The Vestey family had built up huge fortune from the meat trade. They had also acquired a large collection of stamps, some of which they have been selling over the last few years. The collection of Western Australian stamps is probably unrivalled.
The stamps themselves are quite limited in scope. They all feature a black swan depicted from the side. However there are numerous printings, designs, as well as postal history and covers.
The most exciting item in the collection is the 1855 four pence stamp with inverted frame. This had an estimate of £50,000-£60,000. However at the auction it went for £122,400 including buyer's premium.
Other items fared less well. The error of creased transfer (in which the word 'PENCE' is spelt 'PEICE') reached only £26,000 against an estimate of £35,000-£45,000. The total realisation for stamps at the sale was £920,000 plus buyers' premium – a total of around £1.1 million. Of the 669 lots, 623 were sold.
The auctioneers will not reveal the name of the buyer of the famous frame inverted stamp. . One likely buyer was the Israeli billionaire Joseph Hackmey, who was in London at the time of the sale. However, although he bought some items at the sale, he has made it clear that he did not buy this stamp. (Editor's note - if anyone knows who bought this, please let me know)
see also -
Joseph Hackmey - his money and his fabulous stamps