Breath-taking France unlike any I have seen before.

27th March 2017

In the course of every month, we provide valuations on a wide range of collections, both general and specialised and some of these contain sections of France.

We are regularly telling clients that simply identifying a stamp in Stanley Gibbons catalogue is not enough and an understanding of condition is key. Classic stamps in poor condition are worth a small fraction of the book price.

One stamp that is not difficult to find is the 1920 Merson 2f orange and green, priced at £65 mint and a mere 60p used. It is normally hinged and often badly centred and a typical mint copy might be worth £10 or so.

We have recently taken delivery of a superb collection of specialised France and on starting work preparing the items for our June 7th sale I opened the first album to find a superb well centred marginal UM example. 

 Must be worth £20 of anyone’s money?

So to the next page and a marginal pair UM…

 And a block of 4…


These stamps were printed in sheets of 75, made up of three panes of 25 each.

So over to the next page and…

 A full pane of 25, superb UM. I have never seen a full pane of 25 and yet the collection contains more than one.

The next page however is not a pane of 25, but rather….A FULL SHEET OF 75…

 A hushed silence fell over my colleagues when I showed them.

Oh I did say this is a specialised collection didn’t I. So here we have

 Missing the central green as a single

 and as a block of 4

 With the “accordion” effect paper fold.

How about perforation errors? 

 Imperf marginal UM.

 A mis-perforated corner block UM

 A marginal pair perf and imperf se-tennant UM

Oh and a strip of the same

 There is a listed variety on this stamp, the “ecusson brisé” (broken shield on the value tablet). I have looked for it in the past but never found one. Priced at €1800, here it is in a positional pair, UM.

 The central green colour proved difficult to keep aligned and shifts are recorded in the Yvert et Tellier catalogue.

Here we have an example, perfect corner marg UM

 And a block of 4

 Also the centre printed double UM

 And triple in a corner pair UM 

 Oh I did say the collection has more than one pane of 25 didn’t I? And that I have never seen one before? So, how about a pane of 25….WITH “CENTRE DOUBLE”…

 Remember that hushed silence, only disturbed by the sound of jaws dropping!!

How do I now go back to the average mounted off centre example and appreciate it again.

Right back to the 5f, 10f and 20f values


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