Cash in the Bank

a RB 1A collection of stamps which has spent nearly 90 years tucked away in a safety deposit box in a bank vault are estimated to sell for thousands of pounds when they go under the Charterhouse hammer in their two day March 15th & 16th auction of stamps, coins, medals, model cars, trains and other collector’s items.

“Although there are not dozens of albums, there are numerous little booklets of stamps which were lovingly collected by Colonel R H Whitwell as a present for his Godson, Master Robert Smyth-Osbourne.” a £1,000-1,500Commented Richard Bromell. “The stamps were carefully wrapped up and put away in a bank vault in 1926 until the safe deposit box was removed a couple of years ago.”

The owner of the stamps, who is Robert Smyth-Osbourne’s daughter, brought them into Charterhouse on one of their regular specialist valuation days. The stamps were still wrapped up in their little packets with notes pinned to them “Stamps not to be opened till 1950….. Mr Robert Smyth-Osbourne….. from his Godfather Col. R H Whitwell Sept 17th 1926”. Quite why they were not to be opened until 1950 remains a a £200-400mystery, as does why Robert did not open them when instructed!

“I did feel a little guilty unwrapping the packets in February 2018 some 92 years after they were put away, but we had no idea what was in there.” Richard Bromell continued. “What struck me immediately was the post office fresh colours on all the stamps as they had not seen daylight for nearly 100 years Its is a fabulous lot the quality of which rarely comes on the market.”

The stamp collection comprises mostly Commonwealth stamps from the 1850’s to the 1920’s. South Africa, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Australia and Canada feature with a set of 16 Canadian 1897 Queen Victoria Jubilee stamps, from a ½ cent to $5, being the most valuable lot estimated at £1,000-1,500*a £300-500

The stamps were bought from stamp dealers and auctioneers in the early to mid-1920’s, including Stanley Gibbons, with some of the lots also including letters relating to the purchase of the stamps. Many of the sets of stamps cost £2-£5 each – much more than a week’s wages for many workers. Today, in such fine and fresh condition they will appeal to 21st century collectors and Charterhouse are expecting a large amount of interest from collectors across the world.

Viewing for the auction on 15th & 16th March is at The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3BS on Wednesday 14th March 9am-5pm and Thursday 15th 9am-5pm. Catalogues are available from Charterhouse in Sherborne 01935 812277 or you can download the catalogue from

a 2Charterhouse are now accepting entries for their April 19th & 20th auction of Chinese & Japanese ceramics with work of art followed by pictures, books and sporting items and their next sale of classic and vintage cars also in April.

For further information regarding these auctions or to arrange a home visit, please contact Richard Bromell at Charterhouse on 01935 812277 or email images for valuation at

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A set of Canadian 1897 Queen Victoria Jubilee stamps £1,000-1,500*

Richard Bromell with an unopened packet of stamps, put away in a bank vault in 1926 and now opened in 2018

*plus 25.2% buyers premium inc VAT

March 02, 2018
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