Opportunities like this come infrequently

The Stamp Man

The Stamp Man

2020-08-25 10:50:18

As much of the world makes attempts to return to some form of “new normal”, one thing remains clear…

The rare stamp market has moved lock stock and barrel online during lockdown. And, I believe that’s where it's staying.

Surprisingly, buoyant bidding activity and some record realisations in recent online auctions gives us much confidence in the future of the market for rare postage stamps.

During lockdown, we’ve seen new collectors joining the party for the first time, old collectors deciding now is a good time to rekindle their past passion and investors getting involved looking for somewhere less volatile to park a proportion of their wealth.

I am therefore delighted to present to you our August online rare postage stamps auction catalogue.

Opportunities to acquire the key rarities featured in this auction come infrequently. I would go so far as to say it is the highest quality collection of rarities we have ever featured in an online auction.

Remember, it is not just about rarity. What makes the stamps featured in this auction so special is their condition. The small selection of 76 lots represents those rarities of a premium quality hardly ever seen.

And finally… the reserves in this sale are very reasonable so there is always the chance you will secure a top grade stamp rarity at a fraction of its normal retail market value.

To bid on any lot featured in the catalogue, simply click on the link against each lot number, which will take you through to the online bidding platform.


Enjoy bidding and if you need any help placing bids or more information on any lots, do not hesitate to contact us, either by e-mail at info@justcollecting.com or phone on +44(0)1534 639998.

5★Auction Lots you will want to win

All 76 auction lots are stunners. As always, there are a few which stand out even more than the rest…

I have picked out for you my 5 favourite rarities in the sale across a range of price points.

If you are fortunate enough to succeed in winning any of these rarities at the auction estimate price, you will have done very well indeed.

Their quality should dictate a premium to normal market values, not a discount.

I wish you the best of luck…

Under £500

First up is an unusual printing error from King George V’s reign in the best condition I have ever seen…

Great Britain King George V 1934 1d Scarlet, SG440b

Lower Estimate: £255 (74% discount to SG catalogue value)

Bid Now


 ★ These were the first British stamps printed in photogravure where photographic images were printed with the help of mechanised etching plates

★ The two-toned shading on these stamps give the designs an incredible three-dimensional look, which was an amazing technical achievement at the time

★ This example is a very scarce printing variety with the stamp design printed on the gummed side of the paper

★ It is in the finest quality you could possibly find being unmounted mint, well centred and in fresh pristine condition

★ The last time I handled an example of this stamp, I sold it for £750 and that was a mounted mint example

Under £1,000

This historically significant British Empire rarity was unsold from our last auction. It makes no sense to me why it has not found a buyer and now at a much lower reserve price it is ridiculously undervalued…


South Africa Cape of Good Hope - 1900 6d on 2d green and carmine, type 1 (seriffed) surcharge "Mafeking 6d Bechuanaland Protectorate Besieged", position 4 of the setting, SG8

Lower Estimate: £900 (70% discount to SG catalogue value)

Bid Now


★ This stamp was issued during the siege of the city of Mafeking and marks an important historical event. The lifting of the siege provided a critical morale boost to the struggling British during the Second Boer War.

★ It is a major rarity in such fine condition and a real treat to find a mint example with large part original gum.

★ There are many forgeries of the Mafeking overprints, many of which were brought home by soldiers returning from the Boer War. You can purchase this superior quality example with complete peace of mind as it is accompanied with a 2015 British Philatelic Association (BPA) independent certificate of authenticity.

★ The market for African stamp rarities has been notably very strong in recent months with many auction realisations being at multiples to estimated prices. It is anomalous this major rarity did not sell last time, and I fully expect this to be resolved in this sale. 

★ As the stamp is in premium condition, its full retail valuation, based on SG catalogue, is £3,000

Under £2,000

My next recommendation is as good as it gets. It is a defining stamp in terms of printing and design quality.

It is perhaps even more defining because of what it represented at its time of issue as a miniature piece of propaganda portraying Britain’s strength and defiance during World War I…

Great Britain King George V "Seahorses" 1915 10s Deep blue, SG411

Lower Estimate: £1,225 (67% discount to SG catalogue value)


★ The Seahorses stamp issue was Britain’s most successful as they were in circulation longer than any other British high-value stamp for 26 years from 1913 to 1939.

★ The deep blue shade is one of the most difficult to find and I have always believed is the most visually appealing and vibrant shade which presents the design to best effect

★ A very fine quality example, well centred, beautifully fresh and unused with original gum

 ★ The Seahorses stamp issue is probably the most collected from Great Britain after the penny black

★ The SG catalogue value for mounted mint is £3,750. This premium quality example is very lightly hinged and, in all respects, presents itself as SG catalogue quality or above.

Under £5,000

If you are a philatelic connoisseur, you will love this. It manages to impress from every angle…

Great Britain 1862 6d Lilac Plate 4 (Watermark Inverted), SG85a.

Lower Estimate: £4,950 (62% discount to SG catalogue value)


★ The 6d lilac surface printed stamps replaced the ineffective embossed stamp issues. They included four check letters rather than two making postal forgery more difficult as Great Britain continued to lead innovation in early postal development.

★ Surface printed stamps are difficult to find in “fine” condition and this is a “very fine” condition grade philatelic rarity in mint, fresh condition with original gum

★ This is not the standard 1862 6d lilac issue. It is an even scarcer inverted watermark variety of this classic Victorian stamp.

★ It is made extremely rare because it is a positional multiple corner marginal imperforate block of four

★ The SG catalogue value for a single example is £3,250, giving it a catalogue value of at least £13,000. That price excludes the expected premium as a much rarer corner block of four.

Over £5,000

I find it hard to fathom that this will be the third time I have recommended what is one of the world’s great stamp rarities. It appeared in but failed to sell at our last two auctions.

I know this is the nature of the beast though…

Sometimes, the right buyers are just not present and wonderful philatelic pieces are left on the shelf.

Your opportunity now is that our vendor is motivated to sell and has lowered the reserve to a level where, frankly, it would be a steal.

This is a premier philatelic item and is worthy of a much higher price and recognition. I hope to see it get the recognition it deserves in this its final chance to sell at our auction…

British Guiana 1850-51 12c black and indigo "Cotton Reel", type 'C' with a thin frame, SG6

Lower Estimate: £8,250 (82% discount to SG catalogue value)


★ One of the great stamp rarities of the British Commonwealth from British Guiana, famous for holding the record for the world’s most valuable stamp – the 1c Magenta, which realised $9.5m at auction in 2014

★ The renowned “Cotton Reel” stamps are named for their resemblance to the base of a cotton reel. It is not the most attractive stamp in the world, yet it is considered by the discerning collector as a thing of primitive charm.

★ The average condition of British Guiana Cotton Reel stamps is poor, including the most valuable one, the 1c Magenta. This 12c example is in significantly better condition than most other examples you will find.

★ As such a valuable and important rarity of the world, it comes with a clean independent certification of authenticity issued by the Friedl Expert Committee in New York.

★ In 2017, a British Guiana 2c rose stamp from the 1850-51 “Cotton Reel” issue appeared at auction and sold for £180,000.

Opportunity Knocks but once

The combination of premium grade rarities and low reserve prices presents an obvious opportunity to the canny buyer.

There are only 76 special rarities in this auction.

In my opinion, every single one of them is worth much more than their reserve prices.

I strongly recommend you place your bids.

If you would rather avoid the hassle of bidding online, just send us details of the lot numbers and your maximum bids and we will bid on your behalf.

To leave your bids, simply reply to this email or call +44(0)1534 639998 and we can take your bids over the phone.

The auction runs online for 3 weeks closing on 10 September at 7pm.

Don’t miss out!

Kind regards 

Mike Hall CEO Just Collecting Limited

PS. PLEASE BE AWARE!!! If you intend to place bids above £7,000 in value, to comply with recent regulatory changes in the European Union, you will need to go through an online verification process. You can go through this simple verification process in advance by verifying your account in the page within the link below:


Alternatively, we can complete this verification process for you on your behalf, if you let us know. 

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