“Top Staff Picks”

The top stamps recommended by our team of experts

Dear fellow collector

We take pride in offering you the best stamps in the market.

Our standards and quality controls are amongst the highest in our industry.

My team works tirelessly to live up to these high standards.

Because of this, it takes a lot to be a favourite stamp.

I asked five key members of my team to select their favourite stamp from our current stockholding.

Their top picks represent philatelic heavyweights of the finest quality, rarity and long term investment potential.

If you are looking for something special to add to your collection, read on…

Anthony, Head of Sales

Anthony is ever attentive at looking after our clients and making sure we give you the best personalised service possible.

He is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and, unusually for a sales person, genuinely cares about his clients' best interests.

One of his biggest skills is in helping our clients find a bargain.

His selection for you fits that bill perfectly…

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Great Britain 1840 1d Mulready Letterhead Forme 2, Stereo A27, ME1.

 A very fine used example sent within London to Ratcliff Highway, Wapping. Neatly cancelled by an oily red Maltese Cross with a blue "T.P./Charles St West" receiving office handstamp at lower left.

Backstamped with a London dispatch datestamp for ‘MY.6.1840', (First day of issue).

A very fine example of the Mulready on the first day of postal usage, with such covers being notorious for having damage and condition flaws. There are a few minor peripheral faults and some light soiling, but remains much above average and a very rare "first day of issue" Mulready.

Provenance: Ex. Hassan Shaida, Hadley and Bill Gross. The cover is also illustrated in the book "May Dates" by Mike Jackson on page 226.

Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: from £18,000.

A major rarity of British postal history at a significant discount to catalogue value.

It is one of the most important pieces of early postal history you could own with a beautifully illustrated Victorian design depicting an important time in history.

It is a 6th May, 1840 first day cover used on the very first day of prepaid postage. Many of the first day covers are heavily soiled. This one is a fine quality example.

Available at over 30% discount to catalogue value.

Anthony says…

“There’s not a lot I can add to Mike’s detailed description. The ultimate in postal history is surely owning something sent on the very first day prepaid postage came into being. I would strongly recommend picking this up since it is offered at such a good price.”

Price: £12,500


Dan, Autograph Manager

Autographs may be Dan’s speciality with over a decade of experience in that area, but stamps are beginning to take his fancy.

Dan’s biggest skill is his attention to detail and he particularly loves stamps with printing errors and varieties.

Dan is a very humble man and understands not all our clients have the biggest of budgets to spend on their hobby.

As such, he has selected for you an incredibly reasonably priced major printing variety…

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St Helena 1922-37 Script watermark 5s grey and green/yellow, SG110a, variety 'Broken Mainmast' (R2/1).

A fine and fresh mint example with large part original gum.

Only 259 possible and it is likely that many were destroyed in 1938. The first time we have handled this great rarity.

This definitive issue first released in 1922 was designed by the St Helena-born Postmaster Thomas R. Bruce. It was similar to the 1912-16 pictorials, but instead of the Government House or the Wharf, these stamps showed the badge of St. Helena - a three-masted sailing ship near two large rocks.

The Broken Mainmast variety is one of the most sought after for this delightful stamp issue.

The Stanley Gibbons catalogue value is £750.

Dan says…

“What I love about stamps is how such a subtle anomaly, barely visible to the naked eye, can turn a low value stamp into something incredibly valuable. This is one such example and also a lovely looking stamp."

Price: £650


Simon, Specialist Researcher

Simon’s skills lie in forensic study and detailed research. We rely on him to dig deep and to find out everything there is to know about what we buy. Often, he discovers things no one else knew before.

Simon is a studious fellow and also our in-house historian.

So, it is no surprise to see he has recommended for you a deeply interesting piece of postal history…

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Gibraltar 1786 (24 Sep) entire letter from Gibraltar, addressed to the famous naturalist Sir Joseph Banks [then president of The Royal Society], London, sent by the Spanish overland route, with a fine strike of the rare "ANDALUCIA/VAXA" handstamp in black on face.

Rated "8"(d) on arrival, with a very fine "OC/20" Bishop mark on the back flap (which would open out for display).

Sir Joseph Banks accompanied Captain James Cook on his first great voyage from 1768-71, and is credited with introducing the eucalyptus, acacia and (named after him) the Banksia to the Western world.

A remarkably fine and clean cover and an important and exceedingly rare piece of postal history.

Provenance: Ex Geoffrey Osborn (Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 14 May 1991, lot 1094).

Simon says…

“I’ve selected something which predates postage stamps by some 54 years. The famous recipient ensures this letter will be a feature point in any postal historian’s collection”.

Price: £1,100


James, Head of Finance

James looks after the numbers and, more importantly, he makes sure the rest of us do things right.

He openly admits to knowing little about stamps. To him, they are just little pieces of paper he has to make sure we look after properly and don’t go missing!

James is the most cautious person I know. His selection is a recommendation as an investment and – no surprise - it is probably the safest investment in stamps…

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Great Britain 1840 1d Penny Black Plate 2, SG2.

A very fine and fresh mint four margin example with original gum, lettered 'SI' clearly showing a shifted transfer variety at top characteristic of the "S" row on plate 2.

Plate 2 was first registered on 22 April 1840 and was therefore amongst the first penny blacks issued on 6th May 1840. Plate 2 mint examples are very rare.

A rare mint example with original gum of the world’s first postage stamp and the most important stamp in the world you could possibly own.

GB Specialised Catalogue No: AS15b.

Accompanied with a 2003 Basel certificate of authenticity and a 2006 Brandon certificate of authenticity.

Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: £12,500. 

James says…

“I’m not a stamp enthusiast but, I must say, a mint penny black does present as a shrewd “safe haven” investment, particularly mint examples which are very rare.

The catalogue value of a mint penny black is up well over 300% in the past 20 years. More importantly, it has never experienced any fall in value during that time.

The 22% discount to catalogue value available on this stamp provides an additional benefit when considering it for investment.

I only wish I had put one in my pension fund 20 years ago!” 

Price: £9,750


Paul, Chairman

I suppose, as Chairman, Paul is not technically staff.

But he is certainly worth listening to…

Paul has been trading collectibles since 1977. At that time, I was still running around in the school playground.

He also once owned the world’s longest established stamp dealer, Stanley Gibbons, where he spent a large part of his business life.

So, it is safe to say he knows a thing or two about buying and selling rare stamps.

His biggest skill is in spotting a deal and finding undervalued rarities.

I agree with Paul that our final top pick looks undervalued…

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North Borneo Labuan 1904-05 $1 blue, type 21 local overprint, block of 4, cancelled-to-order with an oval of bars, SG139.

A fine used block. Folded horizontal perforations, which is immaterial as a spectacular multiple and believed to be unique.

Accompanied with a 1976 British Philatelic Association (BPA) certificate of authenticity and a 1977 Friedl Expert Committee certificate of authenticity.

Provenance: Ex the 'Midas' Collections of Labuan and North Borneo (Christie's Robson Lowe sale 17/12/91, lot 312).

Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: £4,000+.

Paul says…

“This caught my eye, firstly, because it is unique yet without a demanding price ticket. I know from experience that Stanley Gibbons catalogue values of Commonwealth stamps are often behind the true current market values when it comes to the rarest items in very fine condition. I recommend it because:

  1.  It is unique, the most aspirational of purchases
  2. Rarities like this from Asia are unusual to see in such fine condition
  3. It comes with strong provenance and two independent certificates of authenticity cementing its value further
  4. We are able to offer it to you at a really good price (20% discount to the current catalogue value).

Price: £3,250


Top Picks

To reserve any of our top staff picks, contact us today at info@paulfrasercollectibles.com.

Alternatively, give us a call on +44(0)1534 639998 or message us to +44(0)7700702962.

Enjoy your weekend and take care.

Kind regards

 Mike Hall

 PS. Is there a specific rarity you are searching for? Our team is here to help. Click here to send them a message.

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