June 14, 2024

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Seek professional valuation of stamp collections, urges Shropshire expert

An expert at a leading Shropshire fine art auction house is encouraging owners of stamp collections to get them professionally valued, especially if they know little about stamps.

Andy Neal, stamps expert at Halls Fine Art in Shrewsbury, also has some important tips for people about how to keep collections and not removing potentially valuable stamps attached to envelopes.

“If you have inherited or become the owner of a collection you know nothing about, then it’s important to seek professional advice,” he said. “I have seen valuable collections ruined because they had been stored incorrectly and suffered the ravages of damp.

“I have even had people bring me bags of stamps saying: ‘They were all on envelopes but I took them off’. Never do that, as you don’t know what postal history you may have destroyed.

“I never mind looking at what comes in and I would much rather someone brings in something that is worthless than not bother and actually put something valuable in the bin.”

Andy’s next free valuation day for stamp collections at Halls Fine Art’s headquarters at Battlefield, Shrewsbury is on Thursday, March 7 from 9.30am to 4pm. To make an appointment, contact the fine art team on Tel: 01743 450700

Halls Fine Art’s next books, coins and stamps auction is being held on March 20. Andy will be looking to build on the success of the most recent stamps auction, November last year, when collections sold particularly well.

One of the highlights of that auction was an accumulation of stamps which sold for £3,000. Included was a good range of 1960s and ‘70s Chinese mint stamps as well as three albums – Improved, Lincoln and one of Philippines 1970-80 – as presented to Michael Morgan, British Ambassador, on his retirement. Mr Morgan was British Ambassador to the Philippines from 1981-’85.

A vast accumulation of mint Great Britain decimal stamps in four crates, which included presentation packs, booklets and year books, sold for £2,400 and a mint and used collection housed in two albums found a new owner for £2,300.

Early USA stamps included used Columbia Exposition 15c to 30c and mint $1 to $5 with no gum, which sold for four times their pre-sale estimate, while a British Commonwealth collection of mint and used stamps housed in two volumes sold for £1,400.

“Really good material continues to sell well,” added Andy. “The all-important criterion is condition. Classic GB and Commonwealth stamps continue to do well and China, particularly earlies and issues from the Maoist Cultural Revolution period, are also popular.

“Postal history remains really buoyant, particularly campaign mail, ship mail, early airmail and material from areas undergoing political transition.”

Picture caption:

Halls Fine Art’s stamps specialist Andy Neal at work.