have a very exciting auction coming up just in time for Christmas! West Africa Pre-U.P.U. Postal History from the John Sacher Collection will be gracing Spinks auction room on the 13th December 2016. This collection was formed by one of the most respected and prolific philatelic collectors, Simon John Sacher (born 9 June 1940, died 30 August 2016); a Past President of the Royal Philatelic Society London and a member for 50 years. Appropriately the sale of his collection abounds with philatelic rarities from West Africa and has many items of historical interest buried within it too. Cataloguing this sale has proved to be a delight and the final product will stand as a reference work for collectors of this area for years to come.
The main focus of Johns collection was the early postal history of West Africa, becoming one of the worlds acknowledged experts in this field, providing four major displays to the Royal:
30 May 1985 West Africa - British and Foreign Mails up to 1900
21 May 1992 Enigmas of Early Postal Services in the Nigeria Region
8 May 2008 West African Postal History to 1900
16 Apr 2009 Oil Rivers Protectorate Provisionals 1893-94.
Outside philately, John enjoyed a relatively short career as a merchant banker and a subsequent move to Marks and Spencer where he remained for 30 years, including 25 as a director. Amongst his many activities, he was a Governor of the Hebrew University for 25 years receiving an honorary doctorate. He particularly enjoyed his time on the Executive Council of the Royal College of Music where he became a Fellow. This involvement is a wonderful example of his long standing desire to encourage and help young people.
From amongst the extremely rare and valuable items in the sale is lot 1061, an 1854 (11 May) entire letter from Cadiz to Buenos Aires, bearing 1854 (Jan.) thin paper 6r. blue with small to good margins and two thick paper 6c. carmine pairs with good to large margins, all with Parrilla cancellation. A remarkable and very rare franking. Lot 1061, estimated: £15,000-20,000
Also of note is lot 1140, an 1869 (Dec.) envelope from Santa Isabel Via de Canarias to Tarragona, Spain, bearing 1868 20c. brown cancelled by official Arms handstamp of the Government-General, Santa Cruz (18.1) and Tarragona (31.1) datestamps on reverse. This is an exceptionally rare stamp on cover. Lot 1140, estimated: £10,000-12,000
Not to be left out is lot 1277, an 1875 (1 Aug.) O.H.M.S. printed envelope to Ireland, from Colonial Secretary, Gold Coast, bearing 1875 6d. orange strip of three, each cancelled with CAPE-COAST-CASTLE c.d.s., showing red crayon 3 and 1/3, PAID-AT-CAPE-COAST-CASTLE c.d.s., PAID/LIVERPOOL/BR. PACKET d.s. (28.8) and Bagnalstown transit c.d.s., with Mountrath arrival d.s. on reverse. An extraordinary showpiece, the finest of the four recorded first issue covers by some margin. Lot 1277, estimated: £5,000-6,000
But of particular interest is lot 1144, an 1858 (23 Dec.) blue envelope (220x95mm.) from Woolwich Per African Mail to Dr. Baikie Niger Expedition Care of HM Consul Fernando Po, bearing 1855-57 1/- green cancelled 21 and with inspectors mark alongside and Liverpool datestamp (24.12) at lower left, a further London datestamp on reverse. A fantastic find for fans of The Heart of Darkness. Dr. Baikie left England on his second expedition in 1857 with the rank of British Consul to further explore the Niger after his first successful excursion as the appointed surgeon and naturalist in 1854. After two years of exploring the Niger his vessel was wrecked passing through the rapids of the river. The expedition survivors were not rescued from Africa for a year. Lot 1144, estimated: £300-400