Prestige Philately Auction 121 CatalogueLot 146Catalogue by themeFauna - animals
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Displaying 1 - 20 of 150 Lots in Category - Fauna - animals
C of A - Kangaroo Issues
1912 Type 1 (Horizontal Format with the Map Superimposed upon the Royal Standard and Australian Flag) Essay for a 2½d value in bright blue on thick ungummed unwatermarked paper roughly rouletted perce en scie 14½ BW #KE2, excellent colour, well centred, very fresh, minor surface crack at lower-left is evident only on close inspection and in no way affects the very fine appearance, undercatalogued at $75,000 (2004). Ex Dr Abramovitch (whose magnificent collection was dispersed privately by Sydney dealer Max Cohen in the early 1970s). One of the most important items of Australian philately, and offered at auction for the first time. In fact, we are not aware of any Type 1 essay ever having been offered at public auction in Australia. (The last time a Type 1 essay was offered was at the Williamson auction in London in 1981: five different examples were sold as one lot! They were bought by Ray Chapman whose collection was later acquired intact by Australia Post.) The ACSC acknowledges that these five different Type 1's are in the Australia Post Archival Collection. Only four further examples are recorded as being in private hands, and it has been speculated that one of these may have been lost. It can be argued that this 2½d example is the best or most desirable of these. It is one of only two "perforated" monocolour essays in private hands. And it presents most attractively. (It should be noted that the so-called "bicolour" types, in fact, are monocolour designs over which a central vignette in the second colour has been affixed.) THIS ITEM IS OF INCOMPARABLE IMPORTANCE FOR ANYONE INTENDING TO EXHIBIT "KANGAROOS". The origin of the Kangaroo & Map design is still, after 94 years, a highly contentious subject. The ACSC states that the kangaroo motif was adapted from Herman Altmann's prize-winning competition entry entitled "Baldy's Roo" (now thought to be lost). However, in the 1920s, Blamire Young - whose status as "the" designer has now been refuted - asserted in a letter to the Philatelic Society of Victoria that "The kangaroo was mine". As none of Young's commissioned designs has survived, this statement cannot be directly disputed: however, it is notable that Young laid no claim to the development of the progressive essays or final design. The statement in the ACSC that "All these essays were letterpress printed from zinc line-blocks by Rudolph Steel of Melbourne" is generally accepted as accurate. At least some commentators believe that Steel was also responsible for the progressive designs, and there is strong evidence that he "perforated" the perce en scie items. THE ONLY OPPORTUNITY FOR A QUARTER-CENTURY TO ACQUIRE AN EXAMPLE OF THE FIRST PRINTED ESSAYS FOR THE KANGAROO AND MAP STAMPS. While we rarely comment about the estimates in our catalogues, we believe it is appropriate to do so on this occasion. Even five years ago the market for rare Australian stamps was still in its infancy. Extremely rare items changed hands for quite modest prices and it is unlikely that any item could have been sold then for a six-figure sum. However, the dispersal of major collections including those of Colonel Harrie Evans (2001), Kevin Nelson (2002), "Zed" (2003), Greg Pope (2004) and Sir Gawaine Baillie (2005) - none of which included even one Type 1 or Type 2 essay - plus a number of significant properties offered overseas, saw a strengthening and maturing of the market for our rare stamps. The benchmark price was set in 2003 when the famed KGV 2d tete beche pair was sold at auction for the equivalent of almost $230,000. In last year's Baillie sale, two 3d Kangaroo part-imperforate strips sold for $115,000 (plus GST) and $149,500 respectively. Although these are all major pieces of great visual appeal and rarity, it is submitted that none of them is of anywhere near the importance and significance of the essays that introduced Australia's first stamp, the Penny Roo. We believe that these Kangaroo & Map essays are every bit as important to collectors of Australian stamps as is essay and proof material related to Britain's "Penny Black" and the United States' 1847 5c and 10c to their enthusiasts. We have formed the professional opinion that the estimates and associated reserves for the Kangaroo essays in this sale are realistic, responsible, and achievable. In fact, our expectation is that the next generation of collectors will look back and regard these figures as having been remarkably conservative. Our observation that the catalogue values are too low is borne out by the fact that the quotations for individual Type 3 essays were exceeded twice in the Nelson sale, a full two years before the catalogue was even published. This may be a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to acquire these seminal pieces. If you are seriously interested in this field, we encourage you to be bold. As the late and great Robson Lowe is credited with saying: "The quality (and ownership) will remain, long after the price has been forgotten".
1912 Type 2 (Vertical Format with Two Value Tablets, and Tasmania Omitted) Essay for the 1d value in dull red imperforate on ungummed unwatermarked paper, very fine and attractive, under- catalogued at $75,000 (2004). Ex Derrick Ray. The Type 2 essay is even rarer than the Type 1. The ACSC records only five examples - all different values - of which one is in the Australia Post Archival Collection, and one is believed to be lost. This leaves a mere three examples in private hands, of which only this example is imperforate. The other two values are in major collections, at least one of which is believed unlikely ever to be sold. The vertical format was less cluttered and better suited to stamp production, but the map of Australia was very crudely drawn and Tasmania, the sixth State, was omitted. Further modification was thus inevitable. Being the 1d value, and in red - a direct forerunner to Australia's first stamp, the "Penny Roo" - this example is considered by us to be the most important of all the essays. It is not being melodramatic to suggest that this may be the only opportunity for the current generation of collectors to acquire an example of a Type 2 essay.
1912 Type 3 (Map Redrawn, Tasmania Added and Right-Hand Value Tablet Removed) Essay for the 1d in bistre-brown BW #KE28B Line Perf 12½ on ungummed unwatermarked paper, excellent centring, very fine, undercatalogued at $20,000 (2004). The only perforated Type 3 1d essay in private hands and again, as a direct forerunner of the issued "Penny Roo", considered by us to be among the most important of all the Type 3 essays, along with the imperforate 1d in red. It is significant that, unlike the Type 1 & Type 2 essays which were perforated by Steel, the Type 3 versions were definitely perforated by Cooke. The Type 3 essay was intended to be the final product and was widely circulated to the press for comment, which was almost universally scathing. Royalists objected to the absence of the King's portrait: others made derisory comments about the choice of the kangaroo, which was regarded by graziers as a pest that should be exterminated, or the tuft of grass that was dubbed a "rabbit". Compared to the Types 1 & 2 essays, Type 3 essays are relatively "common". They were produced in significant numbers for distribution to newspaper editors (believed imperforate only) and the ACSC records almost 40 singles (of which only 12 are noted as perforated) and seven sheetlets as being in private hands. Despite this seeming abundance, only a few examples have been offered at auction in the last decade. Kevin Nelson's collection included the perforated 2d in purple BW #KE29A and 10/- in violet & brown #KE32B, that sold for $20,160 and $25,760 respectively at our auction of 3/5/2002. Both went into major long-term collections. A good indication of how well-held Type 3 essays are is that neither Greg Pope nor Sir Gawaine Baillie (who was passionate about proof material) was ever able to acquire an example.
1912 1d red Die II final colour trial proof in red as BW #3PP(2)B Perf 12½ on gummed unwatermarked paper, large-part o.g., Cat $7500+. [Following the public outcry against the Type 3 essays, further design modifications were suggested. The only recorded examples are in the Australia Post Archives: colour photocopies are included with this lot. Prime Minister Andrew Fisher then moved things on by instructing Postmaster-General Frazer to supply final proofs for his approval. Cooke was apparently unable to locate the colour trials he had previously supplied - these being the items listed in the ACSC as BW #3PP(2)A to L. He therefore again printed proofs of the 1d only, in red. It is believed that only one strip of 4 - not a block of 4 as previously surmised - was prepared, of which two examples have survived, this item being the better of them. They were discovered in an envelope endorsed in Fisher's hand: "Important. New stamps. Andrew Fisher 4/9/12". The envelope was formerly on loan to Australia Post. These final proofs are produced to a higher standard than the earlier colour trials - perhaps Cooke's last-ditch effort to save the project? - with very sharp impressions and on better quality paper. Like the earlier colour trials, they exhibit small dots of colour within the inscriptions. It should be noted that the small(?) plate used to produce these proofs was not used to print the issued stamps]
C of A KANGAROOS - 1st Watermark
½d green to 1/- emerald complete, the 6d marginal from top of the sheet, variable centring but all very fresh, unmounted. Advertised retail $2500+. (10)
½d green gutter block of 18 (6x3) from the base of the upper pane, unmounted, Cat $288++. Impressive piece.
1d red Die II Plate F 'JBC' Monogram block of 12 (6x2) #3zf, unusually well centred, unmounted. Ex Greg Pope. [Kevin Nelson's similar block with two upper units mounted sold for $1568 on 3/5/2002]
1d red Die IIA Plate G Cracked Electro Late State BW #4(G)ia, cds cancel. The so-called "Big Crack", extending from the top frame to the bottom frame.
2d grey 'JBC' Monogram block of 6 (3x2) BW #5zb, a light crease affects the last unit, one normal unit very lightly mounted otherwise unmounted. Ex Greg Pope.
2½d indigo block of 4, the first unit with light diagonal crease, unmounted, Cat $360++. Advertised retail $500 as singles.
2½d indigo Plate 2 'JBC' Monogram strip of 3 BW #9z, the first unit with Retouch to Right of Value Circle #9(2)i, Cat $1750.
3d olive Die II BW #12B, exceptional centring, unmounted, Cat $550.
3d olive BW #12A/B marginal block of 8 (4x2) from the right of the left-hand pane on the upper plate comprising units [39-42/45-48], units 45-47 are all Die II resulting in three Die I-II pairs BW #12c, exceptional centring, unmounted, Cat $3250++. A magnificent piece!
3d olive-green (BW #13G) Plate 2 'CA' Monogram block of 6 BW #13zb, a couple of minor bends, the upper units lightly mounted & the lower units unmounted, Cat $1500 (for mounted strip of 3); unpriced unmounted. [** CORRECTED DESCRIPTION and REDUCED ESTIMATE/RESERVE **]
3d olive Die II (BW #12B) Plate 1 No Monogram block of 6 (3x2) from the left-hand pane BW #12zd, well centred, a couple of tonespots at the base of the 4th & 5th units, two units very lightly mounted otherwise unmounted, Cat $5000. Ex Kilfoyle.
3d olive (BW #12B) Plate 1 No Monogram strip of 3 from the left-hand pane comprising three Die II units BW #12zd, Cat $5000 (mounted); unpriced unmounted. A key item. [This is significantly undervalued relative to the corresponding strip from the right-hand pane which is all Die I units yet is still catalogued at $4000. We note that single Die II units are catalogued at twice the Die I units, and often sell for more than that differential]
4d yellow-orange BW #15C marginal example from base of the sheet, unmounted, Cat $600 mint but unpriced unmounted.