Auction Details
G.B & Worldwide Stamps and Postal History (Auction 54) Day 1 of 2
Auctioneer: Argyll Etkin Limited Location: London
Contact: Tel: 0207 930 6100 Fax: 0207 494 288
Date: 25th April 2024 Time: 10:30AM
Details: For viewing details and enquiries regarding this auction - Telephone No. 0207 930 6100
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Auction Lots - Page 4
Click to view full image... Uniform 4d Post. 1839 (Dec 9) Entire letter from Dublin to the Royal Hospital Chelsea with Dublin "4" charge mark, crossed out upon arrival in London and replaced by a red Free datestamp, with "T.P / Rate 2d". The writer asks for another copy of his discharge and pension documents which were burnt with his clothes after he caught cholera. Light file folds, otherwise fine, rare and unusual. Photo on Page 24. £300-400

Free Handstamps


Click to view full image... 1707 (May 27) Entire letter from Dublin "To the Right Honble the Lord Donerayle near Mallow" with small "Free" handstamp and "MA/27" Bishop Mark. Fine and rare, the earliest of just four recorded examples (a later 1707 example recently sold in Switzerland, incorrectly described as the earliest recorded Free (handstamp) for the whole of the British Isles). One example of the rare circular framed Free (see next lot) in the National Library of Ireland is supposedly dated 1706, but is more probably 1708, in which case this letter has the earliest recorded British Free handstamp. Photo on Page 24. £1,000-1,200
Click to view full image... 1710 (July 18) Entire letter from Dublin "To John Cooke Esq at Cookesborough near Mullingar" with circular framed "FREE" between Shamrocks and a "JY/18" Bishop mark, the Free handstamp faint but the wording Free readable. Very scarce, only about seven examples recorded, most incomplete or poor strikes with four in museums. Photo on Page 26. £250-300
  1772-c.1780 Entire letters from Dublin to Staffordshire or London to Dublin both with two strikes of circular framed "FREE / D", 22mm type DF5 in purple or 23½mm type DF6 in red, only about five examples of the DF5 purple handstamp recorded, the second red handstamp unusually fine, a good pair. (2). £200-250
Click to view full image... c.1787 Entire letter from Dublin to Lady Harriet Thessington, Wexford, signed "Free, Ch. Thessington, Augt 13" with 21½mm circular framed "FREE" in red, scarce so fine. Photo on Page 26. £150-200
  1796-1806 Entire letter from Monaghan to Dublin, and entires from Dublin to Carlow or Mallow to Dublin, all with double ring "FREE / DUB" datestamps, year in two figures struck in red or black, and 1806 (DE 8) c.d.s in black with the year in four figures, the central date portion unusually inverted. (3). £150-200
Click to view full image... 1811 (Nov 7) Entire letter from Cork to Brighton with red "CORK / 124", an unusually fine Mermaid type Free datestamp applied the following day (apparently in black ink, but possibly oxidised red) with a London Free datestamp applied five days later, small fault at left, otherwise fine, Mermaid handstamps rarely found so clearly struck. Photo on Page 26. £150-200
Click to view full image... 1826 (June 10) Entire letter from Woodhall, Jamaica to "The Right Honble Henry Goulburn, Irish Office, London p. Pkt", redirected to Dublin Castle, with double and single ring crowned Free datestamps applied upon receipt and redirection (July 19) and crowned shield type Free datestamp applied in Dublin (July 21), backstamped at Kingston, Jamaica. A scarce free from abroad to the Under-Secretary of the War Office (who had unlimited franking privileges) with three differing type free datestamps from both London and Dublin, exceptional quality. Photo on Page 26. £300-400
  Sunday. 1822 (Feb 3) Entire from Roscarbery to Athlone with straight line "ROSCARBERY", red oval "SUNDAY" and crowned "FREE / SUNDAY" datestamps, another Free datestamp applied the following day. A scarce Sunday Free datestamp. £200-250


Click to view full image... 1783 (Jan 24) Entire letter from London to Edinburgh with 24mm circular framed "FREE / E" in red applied in Edinburgh, fine and very scarce. The letter reports peace with France, St. Lucia and Tobago to be given to France, all other captured islands to be returned to Britain, Spain will get Florida and Minorca, Britain demands Trincomalee from the Dutch. Fewer than 20 Edinburgh Free handstamps recorded in total, of which at least half are on fronts only. Photo on Page 26. £400-500


Click to view full image... 1764 (June 15) Entire to London, signed "Free Thomond", with 20mm circular framed "FREE" (large "F") in red. A very early and exceptionally fine example of this first London Free handstamp. Photo on Page 26. £200-250
Click to view full image... 1787 (Mar 5) Entire letter from London to Bristol, written by John Armstrong but franked by Wm Pulling (a clear abuse of the franking privilege), with 24mm circular framed "FREE" struck in black, very scarce, one of just four examples recorded in black ink. Photo on Page 26. £200-240
Click to view full image... 1788-91 Entire letter and entire, the 1788 letter from James Esdaile & Co to Cobb & Co in Margate franked by B. Hammet (a clear abuse of the franking privilege), both with circular double ring "FREE / C" used by Inspector of Franks Charles Coltson, superb strikes in black or red, uncommon so fine. (2). Photo on Page 26. £200-250
Click to view full image... 1789 (Dec 10) Entire letter from Bristol to Kingmeston, Somerset, inscribed "M.P", redirected to London with "136 SOMER / TON" first type mileage mark, a fine circular framed "FREE / P" with laurel leaves below in black, applied in London by Inspector of Franks John Palmer, London arrival backstamp (Dec 14). Fine and scarce, fewer than 15 recorded. Photo on Page 28. £150-200
  1791 (Feb 4) Entire letter from London to Highworth, signed "Free Sarum" by the Bishop of Salisbury, with red circular framed "FREE / A" with laurel leaves below, used by Inspector of Franks William Addison, two opening tears at upper edge, otherwise fine and scarce, only about eight examples of this handstamp recorded in red. £100-120
Click to view full image... 1791 (Feb 3) Entire from Grantham to London with straight line "GRANTHAM" and red "FREE / P" framed within laurel leaves (LF5, Jay 774), an unusually good strike of this very scarce handstamp used by Inspector of Franks John Palmer, only recorded in 1791, thirteen examples recorded of which four are fronts only, light file folds. Photo on Page 28. £150-200
  1791 (Feb 19) Entire to Banff with unusually fine red circular framed "FREE / C" with laurel leaves below, used by Inspector of Franks Charles Coltson, a second very light and inverted strike at left, unusually endorsed "Came in the Elgin Bag this day by mistake 1 March 91, P.D", London and Edinburgh (Feb 22) backstamps. Scarce, about a dozen examples recorded. £120-150
  1792 (Apr 14) Entire letter from James Esdaile & Co to Cobb & Co in Margate, franked by B. Hammet (a clear abuse of the franking privilege) with 27½mm circular framed "FREE", the latest recorded use of this handstamp in a fine bright blood-red ink. £120-150
Click to view full image... 1792 (Dec 3) Entire letter written and signed by Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society (who accompanied Capt. Cook on his round the world expedition in the "Endeavour"), addressed to the Earl of Fife at Duff House in Scotland, readdressed to Fife House in London. Handstamped with red triple ring Free datestamps with "P" at base (Dec. 3, used by John Palmer) or "C" at base (Dec 17, used by Charles Coltson), straight line "BANFF", backstamped at London and Edinburgh (Dec. 5 and twice on Dec. 14). A very unusual combination of Free datestamps with differing inspector initials, and a good autograph. Photo on Page 28. £150-200
  1797 Entires with triple or quadruple ring (Evening Duty) Free datestamps with a diamond at base, one wrapper addressed and signed by the Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger with both Morning and Evening Duty Free datestamps, the others with the earliest recorded dates for both datestamps, all fine. (3). £180-220
Click to view full image... 1799 (July 24) Entire letter from London to Clement Tudway MP at Sir Richard Hills house in Whitchurch, with two superb strikes of the experimental datestamp with "FREE" above a dotted circle containing a crown and the date, one unusually applied on the reverse. The first day of use of this datestamp, replacing the previous experimental type which had diamonds under the circle (and is also known used on this same day, July 24th). Exceptional quality and a unique first day use, only recorded for three months. Photo on Page 28. £250-300
Click to view full image... 1799 (Oct 27) Long chatty letter from Elizabeth Chute at The Vyne (now a National Trust house) to Epping with curved "BASING / STOKE" and red experimental unframed crown over date and "FREE" handstamp, a superb strike of this uncommon datestamp which was only used for two months, this example from the first week of use. Photo on Page 28. £200-250
  1800-06 Entire letters or entires (8) and fronts (3) all with 'apple' type Free datestamps, various types with differing shaped crowns, Free at base type, wrapper used to send Parliamentary Proceedings, etc, all fine strikes. (11). £150-200
  1808-40 Entire letters or entires (24) and fronts (41) all with single or double rim crowned circle Free datestamps, many differing types, including entires signed by Wellington (2) or William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, 1840 (Jan. 1, 4d Post period) front signed Disraeli, free front from Brighton to a Schooner at Plymouth endorsed "sailed to Cowes I of W", fronts with handstamp of John Gray Bell, autograph dealer, on reverse (4), black datestamps, etc. (65). £250-350
  "O" Code Forgeries. 1802-40 Fronts with forged "O" code Free datestamps (8), two with datestamps showing the day and month missing and year shown as "18", three with 4d Post Period dates, one front signed by the Postmaster General Lord Lichfield addressed to Col. Maberley at the G.P.O with 10 JA 1840 datestamp (first day of Penny Postage). Also fronts with genuine datestamps (4) including Jan 8 and Jan 10 1840 dates (latter posted Jan. 9, a little reduced in size). An interesting group, ex Frank Bottomley. (12). £300-400
  1841 (Nov 23) Entire letter from the Admiralty to William Shield in Exeter informing him of this promotion to Admiral of the White, with a red crowned datestamp, clearly a Free datestamp from which the word "Free" has been excised, the year shown as "184", small stain, otherwise fine and very unusual. £150-180

Disallowed Frees

  1789-1839 Entire letters or entires (10) and a front including 1789 franked letter from Ludlow to London and redirected to Hereford, incorrectly charged 5d, with "HERE / FORD" and "141 LUDLOW" handstamps; letters with incorrect Free datestamps crossed out and postage charged (6, one with inspectors crown deleting the Free datestamp), letter with headed date altered so charged, letter and front posted on a differing day to the franking endorsement so charged, cover headed "May 1838" but endorsed "Posted June" and charged 1/6, also 1789 letter with year omitted from heading incorrectly allowed as a free, and a letter from Lord Combermere to the Post Master asking for franked letters to be returned if he has exceeded his daily allowance. An interesting group. (13). £250-300
  1820 (Feb 24) Printed letter with black mourning border, from Lord Palmerston seeking re-election as MP for the University of Cambridge in the forthcoming election, due to the dissolution of Parliament following the death of the King, the letter and outer wrappers both signed by Palmerston. The wrapper addressed to Stanmore, endorsed "not dated" with an inspectors star alongside so charged 1/2, with a "2" London Local Post charge mark. Very unusual. (Cover + letter). £300-350

London Handstamps

Click to view full image... 1795 (June 30) Entire from Paul le Mesurier (Lord Mayor of London in 1794) to Jonathan Grove at Matthew Boultons, Soho, Birmingham, a red Free datestamp crossed out and charged 5d, with red boxed "Above Privileged / Number" (LN2). An unusually fine strike, the earliest of fourteen recorded, file fold, otherwise fine. Photo on Page 28. £250-300
  1798 (Mar 19) Entire from London to Leigh endorsed "above 1oz" and charged 2/9, handstamped "Above Privilege" (LP2b) in red, an unusually clear strike, one of three recorded. £200-250
  1805 (Jan 18) Entire letter from Leith to an M.P at the British Coffee House in London, "Pd 3/8" crossed out, endorsed "above 1oz" and charged 3/8, with Leith datestamp and "Above Privilege" (LP7) in red, the only recorded example. £160-200
Click to view full image... 1814 (June 20) Entire letter (side flaps removed) signed by the Bishop of Norwich, sent from London to Norwich, endorsed "ab 1oz" and charged 3/-, handstamped "Above Privilege" (LP8) in black, an unusually fine strike, one of five recorded. Photo on Page 28. £200-250
Click to view full image... 1816 (Apr 24) Entire letter from Rhin Rectory to the Bishop of Bangor in London, "PULHELY" handstamp, endorsed "Above 1oz" and charged 4/8 with "Above Weight" handstamp (LW1) in black, scarce, nine recorded, four in black. Photo on Page 32. £240-280
  1817 (Jan 10) Entire letter from London to Aberdeen, a Free datestamp crossed out and handstamped "Above / Number" (LN4) in black, charged 1/3 with boxed "Addl / ½". Scarce, four recorded in black. £120-150
  1836 (Sep 15) Entire letter from Liverpool to London, a Free datestamp crossed out, handstamped boxed "ABOVE NUMBER" (LN8) in brown and charged 1/10, fine. £120-150
  1839 (Nov 26) Entire letter from London to Brighton, charged 3/4, with boxed "ABOVE WEIGHT" in brown (LW5), fine. £120-150

Edinburgh Handstamps

Click to view full image... 1826 (July 14) Entire from Edinburgh to The Marquis of Bute in London with black octagonal framed "ABOVE / PRIVILEGE" (EP2) applied in Edinburgh and red "ABOVE / WEIGHT" (LW4) in London, charged 4/4 with two "Addl / ½" handstamps, light file folds. The only recorded example of this Edinburgh Above Privilege handstamp, an exceptional item. Photo on Page 32. £800-1,000

Dublin Handstamps

Click to view full image... 1746 (July 25) Large part entire (right and upper flaps missing) from John Galway in Waterford to Dublin, signed "Free Upton" with "COUNTERFEIT" (DC2) handstamp alongside and "FREE" handstamp crossed out, albino Waterford handstamp, charged 1/-. Very rare, about twelve examples recorded. Photo on Page 32. £500-700
Click to view full image... 1812 (Apr 5) Entire from Limerick to York with red "LIMERICK / 24", "ABOVE NUMBER / PRIVILEGED" (DN2) and an inspectors crown, charged 5/-, horizontal file fold, otherwise fine. Very rare, just two examples recorded, both sent on the same day to the same addressee. Photo on Page 32. £500-600
Click to view full image... 1816 (Nov 20) Front from Adare to London with oval "WEIGHT ABOVE / PRIVILEGE" (DW2), an inspectors crown struck above this, both in black, charged 3/-, the charge and handstamps then crossed out, Dublin and London Free datestamps. A little reduced at right but unique, five examples recorded, this being the only one in black ink. Photo on Page 32. £250-300
Click to view full image... 1824 (May 24) Entire letter from Dublin to London handstamped red underlined "Above the privileged number" (DN4), initially applied upside down, a second upright strike therefore applied, charged 1/1, fine and scarce. Photo on Page 32. £300-400
Click to view full image... 1829 (Nov 11) Entire letter from Dublin to Limerick redirected to London and then to Bracknell, datestamps of Limerick, Dublin and London, red scroll type "MEMBER NOT IN IRELAND" (DMN11) applied in Dublin and charged 9d, the charge apparently deleted and a Free datestamp applied in London. The printed letter, with imitation signature of Daniel O'Connell, is an invitation to a public dinner in Dublin to celebrate the memory of the services of the glorious volunteers of Ireland who achieved national independence. Vertical fold and small stain at upper edge, otherwise fine, probably the best of just five recorded examples (one on a front), an exceptional item. Photo on Inside Front Cover. £1,000-1,200
Click to view full image... 1836 (Sep 30) Entire from Dublin to Ardrossan headed "Dublin September thirtieth" but endorsed "put in 1st Oct" with red scroll type handstamp "WRONG DATE" (DWD2) and an inspectors crown, backstamped at Dublin (Oct. 1) and Port Patrick, charged 2/6½, with "SALTCOATS / PENNY POST". Small tape stain at upper edge (where a tear to reverse flap was repaired many years ago, tape now removed) and horizontal file fold. Very rare, one of nine recorded examples, seven of which are on fronts only. Photo on Page 32. £600-700

Departmental Franks, Charities, Printed Wrappers

Click to view full image... Secretary of State. 1801 (Aug 31) Lettersheet with a fancy decorative design under the heading "On His Majesty's Service" and partly printed address "The Reverend the Minister of", "Secy of States Office" in manuscript, sent free to Halsell, Ormskirk. The printed letter from the Bishop of Chester asks the recipient to complete an enclosed form detailing the number of acres devoted to each crop type in the parish and to return it to the Secretary of State's Office. Very unusual. Photo on Page 32. £150-200
Click to view full image... Secretary of State/Express Mail. c.1830 Entire headed and signed "On His Majesty's Service, Geo. Brown" and "Reprieve to be sent by Express" with "Secretary of States Office" in the lower corner, addressed "To the High Sheriff for the County of Lancaster, or his Deputy, and in their absence to the Keeper of the Gaol, and all others whom it may concern at Lancaster". A rare official express letter, sent to prevent an execution. Photo on Page 34. £300-400
  Admiralty. 1793-1839 Printed Admiralty (2) or Admiralty Office (6) lettersheets, two with the heading "Pursuant to Act of Parliament, Eleventh George the Fourth", six with printed "On His Majesty's Service" (5) or "On Her Majestys Service" and the name of the Secretary to the Admiralty, George Elliot (2), J.W Croker, W. Marsden or Charles Wood (2), seven with Free datestamps, one posted within London with 2d charge. One with printed letter stating enquiries about a seaman must include details of period of service and one ship in which he served, also a 1793 lettersheet with manuscript heading and inscription. (9). £250-300
  Ordnance Office/Quarter Master General. c.1804-34 Lettersheets including an unusual unused "Ordnance Office" lettersheet with signature of John Angell (Chief Clerk to the Surveyor General) below the printed "On His Majestys Service" heading (submitted as a specimen to the Post Office?), 1816 free letter from the Ordnance Office with manuscript heading and inscription, printed Ordnance Office or Quarter Master Generals Office lettersheets with Free datestamps, also an 1834 letter from Dublin to the Secretary of the Board of Ordnance in London with Dublin and London Frees, and 1804 Act granting franking to the Ordnance Office and Quarter Master General. (6). £120-150
  Napoleonic Wars - Prisoners of War in France. 1811 (Apr 25) Lettersheet with partly printed address "The Minister and Church Wardens of the Parish of .." and signature of Freeling, sent free to Birken in Yorkshire. The enclosed three page printed letter from the Committee at Lloyds for the Relief of the British Prisoners in France, headed from Lloyds Coffee House, seeks funds as the previous subscription is exhausted and France now prohibits the English Government from extending relief to prisoners. The costs of maintaining prisoners are given, and the principal prison depots listed, the Committee in France to manage relief consisting of 12 Gentlemen on parole at Verdun. An exceptional item. £300-350
  Adjutant-General's Office/ Peninsular War. 1812 (Mar 5) Printed O.H.M.S Adjutant General's Office lettersheet sent free to Capt, Wainman in Yorkshire, containing a fine partly printed Leave of Absence form headed "By His Royal Highness The Commander in Chief" in fancy lettering. Wainman is granted six weeks leave from the 14th Regt. of Lt. Dragoons but must be present with the Regiment in Portugal before his leave expires. £120-150
  Paymaster General. 1837 (Dec 29) Lettersheet with "On Her Majesty's Service" heading and "OFFICE OF HER MAJESTYS PAYMASTER GENERAL" printed in blue, instructions on how to address replies printed on the side flap, Free datestamp. A very unusual use of blue ink for an official lettersheet. £120-150
Auction Details
G.B & Worldwide Stamps and Postal History (Auction 54) Day 1 of 2
Auctioneer: Argyll Etkin Limited Location: London
Contact: Tel: 0207 930 6100 Fax: 0207 494 288
Date: 25th April 2024 Time: 10:30AM
Details: For viewing details and enquiries regarding this auction - Telephone No. 0207 930 6100
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