King George VI Imprimaturs at $158,500 in Chartwell stamp auction

A magnificent set of King George VI imprimaturs will highlight the latest instalment of the Chartwell Collection stamp auctions, which will be held on September 12 in London.

George VI imprimaturs
The set originates from the National Postal Museum archives

The Chartwell Collection is a legendary collection of stamps assembled by Sir Cyril Humphrey Cripps, which boasts the finest, investment-grade material from Great Britain and the British Empire ever put up for auction. The huge collection has been offered over several sales, and has already seen some impressive results.

The latest auction will feature George VI, Edward VII and Elizabeth II essays, proofs and stamps as we reach the latter part of the collection. The stunning King George imprimaturs will lead, with an estimate of £80,000-100,000.

The set of 15 values spans ½d to one shilling in imperforate blocks of four. Each block is printed on watermarked paper with full original gum and originates from the archives of the National Postal Museum. A truly exhibition quality set - as are most of the lots in the sale - each block boasts evenly balanced margins with fresh, rich colours.

Only one minor fault impairs the set, with the ½d showing a small ink mark on the selvedge, although this in no way affects its extraordinary quality.  

The Elizabeth II section will see a particularly interesting selection of 10 photographic essays, which comprises some of the earliest proposed designs under the current monarch's reign. The most intriguing among the set is a 6d design by MC Farrer-Bell, which is mounted on card and was never adopted for issue.

The remaining nine were all adopted for the final issues and feature a number of alterations that will fascinate modern collectors. The collection will sell with a £6,000-8,000 estimate.

Also featuring in this sale is an extremely rare set of Jersey stamps, which bear the Nazi swastika.

Paul Fraser Collectibles also has a fantastic collection of British and Commonwealth stamps, which features the legendary Tyrian Plum, one of just 12 known to exist.

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