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Apex Public Auction 130: Rare Singles Steal the Show

Apex Public Auction 130: Rare Singles Steal the Show
Written by editor-in-chief
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1150 lots of philatelic material, including some of the rarest single items ever offered by Apex Philatleics, will go under the hammer on Sunday 16th March, at Lingfield Park Racecourse, UK.

Of particular interest, three 1915 Tanganyika 'Mafia Island' handstamped 1r, 2r and 3r mint issues are some of the scarcest stamps to be found in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue. Mafia Island is part of the Tanzanian Zanzibar Archipelago.

Light Cruiser - SMS Königsberg stamps

Under the treaty of 1890 Zanzibar allowed Germany to take control of the island when Germany purportedly paid Sultan Sayyid Ali bin Said al-Said of Oman M 4 million for it, plus a section of the mainland. In January 1915, during the First World War, Mafia Island was taken by the British and used to launch an attack on the Imperial German Navy light cruiser, Königsberg.

The British restored the postal facilities immediately after taking control and used the Foreign Post Offices for military mailings and overprinted local stamps for civilian mail. As can be seen from the stamps offered here the local stamps of the time were stamps of German East Africa, overstamped with G. R. Mafia. These three singles are estimated to sell for £6,000, £5,500 and £7,000 respectively. [Lots 991, 992, 993]

Extremely popular among modern collectors, the inverted error of the first of six stamps created to commemorate the Pan-American Exposition held at Buffalo, New York, offers an exciting opportunity to own one of only 100 known examples of this extremely rare stamp.  The Pan-American stamps were the first multi coloured stamps issued by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and the 1901 Expo 1c mint with inverted centre was printed in two steps. First the central design was printed in black ink and the frame was printed afterwards in a second colour, leaving a large margin for error.  This spectacular stamp is estimated at £3,500. [Lot 1135]

August 1914 saw the invasion of Togo by British and French troops who remained in the country until 1919. They divided the country in two during the occupation, the east being French territory and the West English.

1914 Togo Anglo French Occupation 2m type 1 stamp

Previously under German rule the German post office was closed down and the Anglo-French forces used German stamps with overprints. An example of a 1914 Togo Anglo French Occupation 2m type 1 offered in the auction displays the overprint used initially, and is one of very few known to exist. It is estimated to sell for £5,500. [Lot 1111]

A very strong selection of Great British stamps offers some significant items including the first 'Dickinson Silk Thread' 1d Apex Philatelics have handled for several years. Dickinson paper was produced at Apsley Mill, Hemel Hempstead and the original die for these stamps was engraved by William Wyon, Chief Engraver at the Royal Mint since 1816.  Each stamp was printed independently on coining presses using Dickinson silk thread paper in sheets of 20, 24 and 40. It is estimated to sell for £3,000 [Lot 513]

The sale is on view by appointment at Bloomsbury House, Maddox Street, London, in the two weeks prior to the sale. Absentee bids can be left via the Apex Philatelics website.

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