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Friday, September 24, 2010

Queen Victoria's historic stamps could bring five figures at auction

Two philatelic rarities from the late 19th century are up for sale at Vance Auctions in October

Two historic Great Britain stamps will be appearing in Vance Auctions Ltd's upcoming October 14 auction, both dating to the reign of Queen Victoria.

The Victorian era saw an explosion of innovation in philately. The inefficiency of using scissors to cut stamps from their sheets, for instance, led to inspired trials with rouletting (separating the stamps with small horizontal and vertical cuts) and perforation - the latter becoming standard practice by 1854.


Queen Victoria stamp

Another significant development was the passage of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act in 1881, which decreed that stamps should also be valid as revenue stamps.

The two philatelic specimens in Vance's sale were each date stamped two years after the Act. They are definitive stamps, each worth one pound, and bear the likeness of Queen Victoria in profile.

According to Vance's pre-sale notes, the first is printed on bluish paper with a SON (that's "socked on the nose," ie stamped in the stamp's very centre) circular date stamp.


Another, stamped in Bristol

Stamps of this type and era are particularly sought-after in very nice colour. Because of this, this example - billed as "very fine" with a minor crease and a "choice stamp" has a catalogue price of $9,250.

Up for sale alongside it is another Queen Victoria One Pound stamp, and also bearing a SON circular datestamp applied in Paul Fraser Collectibles' home city of Bristol on November 4, 1883.

Like the $9,250 specimen, this stamp boasts "beautiful centring, excellent colour" and is "very fine" according to Vance - "a lovely looking stamp." It has a catalogue price of $7,750.

Bearing in mind that Stanley Gibbons price catalogue has formerly estimated examples of these stamps in the region of £13,000 (more than $20,300), philatelists won't want to miss out when these two examples go under the hammer on October 14 in Ontario, Canada.