There have been some wonderful stamp collections offered for sale this year, but there's no doubt that the Chartwell collection is the greatest.
We've already published a Top Five of the greatest results for the sale as a mark of its extraordinary depth. But today, at their Chartwell: Edward VII of Great Britain Essays, Proof and Issued Stamps, Spink has seen another extraordinary stamp sale take place: an exceptionally rare 2d Tyrian Plum went under the hammer for £102,000 (approx. $159,500).
There were several colour trials of the 1910 stamp on offer in the sale, and these generated interest too, but it was the example which was actually prepared for use which excited collectors.
A vast number of 2d Tyrian Plums were initially printed - one hundred thousand sheets, totaling 24,000,000 stamps emerged from the presses - and yet hardly any remain.
Almost all were destroyed without being issued when Edward VII died, with only 12 now believed to exist (three of which are in The Royal Philatelic Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II).
The example offered in the Chartwell Collection was a lower right corner example with full sheet margins. With beautifully fresh colour and a very large part of the original gum, it shows a colour dot in right margin.
There are a couple of minor flaws in the example: a tear in the bottom margin and a small mark on Edward's cheek near his earlobe, but it is one of the finest examples of this exceptionally rare stamp.
Many British collectors will be disappointed to have missed out on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to own an example.
Well, twice-in-a-generation… Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering another 2d Tyrian Plum for £85,000.
The Tyrian Plum has performed remarkably well in recent years as an increasing number of investors are turning to tangible assets, like rare stamps.
The Great Britain Concise Catalogue listed the stamp at £65,000 in 2007, rising to £100,000 in 2011 - an increase of 8.99% pa, in a period of global recession.
If any more assurance about the ongoing value of this stamp issue is needed, we are offering our example with our unique 120% guarantee.