VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN IMMENSELY RARE UNUSED EXAMPLE OF THE 2-PENCE DARK BLUE "POST PAID" FROM THE EARLIEST IMPRESSION. ONE OF THE MOST DISTINCTIVE AND ICONIC BRITISH COMMONWEALTH RARITIES.
While postal services in Mauritius date back to 1770s, it wasn't until 1846 that inland mail service was organized. Joseph Osmond Barnard, a local printer and engraver, was contracted to produce two stamps. He engraved both stamps on a single plate with the inscriptions "Post Office". It is believed 500 were printed and were sold out almost immediately. For second printing, from which the example offered here came, were engraved directly onto two copper plates of twelve (four rows of three), one for each value with the inscription "Post Paid". The plates wore away relatively quickly, and so only a very limited number of impressions qualify as the earliest.
Ex Ferrary and Chartwell. Signed A. Diena. Scott $62,500.00. SG £65,000
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF TWO KNOWN COVERS WITH THE RARE INDIGO-BLUE SHADE OF THE 2-PENCE "POST PAID" EARLIEST IMPRESSION.
Although experts now accept two different shades and print qualities in classifying the earliest impressions of the 1848 2p "Post Paid" stamp, the Indigo-Blue shade, with its intense depth of impression, is the longstanding and unmatched earliest printing. The Blue shade, with its characteristic "dry" or "sticky" impression, is represented by a group of covers from one correspondence (approximately four or five; see Caspary and David Feldman Mauritius sales). These dry prints are considerably less intense than the Indigo-Blue stamps, a result of the ink failing to adhere to, or flaking off of, the insufficiently moistened grainy paper. While experts have adopted new parameters of print quality in classifying the earliest impressions, there can be no debate over the Indigo-Blue stamps - they are striking examples of the engraver's best and earliest product.
The other recorded cover with the Indigo-Blue earliest impression was in the Dale-Lichtenstein sale (October 21, 1968, lot 7, realized $18,000). It has an uncancelled stamp tied by a manuscript transit marking.
Ex Caspary, Dr. Chan and Gray; it was the highlight of the Stevens collection (illustrated on front cover of 1964 sale catalogue) and ex Kanai. With 1958 B.P.A. certificate