Rare stamp auction gives Mossgreen's versatility a boost

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 23rd February, 2016

Since Gary Watson joined the Mossgreen team last year, stamps and postal history items have played an increasingly important role in the company’s auction setup.

The former Prestige Philately owner has brought enormous experience and expertise to bear in this field as Mossgreen seeks to become Australia’s most versatile and premier art, decorative arts, sporting memorabilia and collectables auction house.

The forthcoming Australian Rarities and Stamp and Postal History auctions from 11am on Thursday February 25 and Friday February 26 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale will be a further step in cementing this position.

Introduced to the market by Prestige Philately, auctions of Australian rare stamps ran between 2003 and 2010 before clients became tired of the concept.

Then in late 2013, a vendor approached the company to sell a small number of top end Australian stamps that became known as “Australian Rarities from the Lionheart Collection”.

The sale was held in May 2014 and its relevance demonstrated by the fact that more than 85 per cent of the lots went to new homes.

Although it is a first for Mossgreen, the 11am February 25 sale is in fact Part Two of the Lionheart Collection.

The collector (who has the resources to fully enjoy his hobby) has a particular liking for multiples – and a far greater interest in the front of the stamp than the back.

This sale includes a strong selection of high value multiples, philatelically extremely important despite the fact the wider market still has to adapt to the notion that blocks of stamps should be worth much more than a single specimen.

Fine used stamps extremely difficult to obtain is another area with which the collector market continues to grapple.

It is yet to recognise the fact they should attract an appropriate premium.

Used multiples are even more poorly regarded as evinced by the relatively low catalogue estimates placed an 1854 Black Swan vertical pair and an 1859 First Roulettes block of four.

At the other end of the scale, a one pound King Edward VII irregular compound perforated stamp carries an estimate of $20,000.

This sale also includes several covers of distinction, notably the parcel tag with a complete set of the Commonwealth of Australia Watermark High Values, the exceedingly rare KGVI 5½d Stamped-To-Order Registration Envelope and the remarkably early 1838 entire letter from South Australia. 

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