Spink recently announced it will soon be handling another “exceptional” collection: The Derek Diamond New Zealand Collection, which auctioneers are dubbing the “jewel in the crown of New Zealand philately.”
On July 6, Spink will auction the first part of Diamond’s “fantastic” collection in London, England, where from 2002-12 he served as chair of the New Zealand Society of Great Britain.
“We hope that this will be an exciting and eventful sale to honour a man so dedicated to the humble hobby that is philately,” said auctioneers.
Among the sale’s more interesting pieces is Lot 351, a three-pence yellow-brown stamp with compound perforations measuring 11 x 14 and a cancel with a date-stamp reading “OTAHUHU / 7 JE 02” (Ōtāhuhu, a suburb 13 kilometres southeast of Auckland, New Zealand; on June 7, 1902).
“Not only is it a very fine example, it is also the sole recorded example of a compound perforation on Pirie paper,” according to auctioneers. “This remarkable stamp was discovered by Colin Hamilton in 1977.”
Lot 351 is estimated to cross the block at £5,000-£6,000 ($9,400-$11,280 Cdn.).
In his professional life, Diamond was professor of Geography at the London School of Economics (LSE) and specialized in town planning. Following his retirement, he was elected an honorary fellow of the LSE and greatly relished the annual dinners at which he met the “great and the good” of the academic world. He was also an honorary vice-president of the Town and Country Planning Association.
Diamond is described as “a man of enormous energy and drive who participated to the full in anything to which he committed himself.” During the Second World War, he was evacuated to New Zealand, where he was introduced to philately when an elderly neighbour gave him a packet of New Zealand stamps that included some 1898s.
His interest in New Zealand philately continued with his stamp collecting, and his chief pre-occupation was with the 1898 first pictorial issue of New Zealand. This interest covered all aspects of the issue from essays entered into the design competition to the postal usage of the stamps. The outcome of this interest was his 2014 book, The 1898 Pictorial Issue of New Zealand, which was published to much acclaim. The book illustrates both Diamond’s academic approach to collecting as well as his belief everything is a part of a story; the fun is to be had by elucidating the story to a receptive audience.
What’s more, Diamond also had a sideline collection of two-pence Chalons that’s being offered in the upcoming sale.
From the section of 1855-73 Chalon two-pence proofs comes an “exceptional” 1855 Blue Paper two-pence strip of five stamps with clear to large margins around each side. The two left-hand pairs are cancelled with complete strikes of the “10” obliterator (Wellington) while the right-hand stamp has a partial strike.
An exceptional multiple, this lot is estimated at £1,000-£1,200 ($1,880-$2,260 Cdn.).