EVERY lot sold (unheard of in this country) and total invoices were $2,587,000
- way more than DOUBLING any stamp Auction ever held here.
My personal bids, that were the highest bids before the auction started totalled about $A350,000
Sadly I did not win much of what I liked. But my bid was the opening one, for the Â£2 Roo part sheet!
I took the view this is the last great original collection that exists of Kangaroos, and I very much wanted to own part of it.
I bought some totally unique pieces like this, for $22,500, that in my view are still priced very low for something no other examples exist of.
The other strength of a collection like Hardy - formed 50+ years ago mostly, is that that it lends impeccable PROVENANCE to the material.
This set nearby of 1913 First Watermark "OS NSW" Officials was typed up by Stuart Hardy on his album page around the WW2 era, as can be seen.
Fakers have been active in such areas in modern times, and the fakes are not easy to pick by collectors and even for dealers are tough.
This set to Â£2 is therefore totally genuine, as perfins back then were worth far less than non perfin stamps, and at only $A8,750 or so, was one of the buys of the sale in my view.
I am biased of course - as I was the fortunate buyer.
To see this set get $15,000-$20,000 would not have surprised me at all, as a single "OS" used Â£2 of this watermark was invoiced for near $A50,000 in the same sale, and several of those exist.
The standard non-perfin stamps are listed in the ACSC at about $17,500, and OS perfins are listed at several times that.
Indeed mint copies of either large or small 1913 "OS" Â£2 alone are each $50,000
, and the 10/- and Â£1 are $20,000+.
Hence the interest fakers have taken in recent times. 50 years back, the OS were a fraction of formal mint.
The "OS NSW" perfins are less numerous still, and only a few sets mint still exist.
This "OS NSW" lot was offered right at the very start of the auction, and the tone of the record breaking prices to come was not yet evident to anyone.
I sat through both days of the Arthur Gray Kangaroos sale in New York and the same thing occurred.
Many of the first 50 lots were to me the bargains of the sale. Everyone was a little cautious and conservative, until an overall pattern emerged.