Stanley Gibbons auction of the Arnhold Collection of British Africa on 17th May left no item unsold; achieving a total realisation of £900k. The Auction proved that there is still a strong demand for Empire material with all 1276 lots finding new homes.
Attracting a great deal of interest from the outset, the company experienced a record number of catalogue downloads and the day before the sale saw a final flurry of commission bids, telephone bidding requests and pre-registrations for internet bidding.
Starting with Ascension and ending with Zululand some seven hours later, the day proved to be one of frenzied bidding throughout. The strength of the book bids was fierce against room and internet competition.
Of the numerous highlights some cannot pass without specific mention:
Cape of Good Hope Lot 265, 4d pale bright blue "Woodblock" selling at £6,900, The KU T £10 value, a superb mint single, Lot 390, sold for £8,050.
Mauritius was keenly contested with superb used examples of the 1848-59 early impressions of the 1d and 2d, SG's 7 and 8, offered as Lots 410, 411, fetching £5,520 and £7,475 respectively.
An outstanding example of the £20 Natal (Lot 472) reached £17,250, while a Nyasaland "cheque stamp", with centre inverted (Lot 577) realised £21,850. Lot 586, a Nyasaland 2d and 4d prepared for use but not issued pair, sold for £24,150.
Rhodesia was well represented in the sale, with Lot 674 - a horizontal mint pair of the 1/- value from the 1905 Victoria falls issue, error imperforate between - soaring to £18,400, while a mint vertical pair of the £1 from the 1902 issue with Rhodesia omitted on the lower stamp (Lot 678) reached a remarkable £27,600.
Lot 834, a St Helena 1/- deep yellow - green type B surcharge variety imperforate, SG 18b, also sold for £13,800 against a pre-auction estimate of £7500-£8500.
The Southern Rhodesia section included the unique positional 6d "Admiral" piece from the 1924 issue (Lot 1053); the horizontal pair, imperforate between impressions, reached a stunning £32,200.
Togo, 1914 issue, the 2m blue error "Overprint inverted" (Lot 1125) described in the auction catalogue as 'a magnificent positional example', sold for £8050.
Part two of the Arnhold Collection, offering stamps from the British Empire - apart from Africa - will take place in September 2012.