Published: August 15, 2000
Kelleher and Superior Enjoy Bidding Bonanzas
BOSTON, MASS. – The 607th auction for Daniel F. Kelleher Co., Inc., was a July 25-26 sale that included the Britannia and Empire Collections. The Empire, actually a collection of collections, was formed over more than 60 years and many of the specialized sections contained important scarce varieties.
Based on the lot descriptions that were provided on the Web without illustrations, collectors, dealers, resellers, and agents came from around the world to view and to bid in person. More than 2,000 printed catalogs were mailed internationally.
Firm vice-president Larry Richmond described the sale as “one of the best auctions in our history. The packed gallery included more than 20 bidders who flew in, many of whom came from overseas. The phones were buzzing throughout the two days, and bids poured in by regular mail and email.”
Of the more than 400 bidders represented in person or through phone, mail, email or agents, there were 300 successful bidders, including many new clients.
Richmond went on to explain the vital role the Internet can play in a major public auction. “Where most lots usually sell to a relatively predictable first layer of dealers and collectors, who then set about dispersing much of the material, we went much deeper into the collector and dealer population, reaching buyers two or three rungs down the distribution ladder. It was quite an experience.”
The event realized more than $2.7 million, with most of that total coming from the collection lots. The leading lot in the sale was the Britannia collection, an award-winning presentation of Nineteenth Century British “Abnormals,” so called because they were intended for official approval and were printed through a surface printing process instead of the usual engraved process. But the few stamps that had been so printed somehow found their way into the regular stock for public distribution. There are 12 different confirmed “Abnormals”, ranging in quantity from five to 25 of each, and the Britannia contained 11 of them. With a presale estimate of $80,000, the bidding came from far and wide and the collection sold for $97,750.
The Empire collection comprised more than 500 specialized albums and custom binders with important and valuable stamps and specialized varieties. British Africa examples, including Specimens and specialized material (est $7,000), realized $14,950; British America stamps, 1850-1982, no Canada or provinces, many well centered with original gum, including high values (est $7,500), sold for $12,650; British Europe and Oceania examples, including extensive Australia (est $12,500), fetched $20,700; and British Oceania and Borneo stamps, including scarce varieties (est $2,500), rang up $5,750.
Specialized Niger Coast Protectorate stamps, 1892-1900, a seldom-offered area (est $750), sold for $4,025; South Africa, an extremely important and specialized study (est $10,000), brought $16,100; Chinese stamps, Nineteenth Century to 1961, including special deliveries and postage dues (est $12,000) sold for $19,550; and other Chinese examples, including 19 pages of elusive Chinese Local Posts (est $3,000), realized $4,312.
French Colonies stamps, three custom albums packed with important singles, multiples, errors, varieties, and usages (est $4,000), realized $8,625; French African examples, three volumes from Nineteenth Century through 1958, mostly well centered with original gum (est $10,000), sold for $19,550; and French African used stamps, including some on cover and scarce cancellations (est $6,000), fetched $12,650.
German States stamps, a massive collection of some of the most desirable stamps in the world, (est $20,000), sold for $23,000; German States examples, primarily unused, many with original gum (est $7,500), brought $12,650; and Greece stamps, very extensive on custom pages, including shade, cancel, perforation and other varieties, some unlisted (est $8,000), reached $9,775.
Honduras examples, a specialized collection of Air Post Official stamps, with most varieties clearly identified (est $2,500) realized $5,175; Japan Used in Korea stamps, an important collection recording the postal history of the 1905-1941 era (est $1,500), sold for $2,070; and two Sicilies, a collection including important identified forgeries reference material (est $7,000), garnered $11,500.
Prices quoted include a 15 percent buyers premium.
Previously, in Beverly Hills, Calif., an active floor of private collectors and dealers competed at Superior Galleries’ Summer Stamp Auction, conducted July 17-19. During the United States section, an 8-cent “Bluish Paper” stamp brought $37,375 from a private collector on the floor.
United States booklets realized above-board prices, with BK20 bringing $2,185 and BK reaching $1,840. Some overprints from China sold triple their catalogued value in spirited bidding. In the British Commonwealth section, a 1992 Runnymede Library Invert of Canada stamp, of which 25 copies are known, realized over $7,000 from one bidder. Many of the large and small worldwide topical collection lots exceeded estimates.
“The collection must have contained a hidden treasure,” noted a private collector on the floor about a Scott International stamp that brought over $900 against an estimate of $350/500 in the catalogue.
“The auction reflected an array of rdf_Descriptions from different countries worldwide. Many of these are an important record to our world history. This auction was a truly special one,” said Alan Lipkin, the auction house’s stamp director.
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