Abolition of Slavery stamps deemed 'too risky to issue' come to auction



2015-06-26 12:12:41

Abolition of Slavery stamps deemed 'too risky to issue' come to auction

Spink Shreves is offering the fascinating errors and rarities of the Mahfood Collection of Jamaica

Spink Shreves, like its sister company in London, is not wary about holding major sales in January - in fact it has three at the ready: The Black Empress of Canada, The Trillium Collection and The Joseph M Mahfood Collection of Jamaica.

We'll bring you all three in good time, but we'll take the last one first in the form of the Mahfood Collection, if only because it's led by one of our favourite inverts.

Joseph M. Mahfood, a successful businessman in Jamaica, and one of the country's most prominent philatelists, spent decades building what is considered to be one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Jamaica ever formed.

So it's an exciting moment for philatelists of the country as Spink Shreves is offering - at unreserved public auction - this outstanding collection on January 28, 2011 in New York.

The Mahfood Collection will be of exceptional interest to all collectors of this popular island nation - being especially appealing to specialists who have been waiting patiently for a truly comprehensive collection to come to the auction market.

The Collection features: Pre-stamp and stampless covers, Great Britain used in Jamaica, specialised Jamaica general issues both on and off cover, extensive essays & proofs , original artist's material for modern stamp designs, numeral obliterators and temporary rubber date stamps.

Dummer Packet Dummer Packet

Three lots stand out: Firstly there are four Dummer Packet letters to London. For those unfamiliar with the history: In August 1701, a proposal was made to the British government by Edmund Dummer, Surveyor-General of the Navy, and operator of a line of packets between Falmouth, Corunna and Lisbon, to initiate a packet service to the West Indies.

In 1702, "An Act for Establishing a General Post Office for all Her Majesty's Dominions" was passed. With the passage of this Act, Mr. Dummer was authorized to appoint his own Postmasters in the West Indies and the service was inaugurated.

However, only four of the first twelve monthly packets completed the voyage. He lost so many ships by shipwreck and capture that the service failed in 1711. He died bankrupt in London in 1713. Here, the letters are expected to bring up to $7,500. Very few survived,whichmakesthem strong investments.

Secondly, there is a 1920 $1 Orange-yellow and red-orange, Frame Inverted single stamp, an impressive bottom sheet-margin mint example of this sought-after rarity, excellent centring, rich fresh colours, original gum, relatively lightly hinging.

Jamaican frame-inverted stamp Jamaican frame-inverted stamp

It is an extremely fine and choice example of one of the rarest errors in the whole British Commonwealth and is listed at $30,000. Those interested in great British Commonwealth rarities may wish to take a look at this extremely rare Cayman Islands surcharge.

Rivalling the attractive error for top lot status is a very desirable example of the unissued 1921 6d Abolition of Slavery stamp.

Abolition of Slavery stamp Abolition of Slavery stamp

This stamp was printed as part of the 1919-1921 Pictorial series and depicts the scene in the main square at Spanish Town on 1st August, 1833, when the then Governor, Sir Lionel Smith, read the "Declaration of the Abolition of Slavery".

The governor at the time of issue, Sir Leslie Probyn, feared the stamp's subject, the Abolition of Slavery, might be controversial and ordered all copies of the stamp destroyed. Only four single stamps (excluding specimens) are still in private hands.

This example is also expected to sell for $30,000 in Spink Shreves auction, which takes place in New York on January 28.

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