1855 Indian issue essays will highlight stamp auction

A series of nine essays for the 1855 Indian issue will cross the block at an upcoming postage stamp sale at Spink.

The lot will headline the India, 1855-1902 De La Rue Issues auction in London on February 24.

India 1855 essay
The nine illustrations show the evolution of the stamp's design

The ink and pencil drawings, valued at £15,000-18,000 ($21,807-26,168), were created in 1854 and show the evolution of the stamp's design.

The first British stamp issued for use across all of India was the 1854 issue, which featured low postage rates and was made available to locals as well as colonials.

The essay featured in the sale was created for the second official issue in 1855, which was manufactured by English printing house De La Rue.

It features a portrait of a young Queen Victoria in an oval, along with the value and the words EAST INDIA POSTAGE.

The reference to the East India Company remained in place long after the British Empire took control of the Indian subcontinent in 1858.

Other lots offered include a used 1866 foreign bill 6a with an estimate of £12,000-15,000 ($17,445-21,807).

The revenue stamp was designed to be used in either the UK or India and is overprinted "POSTAGE". Very few exist, with the present lot among the finest known.

We have a fascinating selection of postage stamps for sale.

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