There’s a new post on the way shortly, but let me put the reviews and rants aside for a moment and tell you about my weekend. It was exciting, but in a way that only my people will understand. (Philatelists are much like those who like fishing: we LOVE telling you all about our big catch.)
So I’d I popped into a local club auction to check out a set of commemorative covers. One of those not-strictly-what-I-collect-but-maybe-I-could-have-it-around kinda deals. In the end, I decided I didn’t need them. Game over for me. I began to mosey through the rest of the viewing tables on my way out.
And that’s when I spied them.
Three large, plastic zip-lock bags, jammed tight with fat, messy white envelopes. I was intrigued.
I’ve mentioned before my love of modern UK stamps, and how I don’t waste my money buying them fresh. My plan has always been to wait for some old philatelist to die, and then buy a whole, ready-made collection compiled with someone else’s time and cash.
Well, as I rummaged through these envelopes, my plan became slightly unstitched. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Year Packs issued by the Royal Mail, each featuring a year’s worth of what the Brits call Special Issues (ie not Queen’s heads, just all the interesting stuff). 1977 through 2000, still in the envelopes in which they’d been posted. The stamps were untouched by human hands since the Queen herself dispatched them! (I assume she mucks in, it’s her Mail.)
And the starting price was low. You’d almost say… too low.
This is now currently the state of my dining table:
Behold the breathtaking jewels of Aladdin’s cave!
The Stanley Gibbons catalogue value for these packs is about £900 (about $1,130 US). Retail about £450 (about $565 US). I paid the Aussie dollar equivalent of… £73.50 ($92). Gotta love a club auction.
Thank you, mysterious lady who stashed these for 32 years and never got around to opening them. You’ve set me up for a wonderful few winter weekends. Personally, I hope you’re not dead. Maybe you just read Marie Kondo and you’re decluttering.
And if anyone out there is wondering how they’re going to sell their collection of mint unhinged British special issues with the years 1977-2000 missing… get in touch. I think we could be good for each other. x
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