The Gordon Bromberger Collection of Swiss Postal History & Postcards Auction
A single owner collection of over 15,000 postcards sold for over £47,000 (including buyers commission) in 274 lots at Sheffield Auction Gallery on June 3rd, with 100% of all lots sold. Collected over a long period of time Gordon Bromberger was a UK leading specialist.
Born in North London a significant part of the collection covered the social history and topography of the area particularly the ground breaking cards produced by Charles Martin.
Creating national interest from both collectors and dealers the sale was hugely well received with vigorous bidding seeing single lots sell for as much as £960 (including buyers commission).
Specialist Valuer Phil Hughes commented “It is always a wonderful and tremendous privilege to bring such significant collections to the market and for it to respond so positively”. Of personal interest to Phil was a number of early 20 century anthropomorphic cards of humanised monkeys carrying out everyday human tasks.
Gordon Bromberger was born in Palmers Green, North London in 1930. Always well read with an interest in the unusual and obscure he followed a career as a Scientific Civil Servant at the Ministry of Defence. However alongside his work and family Gordon had a number of collecting passions which he approached with the same level of detail, research and organisation as he did his work.
Three significant areas of collecting for Gordon were postcards, Zeppelin Postal History and Swiss Postal History, including covers and stamps.
The Zeppelin postal collection covers the golden era of Airship flight, with covers reflecting flights around the world, to South America and across the North Pole among others. One extraordinary item is a Daily News flyer entitled, ‘Police Warning – what to do when the Zeppelins Come’ which instructs you to stay indoors with a bucket of water! This collection was sold at auction on 28th April realising over £5,000 hammer, with all 63 lots sold, the highest price was £580 for a pair of franked airmail letters (pictured) that had flown to South America on a Zeppelin.
As his name might suggest Gordon was half Swiss, which led to a passion in 20th century Swiss postal history and airmail. With a keen eye for detail and provenance, he used family and friend connections as can be found on the names and addresses on the envelopes to obtain early pioneer flight covers, air mails, early mini sheets on cover including a scarce NABA sheet on cover.
It has been suggested perhaps the area of collecting where Gordon had the greatest impact was postcards. With somewhere between 10,000 – 15,000 postcards, Gordon’s range of interest was large with perhaps his greatest in sight being the postcards of Charles Martin with one colleague describing him as ‘..the guru of Charles Martin…..’. However his postcard interest was broad with early flight, English villages, Suchard being noted among many other areas. Postcards Auction includes a significant number of Suchard Advert Cards, Charles Martin, Raphael Tuck Oilettes, Birn Brothers, Rail, Military, Disaster, Anthropomorphic, Chromo-Lithos, Comedy, Topographical Home Counties and London plus many more.
Active until the end of his life pursuing all his interests including golf and bridge, Gordon sadly passed away in December 2015 and his lifetime of diligence and collecting passion comes to the market for a new generation of collectors to enjoy and for the legacy to move on.