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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Auction News: Philea Auction 297, August 24th, 2011

I've spent part of today looking at Swedish Auction firm AB Philea's online catalogue listing for their August 24th public auction.

As usual, there are thousands of lots offered, with the majority of the weight being on Sweden. I've found that summer auctions are often a good time to buy, as many collectors in Scandinavia are preoccupied with things other than stamp collecting, while the weather is nice.

6 öre Ringtyp with two pre-printing paper folds
I am always looking for interesting and unusual items for my collection of the "Ringtyp" series; in this particular sale, I am considering a copy of the 6 öre perf. 14 stamp, with TWO pre-printing paper folds. With an opening bid of 500:- Swedish Kr. (about US $78.00) it's by no means cheap, but I've not seen one like it before (photo at left).

Of course, it's typically "lots and collections" that really catch my interest. However, since I made quite a few "box lot" purchases this spring, I am in a rather "picky" frame of mind, these days... but by no means so picky I'm going to pass up what appears to be a true bargain. Naturally, true bargains are rare, when you are looking at the auction catalogues of firms with thousands of clients worldwide.

One lot that caught my eye is a collection of "ringtyp" stamps chosen for cancels. Although the online photos suggest that maybe one-in-ten stamps meet my own criteria for cancel quality, the appeal of a lot like this is that most cancel collectors are not interested in plate flaws... and so, once I'd removed any desirable cancels, I would be able to go back through the lot a second time and scan for varieties. That said, the opening bid of 4000:- Swedish Kr. (about US $625.00) is a bit "stout" during these meager economic times. I'll have to consider whether or not I'd be able recover some of the cost of the lot with subsequent sales on eBay... seems like a fair percentage of the cancels still look "collectible" enough to warrant interest from those not quite so particular about obtaining perfect strikes.

Over in the Denmark section, I noticed several very nice lots of duplicates. When looking for Danish stamps, I prefer lots that only run to about 1960, 1970's at the very latest... as I just don't have much interest in more modern material. Unfortunately, several of these lots already have gone 50% past opening bid from online bidding and I feel hesitant to place a bid beyond that. These higher prices are no doubt due to the fact that the economic recession in most of the world is fairly mild in the Scandinavian countries.

I took a brief look at Overseas lots, because I do collect a few items from outside Scandinavia-- and found a fairly appealing lot of used Australia, which is now up for serious consideration... part of the appeal here was the descriptive text that it includes "more than 200 kangaroo stamps." One of my specialized collections is the Kangaroo and Map issue, and finding these stamps in quantity outside Australia (where specialists have already picked over most lots) holds a lot of appeal.

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