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1854 Indian 4 annas invert stamp expected to reach $174,500

The 1854 Indian 4 annas stamp is one of 28 recorded inverts



An 1854 Indian 4 annas invert error stamp is set to lead a Worldwide Stamps and Postal History sale at Robert A Siegel in New York.

The stamp displays an inverted head and is one of only 28 such specimens recorded. All are used and vary in how the margins have been cut.

India 4a invert
The 1854 issue was India's first nationwide postage stamp

This example is expected to sell for somewhere in the region of $174,500.  

The 1854 issue was India's first nationwide postage stamp (it was preceded by the Scinde Dawk two years earlier - although that was restricted to local use in the modern day Sindh province of Pakistan).

The 4 annas was one of the world's earliest multi-coloured stamps.

As a multi-stage printing was required, there was more chance of errors occurring.

Siegel explains: "Miraculously, no mention of this error was made until 1874 where an example was exhibited at a Royal Philatelic Society London meeting.

"Since then, this error has been a highly sought after item and examples have graced some of the finest collections of India ever formed."

One of only two 1887 Turks Island 1p Crimson Lake horizontal pairs is valued at $35,000.

The Turks Islands are in the Bahama archipelago and were colonised by the British in the early 1800s. They remain a British Overseas Territory.

The auction house describes the lot as "one of the important rarities of the entire British Commonwealth."

You can see all our stamps for sale here.

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Images: Robert A Siegel

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Last updated: 3 November 2016