Rare Bull's Head stamps charge into Essex's auction, this weekend

Essex Stamps' latest sale is set for August 28, 2011, with more lots than usual, and probably the most diverse they've offered to date, with a wide range of interesting worldwide material.

This is led by Steve Hiscocks's Telephone and Telegraphs collection, as well as a large 1920s accumulation in little glassine packets and offered in country lots.

In the Great Britain section they are offering an investment holding of penny blacks, unusual Mulready Advertising envelopes and Lundy.

The British Empire has sought-after Zanzibar high values and Mauritius 'Primitives' including multiples.

There is also a fantastic Airmails collection of covers and individual stamps, several very rare Moldovan "Bulls Heads", and some lovely collections from Asia, South America, Europe and the Empire, not to mention China, Russia and all sorts of rather unusual places.

For now, let's take a look at the 1858 Moldavia 'Bulls Heads'. There are two key examples in the sale:

The first, a 54 parales green on greenish-blue laid paper, boasts fresh colours with large to enormous margins all round. It bears a partial Fokschani circular date stamp in blue - a scarce cancellation on a rare stamp. It is listed at £3,600.

Then there is the Moldavia "Bulls Head" 108 parales blue on pale rose laid paper with large even margins all round, in a used state with a Jassy circular date stamp. There are some small defects but this is a good example of this world rarity, of superb appearance.

This example was once part of the Huys-Berlingen collection and Stanley Gibbons catalogue it at £14,000 ($23,000) but is estimated here at £4,000.

These stamps are cousins of the Romanian Bull's Head stamps which make Joseph Hackmey the owner of the most expensive newspaper in the world.


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