SGSC Logo John's Jottings
January/February 2014
by John Ineson
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As you are probably aware, by the time you read this Bulletin, the auction of the late Walter Grob-Sigrist's collection will have taken place in Switzerland.  Not only did he have one of the best Scout collections in the world, but he also collected Mafeking, which gained a number of Gold International medals.  This was sold in June 1993 by Christie's Robson Lowe and included virtually every known variety including the corner copy of the Reversed Head BP.  Our member Fredy Scherb from Switzerland, who knew Walter well, has written the following details about him for the Rölli auction catalogue.

Walter Grob-Sigrist, Scout philatelic pioneer - On 28th June 2008 Walter Grob passed away aged 94.  He was one of the prominent pioneers of the International Scout philately and founder of the Swiss Scout Philatelic Society in 1984.  In the 1950's he was one of the first enthusiasts to collect the few Scout stamps and covers as historic documents.  He was also known for his worldwide correspondence, his short articles and essays and his Walter Grob-Sigrist participation at National and International stamp exhibitions.  In contrast to most other Scout stamp collectors, Walter had been a traditional stamp collector for many years.  Based on this knowledge and experience he started to create his own Scout stamp collection as a post-historical collection and continued to develop it as a documentary thematic collection.  By the end of the 1960's Walter Grobs's Scout collection was the most extensive Scout collection worldwide, and he was awarded several national and international prizes.  The photograph shows Walter in August 1973 at "Our Chalet" in Adelboden.  Walter arrives with a helicopter (special post-flight) from Kandersteg (during JUBIKA Camp 73) and brings with him a postbag full of cards and covers which he handed over to the Girl Scouts.  In the Chalet, all the flight post was given the special handstamp and later posted again at Adelboden to be sent on its way.

In the Sept-Oct 2006 Bulletin I wrote that D.E. (Bill) Bourke past away in December 2005, and, "What has happened to his collection which included some very fine Mafeking stamps and banknotes as well sketches by Baden-Powell?  When Bill died he had a lodger who decided in March (four months after Bill's death) that he would set fire to the house.  The lodger then crossed the road and watched as the fire brigade came to put out the fire, after which he went to the Police Station to report what he had done.  Since then Bill's solicitor writes "the property was the subject of a severe fire after his death during which all personal effects were destroyed".  The lodger has since been sent by the court, to a mental institution.  We do know that the Darlington cancel, two Mafeking stamps and a few other Scout related items were purchased from a local dealer by Michael Berry of Healey and Wise.  What we do not know was how much other Scout material was placed by the lodger in the local auction before the fire.  In other words what happened to the rest of his extensive collection?  Has the majority of this been lost forever?" .......Well, the good news is that some of the sketches have survived, which Bill purchased at the Mrs Wade's sale in London in 1965.  In a roundabout way "Barrie" has obtained these and in January placed some of them on eBay.  The "cracked shin grin" was taken through glass so is not that clear.

Scottish Soldier

Scottish Soldier £330

Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line £260

The Cracked Shin Grin

The Cracked Shin Grin £633

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