An 1891 British Bechuanaland block of six stamps leads a strong selection from the short-lived British colony in Spink's Collector's Series sale, which will take place on 9-11 July in London.
The block of six is valued at £20,000-25,000 ($30,366-37,958) - one of the highest estimates in the entire sale.
British Bechuanaland was a colony of the UK in southern Africa, which lasted for just 10 years (1885-1895) before it was annexed to the neighbouring Cape Colony.
Its first postal issue came in December 1885, when Cape of Good Hope stamps overprinted with "British Bechuanaland" were made available at the Vryburg post office. Eight different values from 1/2d to 1s were issued.
The block is described by the auction house as "undoubtedly one of the most important items of Bechuanaland philately", comprising six examples of the 1d Carmine-Red from the colony's first issue.
Each of the stamps was supposed to have been overprinted with "British Bechuanaland", but one is missing the overprint entirely, the centre pair has "Bechuanaland" missing, and the pair at the foot of the block has only a partial impression of the overprint.
The block has been reconstructed from three pairs and will be accompanied by BPA certificates from the top pair (2008) and the middle pair (2003).
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