EXTREMELY FINE GEM. AN IMPECCABLE SOUND ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1882 ONE-POUND BROWN LILAC ON BLUED PAPER. A MONUMENTAL RARITY AND ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DIMITRIS BERTSIMAS COLLECTION OF GREAT BRITAIN. WITHOUT QUESTION, THE FINEST EXAMPLE KNOWN -- COMBINING CENTERING, COLOR AND OVERALL FRESHNESS.
Three fundamental circumstances explain the great rarity of original-gum examples of Great Britain’s classic high-denomination stamps. First, there was an underlying lack of postal necessity, since Parcel Post service was not available until 1883; therefore, the high values were generally used as postage due stamps on letter bill dockets. Second, large denominations were only circulated to post offices in major cities. Third, stamp collecting was just beginning to gain popularity, and few collectors or dealers had the means to invest heavily in the higher denominations -- a sterling pound was a significant sum of money to spend on one stamp.
Our exhaustive search of famous name auction sales spanning decades reveals few unused examples in any condition. In total, it is believed that no more than 20-30 examples exist in original-gum condition. Very few are completely sound and well-centered. In fact, we could not locate another stamp of the quality of the example offered here.
Ex Gross. With 1994 B.P.A. certificate. SG £175,000. Scott $155,000.00.