MAURITIUS, 1848, 1p Orange Vermilion on Yellowish Paper, Earliest Impression (3; SG 3).
Positions 7-8/10-11, unused block of four from lower left corner of the sheet, beautiful prooflike impression from the earliest state of the plate, richly inked and vivid fresh color, large to huge margins including part of sheet margins at left and bottom, horizontal crease between the stamps and vertical crease thru two righthand stamps, not affecting appearance, few faint toned spots on back
THE FAMOUS AND UNIQUE UNUSED BLOCK OF THE ONE-PENNY "POST PAID" EARLIEST IMPRESSION. THE MOST IMPORTANT UNUSED MULTIPLE OF MAURITIUS AND ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING IMPERFORATE BLOCKS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
This remarkable survivor from the early period of the Mauritius post office can be traced as far back as Henry J. Duveen's ownership. It is not known from whom Duveen acquired the block, although he did purchase a significant portion of Sir William B. Avery's Mauritius collection. When the Duveen collection was dispersed through private sales by Charles J. Phillips in 1922-1926, the block figured prominently among the items purchased by Arthur Hind. After Hind's death, his Mauritius was offered as the fourth part of the British Empire series conducted by H. R. Harmer of London (June 12, 1934), and the "Post Paid" block sold for the U.S. dollar equivalent of $23,688, a staggering price that eclipsed the combined figure paid for the 1p and 2p "Post Office" stamps and came close to matching the amount realized by the 1p and 2p "Post Office" combination cover. The buyer was Alfred H. Caspary, presumably in competition with Maurice Burrus and Alfred F. Lichtenstein. Although Caspary's Mauritius collection paled in comparison to the holdings of his contemporaries, Burrus and Lichtenstein - he lacked even a single example of the "Post Office" stamps - the two titans of British Empire philately must have coveted their friend's "Post Paid" block. In 1958, after Caspary's death, his Mauritius was sold by H. R. Harmer, and the "Post Paid" block was featured in color in the sale catalogue, the only item in all of the Caspary sales to receive such chromatic distinction. It realized $18,500 and soon became part of the Josiah K. Lilly collection. When our firm sold the Lilly collection after his death, the "Post Paid" block realized $64,000 (March 16, 1967).
With 1995 B.P.A. certificate
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