We thought we'd covered every section of the Santa Fe collection which is currently being sold in New York. But tomorrow (January 11) sees a relatively short auction with around 100 lots going under the hammer.
As the auctioneer puts it, however, it is a "compact but exceptional offering of the Middle East". It focuses on British Commonwealth Jordan and Palestine, as well as some offerings from Saudi Arabia.
One lot presents a whole collection of the stamps of British Commonwealth Jordan, dating between 1920 and 1965.
It has been arranged in 10 stock books by one of the foremost experts on the philately of the region, including blocks and some complete sheets, predominantly in mint condition.
Examples of Jordan's first issue include the rare perforation 15x14 2m silver overprint (SG 2a), also double overprint, one albino, numerous "extra dot" and "screw head" varieties, as well as different types of overprint.
Amongst the other sub-section highlight is the 1923 Arab Government of the East issue with numerous inverted and double-printed examples in black and gold.
The extraordinary collection is listed at $50,000, though its catalogue value is certainly much higher than that.
A single lot collection for Palestine is even more impressive. The 1918-42 stamp range was last seen at London 2000, where is achieved a gold medal. Indeed most are still on the original pages (16 frames).
Postal History precedes the issued stamps, with extensive study of E.E.F. Forces Mail (Egyptian Expeditionary Force) Base Army Post Offices, outbound and incoming mail, with interesting censor markings and destinations, French Detachment, Indian Expeditionary Force, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade mail, Light Horse Australian Imperial Force, Prisoner of War Mail, Internee correspondence, Civilian mail (to Chile, Switzerland, United States, Egypt etc.)
It is impossible to summarise the whole collection here. We can only endorse the auctioneer's view that "This single lot can be easily written up again and form the basis for a world-class exhibit."
Collectors interested in stamps of the British Commonwealth (and the sale of the Chartwell collection last year showed just how keen many people are to own them, whether out of interest or as investments) should take a look at the greatest treasure of Hong Kong philately - the 96c olive-bistre block.