The 1887 Jubilee issue Stamps are so called because the stamps were issued in the year of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Although this is mere coincidence as they were not intended to celebrate the event. The set of 10 values was released on the 1st January 1887. A 10d and a 4 1/2d value were added later to make a set of twelve.
Superb enameled reproductions of these colourful stamps are found on some of the best quality English silver Stamp Boxes of the period. For collectors of Stamp Boxes they possibly represent a pinicle of the genre, only perhaps superseded by the occasional extravagant examples produced by the Karl Faberge.
English enameled silver Stamp Boxes rarely appear on the market, and often achieve high prices when they do. It is quite interesting to recall a few previous sales:-
1897 Birmingham silver two compartment box, plain flat design, the hinged lid at top finely enameled with a replica Great Britain 1881 1d. lilac and 1897 1/2d. vermilion, opening to two concave gilded sloped compartments. Sold by Spink July 2009 “Blue Eyes” collection, lot 74, realised £2’600 plus premium.
1892 London silver, sloped front two compartment box by Sampson Mordan & Co., the hinged lid superbly enameled with an 1881 1d. lilac and 1887 21/2d. purple on blue. Illustrated on the front cover of “Les Boites a Timbres” (Stamp Boxes) by Brian Beet; Sold in The “Paris” Collection,by Christie’s December 2002 and then Spink July 2005 lot 508 sold for £4’000 plus premium.
1891 London silver and enamel triple compartment box By George Heath and retailed by W. Thornhill & Co. 144 New Bond Street, London W, the hinged lid at top finely enameled with 1/2d., 1d. and 21/2d. stamps, opening to three individually sprung loaded compartments for stamps. Sold in The “Paris” collection, by Christie’s December 2002 and then Spink July 2005 lot 507 sold for £15’000 plus premium.
An extremely fine and rare Victorian silver triple compartment Stamp Box, the sloping hinged lid with superb inset enamel depictions of Victorian half-penny vermilion, one penny lilac and two and a half penny purple on blue stamps. The interior with three gilded sloping compartments. By Sampson Mordan & Co, London, 1892. Previously sold by SHFA
On May 26th 2019 a very similar Stamp Box to the one illustrated above by Sampson Mordan, appeared on television in an episode of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow held at Osborne House. The expert, Alastair Dickenson
, described it as the “Rolls Royce of stamp boxes”, he went on to say that it is worth at least £2’000!
The attribution of this scene came as a bit of a shock to me, with Folkestone being a local seaside town very near to me here in Kent. The town is also next to where my brother runs his antique furniture business in Sandgate
. I have walked along this harbour wall many times and even been fishing out of port. I had seen the scene on a Vinaigrette before, but up until now was oblivious to the destination!