Rare Asian stamps conquer Australia in $500,000 Prestige Philately sale



Melbourne auction house Prestige Philately reported excellent results for their sale of Len Colgan's collection of Siam/Thailand held on Friday June 24. More than 100 bidders took part with the total price of $507,000 being made, making this by far the best result for an Asia-only sale in Australia.

The highest price of the day was $47,000, paid for an 1886 cover to Hong Kong. Covers franked with stamps of the First Issue are very elusive and the unusual destination made this item even more desirable. Estimated at $16,000 the starting price on the book was $34,000 but a determined bidder beat the competition.

Clearly at the moment, stamp sales are doing particularly well, what with Asian markets becoming ever more involved in buying and selling, and landmark events like the recent Chartwell Collection sale at Spink breaking records. If you are thinking of starting a collection, or looking for a great alternative investment, then stamps are definitely the way forward.


This rare cover to Hong Kong crushed its estimate to make $47,000

Len Colgan had concentrated on the issues of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and these occupied more than half the catalogue. The five Waterlow sample sheets were popular, selling for an average of $2,924 each.

The numerous 1889-99 Surcharges are a challenging but fascinating field. The 60 lots offered included some of the great rarities of Thai philately. A superb unmounted example of the 1889-90 '1' on 3a Type 5 with 'different Siamese characters' sold for $12,906.

A complete sheet of the '2 Atts.' on 64a Including the rare Type B which occurred only once in the setting of 100 was a relative bargain at $4,916. The famous 'Battambang Provisionals' included one of only four recorded examples of the 10 atts on 2 atts on 3 atts. A highly contentious stamp, it sold for $8,603 against its estimate of $5,343.


Another one that beat its estimate, this 'Battanbang Provisional' made $8,063

Another high flyer was a used example of the 1909 '6 Satang' on 3 atts error of value. Estimated at $641, it soared to $5,162, three times the catalogue value.

The Rama V covers provided some of the most intense bidding in the sale. Many items went for more than double the estimates, and several registered items did much better than that. A beautiful 1893 cover to Switzerland was pushed to $8,296, an 1894 cover to France sold for $6,760 and an 1898 cover to England with a superb 'AR' handstamp made $5,901.

However, all these results were made to look quite modest by a selection of 43 postmarks on stamps from the First Issue. Estimated at $855, Lot 185 attracted five book bids above $3,207, and opened to the room at $6,681. But this was just the start of the real battle between three bidders who slugged it out until the hammer finally dropped at $18,441 or almost 22 times estimate.


Valued at a meagre $428, this cover blitzed its estimate to make $9,548

Another popular postmark lot was 47 items from the northern Malayan provinces that were ceded to Great Britain in 1909. The estimate of $850 was dwarfed by the final price of $7,475. A group of three covers from the period of Thai Occupation of Malaya during World War II romped to $9,548 making the $428 estimate look ridiculous.


Join our readers in over 200 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today or download our free Collectors News app for your iPhone



Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock