SPINK LONDON | Collectors are ready
and waiting for the next instalment of the David Pitts Collection
after the inaugural sale in October 2016 which featured his
extensive British Africa section. The wait will not be long for
more of David's top quality material as the next sale will take
place in London on the 24th January 2017. The catalogue
is already available online and in print for our avid stamp
collectors. This is the second in a series of auctions dedicated to
the remarkable collection of British Empire postal history and
stamps of the British Empire, but is the first of two sales centred
on the Caribbean.
This first sale offers a wonderful
range of early letters and handstamps for the postal historians,
together with Great Britain stamps used in the islands, with strong
sections of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Virgin
Islands. Rare handstamps abound in these sections.
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
to 1966. 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
The most important item in this
auction, and arguably in the whole of the Pitts collections, is the
British Guiana 1851 "Cottonreel" 2c. rose on medium wove paper,
considered by many to be among the world's greatest philatelic
The example offered in the Pitts
sale is by far the finest of the four recorded singles of this
stamp, the other copies being three pairs which are known on
The history of these fascinating
stamps can be traced all the way back to June 1850 with a Post
Office notice stating that stamps of 4c., 8c. and 12c. were to be
issued, but it was not until February 1851 that a further Post
Office notice made mention of a 2c. value being issued. This value
was to be used for the delivery of mail within Georgetown. The new
2c. rate was to commence on 1 March and any mail not bearing the
new 2c. value was to be charged 8c. upon delivery.
All stamps from this "Cottonreel"
issue were produced at the office of the Royal Gazette. The frames
by pieces of printer's brass rule, bevelled at one edge and blunt
at the other. After each piece was bent it was soldered at the
junction so as to make a tube. Pieces of printer's type were fitted
to form the inscriptions and value. The nickname "Cottonreel" is
derived from their resemblance to the well-printed labels which
appeared at the ends of wooden reels of cotton.
When the stamps were issued most
were cut to the design of the circular surround, a quite common
Victorian way of cutting to the design shape, and when posted they
were initialled by various members of the postal authorities, the
example offered here being "J.B.S.", those of J.B. Smith, Clerk
Imperial Department of Post Office.
The example offered in the
forthcoming auction has a wonderful pedigree having once resided in
the Count von Ferrary collection. It was then in the Champion
collection before being owned by an American collector who offered
it for sale in Spink's 2006 Washington International Stamp Show
auction, where it sold for the phenomenal price of $365,000.
The stamp is offered in the Pitts
sale catalogue with an estimate of £200,000-250,000
Lot 61, estimated: £200,000 -
The second, which will follow later
in 2017, will be the Windward Islands group, most noticeably
Trinidad, together with Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Falkland
Following on from this auction will
be the first of two sales , scheduled for April 2017, of Bermuda
which will feature Provisional surcharges, Queen Victoria
varieties, Handstamped Datestamps, Dock and Caravel issues, King
George V and VI Keyplate issues and other miscellaneous categories.
The second Bermuda sale will take place in October 2017 and with
feature the international award-winning display collection which
will include the earliest recorded cover from Bermuda in 1617.
There are also wonderful postal history covers and handstamps, no
less than five of the 1848-61 Postmasters' Stamps, the famous
"Moncrieff" cover and much besides.
Clients interested in finding out
further details about the sale should contact David Parsons:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7563 4072 | Email:
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