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Postal Weight Stamp Box

This charming box is being offered as lot 210 by East Bristol Auctions in their sale on 2&3 April. It is described as: “A 19th Century Victorian folding brass stamp box having engraved floral decoration with one side stamped with letter post rates. The four panels held together by the hinged lid atop. Marks to base for W. Avery & Son Redditch. Measures 5 cm tall.

We can add to that description. The diamond registration mark which can be seen on the base in one of the photographs in the catalogue shows the design to have been registered on 18th March 1876. You may wonder why there is a padded cushion inside the box: yes, it is a pin cushion. The Avery company began as needle manufacturers but the son of the founder branched out into making needle cases. Even the most functional were highly decorated in the Victorian taste.  Many, like this one, were novelties taking the form of real objects; in this case, a postal weight.

So, is it a stamp box? We say, “yes”. Victorian inventiveness did not stop with design and engineering; they also knew a thing or two about marketing. If an object could have dual, or multiple, purposes: all well and good for sales. One of their Patents (as opposed to Registered Designs) describes: “… a case to hold needles, pins or other small articles”; another: “Case to hold Postage Stamps, Needles, etc.” Also see our review of the book Victorian Brass Needlecases here.

Feldman Auction Update

David Feldman has announced that the auction scheduled for 1-3 April, “will now be held during the period from June 29 to July 3rd”. (See our post of 6 March).
This does not make it clear  when the stamp boxes, due to have been auctioned on 2 April, will be sold. When we know, we will keep readers informed. Their notice adds:
Bids already received will remain valid unless cancelled in the next 30 days.
All requests including scans are still possible. Please send us an email.
Hopefully, “scans” includes photographs when it comes to stamp boxes!

Keep safe and enjoy your collections during this lock down.


London 2020, the once-a-decade major international philatelic exhibition, has announced that it is being postponed until 2022. More details on their website here.

David Feldman Auction

As part of their Commonwealth Specialised Auction, to be held in Geneva on 1st to 3rd April 2020, David Feldman are offering 100 or so stamp boxes. Full details of the auction can be found on their website here.
The stamp boxes will be auctioned on the 2nd April and an extract from the catalogue featuring them can be downloaded from here.

Our image is Lot 30579, a silver and tortoiseshell stamp case and letter clip.

Schuyler Rumsey Auction

Once again, an auction by Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions of San Francisco, to be held on 12-13 December 2019, features a large number of stamp boxes such as the one shown here.
Full details can be found on their website here.
The full catalogue available on that site is a large file. The first part of the catalogue with lots containing stamp boxes is available here.

Russian Stamp Box at Auction

Jackson’s Auctioneers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, U.S.A., is offering this Russian, enamelled, silver stamp box in its auction on 19/20 November 2019. It is described as follows:

The rectangular box formed as a jewel casket. The exterior enamelled with scrolling pink blossoms against a stippled gilt ground with bracket feet. The hinged lid opening to reveal a three-compartment divider for different denominations of stamps. Hallmarked Moscow 1908-1917, maker’s mark “11 A” for the 11th Artel, and 84 silver standard, as well as scratched inventory number. Length 3.1 inches (8 cm).

It is on their website is here

Elegant Combination Box

The vendor describes this as:
Hallmarked in London in 1913 by William Hornby, this stylish design, George V, Antique, Sterling Silver Cigarette Case, Stamp box & Vesta combination, has a plain and handsome style. The case has a section for cigarettes, a space for matches, with a striker, and three slots for stamps, all of which are gold plated. The case measures 5″(12.5cm) long, 3″(7cm) wide and 5″(2cm) deep with a weight of 6.8 troy ounces.
At the time of writing, it is being offered for sale here.

Schuyler Rumsey Auction

This stamp box is one of many featured in the forthcoming auction by Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions of San Francisco to be held on 4-6 October 2019.
Full details can be found on their website here.
The full catalogue available on that site is a large file. The first part of the catalogue with lots containing stamp boxes is available here.