30th July 2012
Location, Location, Dislocation
The catalogue for Australasia, our first sale of the Autumn season to be held on October 4th is now in the hands of our printers. It will be mailed to subscribers at the end of August, together with its sister sale, British Empire & Foreign Countries, which takes place on the following day.
Home markets are often strong but London continues to benefit in the eyes of collectors from its status as the historic heart of the old British Empire. As a prime location for selling to the world one may add its modern reputation as a worldwide commercial hub.
“As a financial centre, London remains the envy of the world – it is certainly the most global centre and, by quite some distance, the one with the greatest international capital flows.” (Stuart Fraser, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation)
Our Australasia auction now completed comprises 753 attractive lots from that area divided into two sessions of selling that commence at 11am and 2pm respectively on the Thursday following the Stampex exhibition. This should encourage overseas visitors who would wish to view and bid in person to consider spending an extra few days to enjoy the capital and its many attractions, philatelic and otherwise.
It could be a late night for telephone bidders from Australia or New Zealand but there is much greater ease of communication nowadays between the continents. This was proved last week by the almost instant messages flowing between the mobile phones of my wife, Liz, and her best friend in Brisbane as they discussed where Liz should best locate herself during that day’s stage of the Tour de France in order to be picked up by the television cameras so that she might wave to her mates in Australia.
This Australasia catalogue has, though, been the most painful catalogue we have ever produced.
Over the course of a week the layout was carefully prepared on computer screen by a philatelist wincing with every tap of the keyboard or mouse movement, two of his fingers strapped together after having dislocated one in rather gruesome fashion in his garden. You know that you have impressed a French doctor when she takes her own photos of your x-rays with her camera-phone. Over 50s really should not indulge in backyard tennis.
Far safer and wiser to sit quietly at a desk with some stamp albums ready to be lotted up – but one must take care even there, for the long pointed tweezers that we use are officially dangerous items. We know this for certain as on more than one occasion our experts have been embarrassed at airport security queues, obliged to relinquish them to the ‘naughty bins’.