Absent from Baillee and Chartwell also.
Envious of your Sir Gawaine Baillie Catalogue, wow what a collection that fellow had. (est $26 million dollars 2005)
Chartwell is unknown to me.
Tight corners lured Gawaine Baillie to Australian racetracks and imperfect stamp
edges drew him to the post office.
By Amanda Dunn.
Stamp collecting and car racing are not activities that immediately go together, yet both found a passionate follower in the late Sir Gawaine Baillie, an amateur racing car driver and engineer who amassed a collection of more than 100,000 stamps of the British Empire during his lifetime.
This includes an Australian section containing some rare examples from our philatelic past, all unused and in mint condition, to be auctioned by Sotheby's in Melbourne this week and expected to raise between $1.3 million and $1.75 million. The entire collection, which is being sold in a series of 10 auctions in London, Melbourne and New York over two years, is estimated to be worth more than $26 million.
Sotheby's philatelic expert Richard Ashton, who knew Sir Gawaine, said the
collection was unique because, whereas most philatelists preferred to concentrate their collecting on one country or even part of a country, Sir Gawaine collected from many countries.
In my lifetime, Gawaine is the only man who has gone out and
collected on such... a wide level," said Mr Ashton, who is in Melbourne for the
Born in 1934 at Leeds Castle in Kent, Sir Gawaine was educated at Eton and later Cambridge University before starting his own engineering company. As an amateur racing car driver, he drove against stars of the track such as Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn. One of his career highlights was winning at Longford, Tasmania, in 1965.
Mr Ashton remembers Sir Gawaine as a shy man, whose vast collection of stamps came as a surprise even to family and friends following his death in 2003. An early riser, he would devote four hours every morning to his collection over 30 years, gathering stamps from Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, North America, Africa and Britain. In his collection were rareties such as a British Penny Black from 1840, the world's first postage stamp.
In the philatelic world, a flaw or a peculiarity in a stamp or series of stamps can
spectacularly increase their value. One of the highlights of Sir Gawaine's Australian collection, for example, is a strip of four three- pence "kangaroo" stamps from 1913.
The perforations between the stamps are missing on all four rows. While this mayhave been an annoyance to the purchaser at the time, nowadays, perfectly preserved, it is of great value, and the stamps are expected to raise $75,000 to $87,500.
Another set of two stamps from 1922 to 1924, featuring the head of King George V in violet, is a rarity because it is missing the perforation between them. It is valued at $30,000 to $35,000.
Others are valuable for their age and history - the collection contains stamps from the colonies dating back to 1850, and a sheet of 20 five-shilling stamps commemorating the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 that features a sketch of the nation's new landmark.
But stamps do not have to be old to be valuable. A strip of five stamps from 1987 to 1988, featuring drawings of an array of native animals, has the rare quirk of missing the strip at the top with "Australia, 37c" on it. Thought to be one of two such strips in the world, it is valued at $2500 to $3500.
One of Sir Gawaine's last purchases was a full sheet of stamps, in two lots of 10
stamps, celebrating the gold medal win of Australia's 4 x 200 metre men's relay
swimmers at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. At first glance, it seems unremarkable, but on closer inspection the sheet has been printed upside down, which means the perforations are not aligned with the borders of the stamps.
Again, it's a winning combination of peculiarity and rarity. Mr Ashton said this
particular sheet, one of only two of its kind known in the world, was valued at $5000 to $6000.
Sir Gawaine Baillie's collection is on view at Sotheby's Melbourne from 11am to 5pm, July 11 to 13, with auctions from July 13 to 15.
Copyright © 2005. The Age Company Ltd.