1850, 2p Dull Blue, Pl. II Late (SG 25; Sc. 5).
Positions 1 and 12, tete-beche straddle-pane pair, large to huge margins, cancelled by oval grids on folded cover (with one flap and tear in address panel, well clear of stamps), originating in Sydney with ms. endorsement "O.H.M.S."
and "Col. Treasury 30th July 1850"
(Colonial Treasury Office) and addressed to C. J. La Trobe, Superintendant in Melbourne, backstamped with "Sydney Jy 30 1850" circular datestamp and "Port Phillip Au 8 1850" oval datestamp, the pair is sound and superb, the cover is clean and attractive
THIS FAMOUS AND UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF THE SYDNEY VIEW ISSUE IN TETE-BECHE FORM IS RENOWNED AS THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM IN AUSTRALIAN PHILATELY AND ONE OF THE WORLD'S OUTSTANDING PHILATELIC PIECES
To date this is the only confirmed multiple of any Sydney View showing a complete tete-beche configuration of the stamps. The 2p Plate II, from which this pair was printed, comprised 24 subjects arranged in two horizontal rows of 12 each. Sheets of 48 stamps were created by a print-and-turn technique (see Figure 1), resulting in tete-beche (head-to-foot) orientation between one pane and the other on the same sheet. In evidence of this printing method, we have some stamps that show so-called "double compartment lines", which are, in fact, the outer framelines of an adjoining tete-beche impression printed close together. We also have this complete tete-beche pair; no other pair or multiple of any size is known.
This cover was discovered in 1903 by a Sydney stamp dealer, Fred Hagen. The cover was part of the Clarke and Meinertzhagen collections before passing into the Alfred F. Lichtenstein collection of Australian States. It was retained by the Dale-Lichtenstein Foundation until 1990.
Illustrated in Rare Stamps, L. N. and M. Williams. Exhibited in ADDITIONAL CITATIONS! (Life Magazine, etc etc)
With 1990 B.P.A. certificate KIDS I
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