Lot 2578Great Britain, (Napoleonic Wars - Siege of Badajoz) "Camp before Badajos, March 27th 1812", dateline on folded letter from a British soldier to his aunt at Isleworth, Middlesex, England, reverse with London (4.15) cds and two different strikes London Penny datestamps of Apr. 15th, manuscript "2/4" due rating and docketing at left; some edge wear, Fine, great Napoleonic War content of this bloody siege.
Estimate $400 - 600.
The historical letter reads in part: "My dear Aunt. Though almost stewed by the heat of my tent, and my back nearly broken by writing a letter… after ten days pretty brisk firing I take up my pen. …that Elizabeth has completely got rid of her pain in the face which has lasted so long, though in truth, seeing the face to which i t has attached itself, I cannot but think it is a pain of intricate taste and discrimination. …The men are in highest spirits and only fearful of a capitulation depriving them of the fun of a general pillage, which 1 suppose they would not give up for double the value of the plunder they expect to make. Our battery began to fire from 28 guns. The morning before yesterday at nine at night, General Kempt with 400 men, stormed and carried an outwork called Piciarigna, killing, wounding and taking prisoners (mostly wounded) the whole garison, 233 men, loosing 15 Officers and about 200 men himself. How they got in at all is astonishing, I examined it yesterday morning, as accurately as heavy firing would permit, and would for my part rather have attacked the Town itself. The enemy were greatly alarmed at the attack in the Town which seemed in a blaze, firing from every gun they could get to bear on our lines, and throwing showers of shells. The appearance was grand beyond measure, and the English cheers formed a contrast with the yells of the French. Our daily loss in the trenches is not so great as at G.R. the ground being less stony. We have lost some choice Officers however in them, among the number, a young Engineer acquaintance of high promise, his head was carried away by a cannon ball. We are all encamped round the Town, but sheltered from direct fire by little rises in the ground. The firing is pretty heavy at present. In a few days our breaching battery opens fire with 14 first guns, when the roar will be tremendous…"
The Siege of Badajoz (March 16th to April 6th 1812) was undertaken by an Anglo-Portuguese Army under General Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) and besieged Badajoz, Spain, forcing the surrender of the French garrison. The siege was one of the bloodiest in the Napoleonic Wars and was considered a costly victory by the British, with some 4,800 Allied soldiers killed in a few short hours of intense fighting during the storming of the breaches as the siege drew to an end. Enraged at the huge amount of casualties they suffered in seizing the city, the troops broke into houses and stores consuming vast quantities of liquor with many of them then going on a rampage. Threatening their officers and ignoring their commands to desist, and even killing several, the troops massacred about 4,000 Spanish civilians. It took three days before the men were brought back into order.
Lot 2579 oGreat Britain, 1840, 1d black, plate 10, letters BJ, black Maltese cross cancel, ample to large margins, strong color, Very Fine, a scarce penny black from plate 10. Scott No. 1.
SG No. 2 £950 ($1,170).
Lot 2580 oGreat Britain, 1840, 1d black, plate 2, letters QH, black Maltese cross cancel, clear to huge margins showing significant portion of adjacent stamp at left, strong color, Very Fine and choice. Scott No. 1.
SG No. 2 £375 ($460).
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Lot 2581 oGreat Britain, 1840, 1d black, plate 7, letters MH-MI, horizontal pair, black Maltese cross cancels, full margins, bold color and impression, Very Fine. Scott No. 1.
SG No. 2 £800 ($980).
Lot 2582Great Britain, 1840, 1d black, margins large to just into frameline at lower right, tied by red Maltese cross cancel on folded letter sheet to London, reverse with "Yarmouth - Norfolk, My 29, 1840" origin cds and red London receiving postmarks; minor stamp and cover flaws, F.-V.F. appearance, a scarce first month usage. Scott No. 1 $2,050.
SG No. 2 Estimate $300 - 400.
Lot 2583Great Britain, 1840, 2d blue, ample to large margins, tied by Maltese cross cancel on local London folded letter, blue "T.P., Chancery Lane" handstamp and reverse with red "Oc 8, 1841" date stamp, Very Fine and choice; with 1983 E. Diena certificate. Scott No. 2.
SG No. 5 Estimate $750 - 1,000.
Lot 2584Great Britain, 1840, 2d blue, clear to large margins, tied by Maltese cross cancel on folded letter to Colchester, with straight line "T.P., Leith St." handstamp alongside and partial red "To Late" handstamp at left, reverse with red "2 My, 1842" date stamp, Very Fine. Scott No. 2.
SG No. 5 Estimate $750 - 1,000.
Lot 2585 oGreat Britain, 1854, Queen Victoria (embossed), 6d purple, horizontal pair, "992" barred oval cancels, rich color, margins large to just in, small scissor separation cut in margin at bottom center, Very Fine. Scott No. 7.
SG No. 60 £2,000 ($2,460).
Lot 2586Great Britain, 1857, 1d rose red, Large Crown watermark, perf 14, tied by "WC/6" barred circle handstamp on red and blue U.S. Flag patriotic cover to Twickerham; cover toning and small reduction at right, Fine and rare. Scott No. 20.
SG No. 40 Estimate $150 - 200.
Lot 2587 oGreat Britain, 1867, Queen Victoria, 5s rose, Maltese Cross watermark, neat 1870 Picadilly Circus cds, choice centering, bright color, Very Fine and choice. Scott No. 57.
SG No. 126 £675 ($830).