Rare stamps never before seen at Australian auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 23rd November, 2021

A four-day auction covering stamps, postal history and notes, and sporting memorabilia by Melbourne-based Abacus Auctions will begin at 11am on December 1 and end on December 4 at 29 Hardner Road, Mount Waverley.

Australian stamps, of which the ‘Artemis’ Kangaroo and Map Rarities contained in a special deluxe hard bound catalogue is the highlight, leads auction items that number almost 2470 lots.

This catalogue contains an impressive array of spectacular Kangaroo stamps ever offered at one auction – many never before available for purchase in Australia.

With the 150 lots featured carrying a total estimate of almost $2 million, many hail from well-known collections formed by such legendary philatelists as Arthur Gray and Stuart Hardy, and from those formed by captains of industry and members of the British aristocracy.

Typical is the iconic rarity Kangaroo 21/2d with a missing 1 in the fraction (lot 81) that carries a catalogue estimate of $20,000.

Another is the Kangaroo £2 Third Watermark ‘Harrison’ imprint (lot 128), of which only three blocks are recorded, for a $125,000 estimate.

The General Sale of Australian & Worldwide Stamps, Postal History & Picture Postcards – from 11am on Thursday December 2 – contains further Australian rarities from the Artemis collection, such as the KGV 1/2d orange ‘OS’ Overprint Inverted (lot 298) and the KGV 71/2d block Imperforate at Left.

Within this sale is an exceptional section of Australian colonies featuring an extensive range of South Australian departmental overprints.

The Rest of the World section contains a selection of New Guinea ‘GRI’ and ‘NWPI’ overprints including different monogram forms of the Kangaroo 21/2d and a £1 abc strip of three.

There also are Pacific Island, Asia (notably China) Empire and Foreign single stamps, sets and groups.

Friday December 3 concentrates on Postal Notes from the Jack Harwood Collection, War Saving Certificates, posters and other items.

Of particular note is the only known complete set of New Zealand 1886-1900 Postal Notes manuscript “Specimen”.

The day also involves offerings of militaria, coins and banknotes, along with historical documents (such as lot 1500 – a drawing of the convict hulk “York” from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich), natural history fossils and meteorites, and collectables like cigarette and trade cards.

The final auction day, Saturday December 4, is exclusively Sporting Memorabilia and includes one of the finest boxing collections ever assembled in Australia.

The collection includes signed photographs, autographed boxing gloves, letters, programs, tickets and a horseshoe (lot 1805).

Made by New Zealand (from Timaru) blacksmith Bob Fitzsimmons, who in 1897 became world heavyweight champion in the first fight ever to be filmed, it is one of the highlights from a collection that includes items from a who’s who of  boxing greats.

The collection features items from a long list of champions including Muhammad Ali, Henry Armstrong, Max Baer, James Braddock, Tommy Burns, James Braddock, James Corbett, Les Darcy, Jack Dempsey, Roberto Duran, Jeff Fenech, Joe Frazier, Rocky Graziano, Jack Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson.

One of the lots (1827) is a signed photograph of Jack Johnson who in 1908 won his world heavyweight champion title in Sydney.

Among the cricket memorabilia is a painting of former Australian Test cricket captain and legendary TV cricket commentator the late Richie Benaud (lot 2032).

Australian Rules Football is represented through such items as the Sporting Globe’s Football Annual 1954 (lot 2114) and horse racing through a framed black and white photograph of trainer Tommy Woodcock with his legendary charge Phar Lap in 1930 (lot 2405).

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