Invariably, Philatelists with an interest
in South and Central Africa may extend their interest
to certain Islands such as Mauritius in the Indian
Ocean or Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha
in the Atlantic.
As a Professional dealer I tend to
accumulate rather than collect and should I see something
I really like, I am inclined to buy it. Years ago,
for a bit of fun, I decided to piece together a fine
used set of Ascension KGVI definitives including all
listed perforations and shades and this set of thirty
five values is included in today’s display.
I bought and sold a Commonwealth KGVI
collection that included an Ascension KGVI Specimen
set which I kept.
As time went on I acquired oddments such as a 1934
set on cover plus a 2d Teardrop variety, KGVI Cylinder
and Imprint blocks and a 1948 RSW FDC. It remained
a modest accumulation.
Ascension, being a small country,
means that a substantial holding of superb material
is seldom on offer. Starting in October 2010, it became
more serious, with Spink’s series of sales from
Lord Vestey’s collection followed, by two Stanley
Gibbons auctions in March 2013 and July 2014 which
was rounded off by a Murray Payne sale in July 2014.
Over a period of five years I bought sixty five auction
lots of Ascension which put a substantial dent into
my bank account.
At a York Racecourse stamp fair I bought an unmounted
mint collection of KGVI definitives on twenty plus
Pre Stamp Era - From January 1867
British Stamps saw use in Ascension and early dates
are rare. Once we reach the 1890’s there was
use of the Queen Victoria 1d Lilac and Jubilee issue,
which are scarce, but more common than their earlier
Starting with a December 1899 date, this display includes
a reasonable representation of the pre stamp era with
cancellations on stamps and covers from the Reign
of Queen Victoria, KEVII and KGV.
Ascension Stamps 1922 to 1963
- The strength of this display includes a reasonable
number of Die Proofs (Thirty+ in total), all the listed
Specimen sets. A complete set of the 1922 overprints
used on three Wilson covers. The 1924 3/- top value
plus the 1934 Pictorial set all in used blocks of
| The Commemorative
Issues include all Specimens and an Imperforate set
of the 1937 Coronation, ex De La Rue archives.
The KGVI definitives include an extensive range of
thirty plus Imprint blocks of four that is almost
complete as per the listed perforations and shades.
At some point in time, circa 1950, the Post Office
in Ascension displayed the KGVI stamps available from
½d to 10/- on a card with each value handstamped
SPECIMEN. This idea was repeated with the 1956 QEII
Definitives, also handstamped Specimen. Both these
unique cards have B.P.A. certificates and are included
in the display.
My cut off point is 1963 and ends with the second
QEII definitive in blocks of four plus a 1½d
cylinder pair with cobalt omitted.
Specializing in any issue leads to page upon page
of the same thing that invariably include a range
of fly speck varieties that may only be observed using
a powerful magnifier.
In the Stanley Gibbons Commonwealth catalogue Ascension
includes a range of constant varieties that occur
on the same design such as the 1924 - 27 Badge issue
being a Broken Main Mast, Torn Flag and Cleft Rock.
On the 1934 Pictorials there is the Tear Drop flaw
on the 1d, 2d, 8d and 2/6.
The KGVI definitives abound with minor, highly catalogued,
fly speck varieties such as the Elongated centre bar
on an E in GEORGETOWN on the ½d. The Mountaineer
flaw, which resembles an ant on a hill, on a 1d, 2d
and 4d. The Davit flaw plus the Cut Mast and Railings
on all printings of the 1½d and 2/6,the latter
is an insignificant flaw that is difficult to see.
- Finally the 2/6 offers SG 45a Frame printed double,
one Albino priced at £5000 mint. If my display
included a block of four of the foregoing, sadly no
one would notice, unless it was announced using neon
A year or so ago a dealer offered me ‘the only
known’ used example of this variety at a film
star price. I declined and slightly deflated the man
when I informed him that I know a chap who has the
same variety on cover!
I am quite content in having a representative examples
of the above varieties and excludes the 2/6 Double
Anyone who may be tempted to buy all the above listed
items will have to forego a substantial deposit on
a brand new top of the range Mercedes!