by John Ineson
I have been following the auctions of Mafeking and Scout material over the last few months and a few items of interest have been offered for sale. In David Feldman's auction in Switzerland in December, a Cracked Plate Large Head (position 9) Baden Powell 3d with a corner crease had an estimate of €1000. This sold for €1700 (about £1480, US$ 2260) plus of course the buyers premium. In the same sale they offered a mint dark blue 1d Goodyear stamp imperforate at the top with an estimate of €3000, which sold for double the price at €7000 (about £6085, US$ 9300). This stamp is one of only three recorded Imperf at top cyclist stamps, two mint and one used. This stamp is also recorded Imperf at the bottom row of stamps and eight used copies are recorded. As the stamps were printed in rows of four, it seems likely that all but one Imperf have been recorded over the last forty years. The only other item of Scout interest in this sale was the 1956 Egypt Arab Jamboree set of three in Imperf pairs, only 50 pairs are known to exist which made its estimate of €1500 (£1305 USD 1950). The set of three stamps also come imperforated in the miniature sheets, but only as singles.
In November, Grosvenor Auctions offered the 1964 Jamaica 3d and 1/- hand painted watercolours of the proposed designs mounted on card and signed by Archie Alexander and Hugh Williams. These were accepted and produced for the 6th Inter-American Scout Conference, and sold for £300 (€ 345 US$ 460). As you probably know, I follow Scouting items on eBay and was surprised to see that a hand signed postcard of Scout Marr made £150.00 (€170 US$ 230), but this was the only bid at the opening price. Scout Marr was chosen with Norman Mooney as cabin boys, to join Sir Ernest Shackleton on his trip to the Antarctic in the ship named the Quest. Sadly before the expedition could even begin its work, tragedy struck. Shackleton died of a heart attack in his sleep on the 5th January, 1922, aged just 47, while the ship was moored in South Georgia. Less than a handful of these hand signed cards are known.