In my last post, I had a laugh at well-heeled collectors of Australia’s King George V stamps who were eyeing off a rare one-penny red rusted cliché block that was up for auction at the Arthur Gray KGV sale held at Mossgreen Auctions in Melbourne last Friday (it’s all explained at the link).
The error on the item is believed to have been caused when a rat urinated on the printing plate while it was in storage. That didn’t stop the block having an estimated hammer price of $85,000.
Well, there were red faces at Punk HQ this week after the block, considered to be one of the finest items in the extremely popular field of KGV collecting, failed to sell.
I hereby apologise to rich people for suggesting that they are prepared to pay outlandish prices for things that rats have peed on.
I just hope the friendly people at Mossgreen Auctions don’t blame me for the radio silence in the bidding room. They probably won’t. They’re more likely toasting the success of what was a remarkable auction, which, apart from the rusted cliché block and a few other bits and bobs, proved that KGV collecting is indeed on fire.
A leaf through the catalogue shows that many items went well over their estimates, with plenty of multiple-thousand figures on invoices, topped by the $113,421.88 paid for a proof of a stamp that was never released.
The other item I pictured in my last piece, a more humble 4½d Die II violet, sold for $7,735, a smidge over the $7,500 estimate. I’ll take credit for that, even though we all know the difference has more to do with the 22% buyers’ premium (plus GST) which is whacked on top of the hammer price at these sorts of places.
But enough nerdy auction talk for now. Back again soon with some very exciting pop culture. In the meantime, if you’re prepared to slap down $85,000, put in a call and that rusted cliché block could be yours! x
Update: call someone else. Mossgreen went belly-up at the end of 2017.