LONDON, ENGLAND.-A large orange stamp that cost £5 in 1882 used for posting heavy parcels to the furthest reaches of the British Empire set a new world record price for such a stamp at Bonhams in Knightsbridge on December 19 when it sold for £15,270.
This stamp, lot 326, was massively expensive in its day, being worth £1,000 in todays money. It was often found on sets of accounting books that were posted around Britain or abroad. The stamp was expected to make a price of £7,000 or more at Bonhams latest Great Britain Stamp Sale. The previous world record price for this stamp stood at £7,500 until the Bonhams sale doubled that figure.
In all there were some 550 lots of postal history in this pre-Christmas sale, including the 1882 £5 Orange. Stamps like this, in mint condition, are very rare and this one is certainly in mint condition. Not many of these stamps bearing the profile of Queen Victoria were printed, in all a total of just 246,826 stamps of this value were made.
Graham Childs, Director of the Stamp Department at Bonhams, said of the record stamp: This mint condition stamp is a superb example of the 1882 £5 Orange. It has made history after its 139-year lifespan, having gone beyond the £7,500 mark. You might say that it had stamped its mark on history.
He adds: Stamps are enjoying a very buoyant market, particularly so for British stamps. Year on year prices continue to rise.
Other sale highlights included:
Lot 122, a collection of railway stamps estimated to sell for £800-1000 made £7,200, and Lot 178, a mint penny black estimated at £5000-5500, made £9,500.