Just how often does an original archive turn up these days? Looking back, I remember being on the periphery of the discovery of the ‘Corsini’ correspondence – even today when such letters turn up they seem to be avidly snapped up. But, all those tales of Solicitor’s cellars and crate-fulls of penny blacks on cover seem to be flights of fancy don’t they. Well, not any longer; I’d say this is the first original archive we’ve seen in thirty years. That’s remarkable, utterly remarkable. What is even more remarkable is that amongst this archive (which fills several plastic crates) we found the plate XI 1d black on cover. Stanley Gibbons are currently offering on their website a four margin 1d black Plate XI on cover for a price of £16,000 GBP. As SG state such covers are rare. Their cover is described as a close to large margin 1840 1d Greyish black Pl.11 lettered PL, neatly tied by a crisp black MC addressed to Earl Ludlow at Bedford, our archive cover bears a close but clear to large margins PL.11 showing trace of frame of adjoining stamp at base, tied by an even crisper black maltese cross and clearly backstamp cancelled FROME AP13 1841. What an amazing find within this Archive accumulation from Pulling & Co., Wine merchants of Hereford. The archive includes price lists, advertising cards, invoices dating from the 1820s, many 100s – at first we thought probably high hundreds of items housed in three large tubs, but when the team actually waded through we counted an extraordinary approximately 3,400 items of which in the region of half appear to be philatelic with a substantial balance in documents, receipts, invoices, uncancelled letters, and including hundreds of ‘Pulling’s’ own brand bottle labels, cards/marketing material etc. Highlights include 1d black Plate 10 on entire letter (4 margin but aged) from Worcester MY 11 1841 tied black Maltese Cross, the previously mentioned 1d black Plate 11 on entire letter from Frome AP 13 1841 tied black Maltese Cross, close at top right otherwise very fine four margins. There are a few other 1d black covers and a three margin 1840 2d blue on 1843 cover from Dublin, very late usage. There are many imperf and perf 1d red covers including much postmark interest, Irish, Spoons, etc. Invoices to Pulling & Co. postmarked from Cognac, France include four 1851-52 with Ceres imperf 40c orange pairs and three with Ceres imperf 40c orange horiz strips of four, including one 4 margins and unfolded – SG catalogue £600 - £700 each stamp depending upon shade and excluding premium for strips. An original lot, offered completely intact as received and condition variable throughout, but obviously unpicked of such ‘plum’ items, excellent lot for a wine enthusiast with huge scope for research. Although perhaps not of pecuniary value what I particularly like about this archive is the social history and the fabulous engraved ‘letterheads’ and designs of invoices and receipts redolent of the period. This archive is the only lot offered in this auction which may be personally viewed at our offices, strictly by appointment only. HEAVY LOT - OVERSEAS BIDDERS PLEASE ENQUIRE FOR SHIPPING COSTS [US1] (Start Price = £16,020.00)
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