A valuable stamp collection is a complex asset like almost no other. It is not a picture or a clock but a collection of 100s and often many 1000s of individual items. None of the large and famous auction houses now have a Philatelic Department and the stamp market revolves around a few stamp-only specialised auctions like ourselves. Many stamp collections are being sold in 'general estate' auctions alongside an estate's furniture and antiques. Consequently the stamp market is buzzing with stories of great stamp collections being sold 'for a song' at these non-specialist auctions!
Indeed we have several dealers who scour these general auctions and then bring their bargain purchases to us!
This often appears to be the result of executers being unaware of the stamp specialisation within the auction & antique market and not obtaining anything like the best return for the estate (and potentially exposing themselves to accusations of failing to fully excercise their responsibilities in this regard.)
For a written valuation based on the likely auction realisation before auctioneers commission fees we charge 2.5% + VAT of the valuation amount or £250+ VAT, whichever is the greater. This Probate valuation charge is normally waved or refunded if the collection is eventually sold to or through us.
Don't worry if you are concerned that the stamps may be too inexpensive to justify the valuation fee, if we think that may be a risk we'll warn you early on.