by John Ineson
A member of the International Badgers Club recently wrote in their magazine The Sett "Once again the
editor is apologising for lack of copy. In no way do I blame the editor as he can only publish what he is
supplied with. Last summer I visited my sister who is a member of the Scout Stamp Collectors Club (sic), the
quality of the articles in their magazine was far superior. They also had an article in each magazine from Colin
Walker. If you have read Colin's books you will have learned much about all manner of Scout memorabilia. They also had a lively letters section discussing how they could attract new and younger members". It is good to get praise!
As many of our members also collect paper ephemera, I was sorry to see for sale on eBay that "outerkom" from South Africa has been selling a number of Baden-Powell Christmas cards at very high prices. The reason for this is that he has been describing them, as "A very unique and desirable collector's piece not seen before and having original autographs" and with that description, those buying them have been paying many times their actual value. A number of people have written to him and to eBay to say that they were not original signatures, but as he was making a considerable amount of money, and eBay were raking in big commission, nothing was done to stop this cheating. I wrote to him, and he replied "Thank you, the cards are described and detailed as per item description" whatever that means! The Oak sold for £721 (US$ 1140, €855), Kenya Sold for £412 (US$ 650 €490) and the sketch from New Zealand Sold for £790 (US$ 1250 € 930). These cards normally sell for £100 or less.
Some very high prices were made in August at the Eur-Seree auction held during the International Stamp Exhibition in Thailand. Included was the Gold Medal Award collection of the late Pakdi Yongvanich, a former President of the Philatelist Association of Thailand, which was undoubtedly the finest Siam Scout Fund Issues to have ever been offered in auction. Some 50 Scout lots were sold including mint and used postcards, covers, large mint blocks (including a full sheet of 100 of the 15st from the third issue). The most expensive lot in the sale was this registered cover sent from Nakor Pathom to Bangkok with a complete set of the Type 1 overprints. This made 390,000 Baht with an approximate exchange rate as I write in mid September of £7,765, (US$ 12,285, € 9,230)
You may recall that I wrote in my last "Jottings" "Caveat emptor" - buyer beware". I have noticed that a seller in Hong Kong has for over a year has been offering for sale what I consider to be modern reproductions of souvenir metal badges from the 1929 Jamboree onwards. These include belt buckles from 1933 and 1947 as well as metal stave badges. I have also been informed that cloth badges are also being reproduced. From the photographs on eBay, they look to be superb reproductions and are selling well.