Thursday, 23 June 2011

India Birds of Prey error sells for £11,500

The heading says it all really. An example of the stamp pictured, India SG 1525a, error of value, sold for £11,500 at Stanley Gibbons' 15 June 2011 sale in London.

The stamp is catalogued by Stanley Gibbons at a mere £1,000. A quite spectacular realisation for a modern error.

The example illustrated here was sold by Grosvenor's at auction for £2,100 in December 2009.

In examples of the 1992 India Year Pack of commemorative stamps, the lowest value of the Birds of Prey set was discovered to be a 1 r. value, instead of 2 r. as generally issued. The 1 r. value also included the species description for the 6 r. value from the same set.

It appears that it was intended that the lowest value in the set was to be 1 r., but when the inscription error was discovered after the stamps were printed, it was decided to reprint with a corrected inscription and increased value of 2 r. In the meantime, some of the 1 r. value errors had already been placed in a number of 1992 Year Packs.

By 1998, three of the errors had been discovered in Year Packs. It appears that all other 1 r. stamps were destroyed by the Indian Post Office.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Tristan da Cunha taxed item

Tristan da Cunha 1937 Taxed cover

A post office was first opened on the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha on 1 January 1952. Between 1908 and 1952 there were no postal arrangements for Tristan da Cunha. It has been stated that:
For all practical purposes, prior to 1952 the islanders had neither money nor stamps, and letters were therefore almost invariably posted without stamps, and hence they were taxed at double the foreign letter rate on delivery.
This cover was posted on Tristan da Cunha, date unknown. It arrived in Cape Town on 8 March 1937, where it received the Cape Town Paquebot cancellation. The letter also received the 1d. surcharge in Cape Town, indicating 1d postage due. From Cape Town it was sent to its destination in Pretoria, where it received the UNPAID UNBETAAL cachet. When the unpaid item was collected by the addressee, and the 1d postage due paid, the cover was franked with the 1d postage due and duly cancelled with the PRETORIA 11 MAR 37 postmark.