Over 600 philatelic lots have come up for sale today in Spink's British Empire Stamps & Postal History auction, in London.
There are a number of interesting pieces, including a cover estimated at £5,000-6,000. It was sent to the Eastern Telegraph Company from Mombassa, in British East Africa, using eight British Indian stamps (seven of them initialled B.E.A.) near the end of the 19th century.
An 1860 letter from Melbourne to a Luke Hutchinson of South Shields, Durham with six perforated one penny stamps, all cancelled by hand, is the only known example of this particular cachet with a Victorian Express printed company logo on the back.
There is a beautiful vertical pair of Fijian stamps, each with "Twelve Cents" and "VR" printed onto the six pence rose coloured originals. Their colour and freshness is outstanding, and one has most of its original gum. They are estimated at £5,000-6,000.
The top lot by some distance however, is a Ugandan cover dating from 1895 with manuscript surcharges on its plain stamps. It is the only one of its kind in Ugandan philately.
The cover is addressed to a Rev W S Crabtee and marked "1 box sent by canoe." The three stamps, which are printed with just "U G" in the corners and "10" in the centre, have been amended, with one changed in pen to a five and signed by "EM" (the Reverend Ernest Millar). It is estimated at £40,000-50,000.
In total, a sprinkling of exceptional pieces should make for an outstanding sale. We will update you with the auction results as they become available.