Stamp of Approval

A small collection of stamps are expected to sell for thousands of pounds in the Charterhouse auction of coins, medals, stamps, clocks and collector’s items in Sherborne on Friday 13th December.

“Although we live in a fast-paced computerised age, stamps collecting continues to be immensely popular with collectors.” Commented Richard Bromell. “Although I have had an interest in stamps for some 45 years I still find it fascinating looking through dusty albums when they are brought in for valuation.”

The small group of stamps in the Charterhouse auction is just part of vast selection of stamps in the auction which has hundreds of albums of stamps.

This small collection of stamps has been amassed over a few years by the owner. They range from early Victorian stamps, through Edward VII and into George V. He was very particular which stamps were collected which is reflected in the quality and condition of the stamps.

Included in the collection are a group of the famous penny black stamps. Penny blacks were the world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. They were first issued in May 1840 and featured Queen Victoria’s head.

However, they lasted less than a year as the red cancellation marks were sometimes difficult to see or the red ink could be easily removed, so the penny red was introduced. A penny black with a black cancellation mark made it much more difficult for the stamps to be re-used.

Despite 68,808,000 penny blacks being printed, they are an icon in stamp design and are highly sought after today. In the Charterhouse auction there are a group of eight penny blacks, with their all-important margins, estimated as a lot at £800-1,200 to a penny black on a cover, with a red cancellation mark, estimated at £80-120.

Moving forward to the early 20th century, there is a set of four George V seahorse stamps. When they were new in 1913, the four were high values comprising a half crown, five shilling, ten shilling and one pound stamp, and today they are estimated to sell for £400-500. Overall, this small group of stamps are estimated to sell for £2,000.

Charterhouse are now accepting further entries for their busy auction programme with model cars, trains, coins, medals, toys and other collectors’ items in December followed by pictures, Beswick and automobilia in January with specialist classic & vintage motorcycle and car auctions in February.

For further information regarding these specialist auctions, or to arrange a home visit, contact Richard Bromell and the team of experts at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or email

Penny black stamp on a cover, 1840 £80-120

Group of 8 penny black stamp £800-1,200

High value Seahorse stamps, 1913, £400-500