Chartwell Collection seahorse 'stage four' proofs make $177,940

A superb collection of four 1912 seahorse postage stamp proofs from Great Britain was the undoubted star of part six of the Chartwell Collection sale in London.

The four proofs, one in each of the four proposed colours for the four different denominations, sold for £110,000 on May 3.

Each of the four examples, in carmine, brown, green and indigo, was said to be in fine condition, and mounted on thick card. 

Chartwell Seahorse
That hoof needs shading – the green
specimen of the £110,000 lot

The specimens come from stage four of the trials for the much-loved seahorse stamps. As such, they feature added shading to Britannia's foot and dress, while the darkest of the three seahorses has received additional shading.

The horse's foot has remained unshaded, a development that would occur in stage five of the trials.

The lot had been acquired from the collection of H Shaida in 1993.

Seahorse stamps are in great demand among philatelists due to their crossover appeal, with George V, British stamp and seahorse stamp collectors all vying for the best examples.

This is excellent news for those buyers with an eye on future price increases.

The auction also featured a grey-blue example from the seahorse trials. The very fine example, backed on card, sold for £18,000. It too had previously resided with H Shaida.

The past five auctions of the Chartwell Collection have brought several highlights. Take a look at our retrospective of the 2011 auctions here.

Check back here soon for more from the May 3 auction.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has its own superb collection of British stamps here.

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