Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

RMS Nascopie salvaged mail - Vance Auctions offering

I look forward to ogling the latest auction catalogue from Vance Auctions.  Their Aug 23, 2017 offering is now online and hosts the usual excellent offerings. Some items are beyond my reach, but in previous auctions, I’ve managed to snag a few bargains that scratched specific itches, so  I enjoy paging through their catalogue.  

Something a bit different caught my eye this time. If you are a salvaged mail collector, they have a gem – stampless, but a gem nonetheless. Check out item #4446 - “Salved from the sea” RMS Nascopie. The stamp floated off into the ocean somewhere but doesn’t detract from this cover:

Scan of RMS Nascopie salvaged mail cover

R.M.S. Nascopie WRECK cover with 2 Eastern Arctic Patrol / R.M.S. / Canada 1 Aug 1947 violet oval cancel to Richmond Hill, Ont. Has s/l "SALVED FROM THE SEA" violet h/s. Has lovely multi-colour World Map design. Salvaged from the wreck of the R.M.S. "Nascopie" lost at Cape Dorset, July 1947. F-VF, stamp floated off ....Est 500.00+ (from Vance Auction catalogue)

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Well Hell - I live in the wrong country! Sandafayre Stamps

Doing an internet whip around the various auction houses to see what's happening and spotted this:

Screen capture from Sandafayre auction house looking for help

Well, Hell. I guess Toronto is a bit too far away to throw my hat in for the position. The commute would be a bitch. If you apply, drop me a line and let me know what it's like. 

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The possible sale of an icon - Stanley Gibbons on the auction block?

Logo for Stanley Gibbons A BBC article passed by my desk yesterday afternoon that raised my eyebrows a bit - World's oldest stamp business Stanley Gibbons up for sale.  SG and/or part of the business may go be sold as the owners look for fresh capital to expand into new markets. As you will see, it's all a bit of a mystery. 

It's a bit hard to say which part, if any, of the Stanley Gibbons Group will be sold off. There are quite a few businesses under SG umbrella, including coin, wine, antique and book auction houses.  It was a direct result of their little buying spree to acquire such diverse holdings plus close to a $39 Million (US) loss last year alone, that led SG to a comprehensive restructuring of the business. So, when the headlines screech Stanley Gibbons up for sale, it might actually mean they might just shed some of their auction houses or the entire business. If the June 12, 2017 Strategic Review is anything to go by, it looks like SG is trying to refocus on it's core strengths of stamp and coin dealing and are actively looking for a buyer.

The SG Group muddied the waters with talk about a possible buy out offer when they posted online they had been approached by Disruptive Capital Group. However, Disruptive is disputing it made any type of take over bid. In a statement relased on June 9, Disruptive states " Disruptive Capital Finance LLP ("Disruptive") confirms that it is not making an offer for Stanley Gibbons Group plc." Regardless, as of June 13, SG posted the following update on the London Stock Exchange page:

Following the announcements of 12 June 2017, Disruptive Capital Finance LLP ("Disruptive") has requested that it be allowed to participate in the Formal Sales Process announced by the Company yesterday morning. The Company has agreed to this.  Disruptive has also agreed that its participation is conditional on any offer for the Company, which may or may not be eventually made by it, being recommended unanimously by the Board of the Company.  This statement is made on behalf of both the Company and Disruptive.

RNS Number : 9503H
Stanley Gibbons Group PLC
13 June 2017

Who knows what is actually going on. We'll have to wait and see. It's pretty clear Stanley Gibbons board wants to sell, just what and to whom is the question.  

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Over 100 Zeppelin LZ 127 covers coming up for auction this month

I spotted a couple of interesting covers up for auction. If you’re a Zeppelin collector, Daniel F. Kelleher auction house might be worth a quick look. Hell, even if you aren't looking to buy, go look anyway. 

The first one is a nice US Lakehurst to Lakehurst cover with an excellent US airmail/ Zeppelin cancel and Eckener cachet.  The current bid is sitting at $100 with the estimates between $200 and $300. The cover lacks Zeppelin stamps but the cachet and cancel make it worth a bid. If you're just starting your Zeppelin collection, this would be a great starting point. 

Zeppelin cover US Lakehurst to Lakehurst - image Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions

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A Canadian stamp that collectors dream of having - rare stamp emerged for auction

Canadian stamp collectors had a rare chance to see the first British Columbia & Vancouver Island stamp go to auction last week. Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, a US house, handled the sale of 21/2 pence imperforate stamp. The catalogue price lists it for $25,000 Cdn. It was described as F to VF condition with “brilliant, deep color”.  Kelleher Auctions estimates were far more conservative than the catalogue price – placing estimates between $10,00 to $15,000.    

Some interesting things about the stamp:

Vancouver and British Columbia stamp that went to auction May 2017

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And here I sit with my stamps in a complete muddle, and nobody has bothered to tell me what it's all about."
"Listen now, Hemul," said Snufkin slowly and clearly. "It's about a comet that is going to collide with the earth tomorrow."
"Collide?" said the Hemulen. "Has that anything to do with stamp-collecting?”

- Tove Jansson, Comet in Moominland   

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