The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) has revised its policy for sales of duplicates following controversy surrounding last July’s Sotheby’s auction.

The sale, which had hoped to raise £5m to help pay for a new building to house the BPMA collection, raised only a fraction of that sum.

Postal historian and collector Gavin Littaur, who publicly criticised the handling of the auction on behalf of the trade, has welcomed the change of heart announced on the BPMA website.

It states that it has "amended its sales policy for duplicate materials, so that:

1. Any material sold from now on will bear a hand-stamp on the reverse;

2. Residue unsold material will no longer be laminated or destroyed; and

3. Material with significant inscriptions on the reverse will no longer be sold."