spink Specialist, Nick Startup,
comments; "These stamps are the only examples known and, in all
probability, the only examples which can exist…Undoubtedly the
greatest rarity in Australian philately"
Price Realised: £240,000 (incl. Buyer's Premium)
Detail of Huntingfield's dated signature
Detail of King Edward VIII portrait
Other highlights of the auction
include an extremely rare group of perforated colour trials of the
King George 4d. issue (Lot 154, price realised £32,400), and a 2d.
die proof commemorating the Centenary of Victoria (Lot 204, price
Price Realised: £32,400
Price Realised: £15,600
This impressive achievement follows six world records made
by Spink previously this week and strengthens Spinks position as
the premier global auction house in the collectables
Spink is the world's
leading auctioneer of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, bonds &
shares, autographs, books and wine. Since its foundation in
1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition,
experience and integrity. Holder of royal warrants and numerous
records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offers an
unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide.
Headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Switzerland,
Hong Kong and Singapore, Spink holds over 70 auctions a year.
Catalogues can be accessed through the Spink website
(www.spink.com) or via the Spink App for iPhone and
For more information
about this auction, please contact:
| Spink London | Tel:+44 (0)20 7563 4073 | Fax:+44 (0)20
7563 4072 | Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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