Spink Shreves will sell a 1711 proclamation of Queen Anne that announces the establishment of the foreign section of the British Post Office, as part of its Collector's Series auction on August 15-16 in New York.
The proclamation, the only example in private hands, will be sold with a $20,000-25,000 estimate.
The document was printed by the Assigns of Thomas Newcombe and Henry Hills, and is incredibly important to the development of British postal history. The act to which it pertains revolutionised communications in Great Britain and its territories.
The new act introduced standard rates for the calculation of postal charges in the British Isles, as well as setting out the rates in the colonies. The structure of these rates was almost unchanged until the renowned postal reforms of 1837, which led to the 1840 Penny Black.
The proclamation declares: "...That from and after the First Day of this instant June, there be One General Letter Office and Post Office Established in the City of London, from whence all Letters and Packets may be with speed and expedition sent into any Part of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or to North America, the West Indies, or to any other of Our Dominions or Territories, or to any other Kingdom or Country beyond the Seas; at which said Office all Returns and Answers may be Received."
A full transcription of the document will accompany the sale, revealing that the Post Office also had to pay £700 each week to the Exchequer to "carry on and finish the present war", referring to the war of Spanish succession that lasted for much of Queen Anne's reign.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has some of the world's finest stamps for sale, some of which would not have existed if it wasn't for this historical document. We also have two fantastic Queen Anne signed manuscripts, each of which is a superb and beautiful addition to any collection.