One of just 12 extant examples of the 1910 2d Tyrian Plum was the star performer at a UK stamp auction on October 3.
The rarity sold for £48,300 ($77,826) at the Commander HM Simpson sale of Great Britain stamps, just below its £50,000-60,000 estimate.
Just 12 examples exist today from an original printing by De la Rue of more than 100,000 sheets.
The majority of the 24m stamps delivered to the Inland Revenue were pulped following the death in May 1910 of the king whose head they bear, Edward VII.
Collectors have a further opportunity to own one of the rarities on October 11, when another example comes to auction.
Showing traces of a hinge and retaining a large amount of its original gum, it has a high estimate of £40,000 ($64,650).
They are among the most in-demand stamps on the market. Last year a superb unused specimen sold for £102,000 ($164,850) at auction in London.
In 2002 an unused example was valued at £20,000 ($32,325), states the GB Concise 250 Index. Today the index lists the stamp at £110,000 ($178,800), corresponding to a 10% pa rise over the 10 year period.
We are proud to offer you our own 1910 2d Tyrian Plum today. Well centered and showing four good margins, it comes complete with a 1961 British Philatelic Association Certificate of Authenticity stating that the stamp is genuine.
The auction also featured an 1840 VR Official 1d black, a rarity from one of 21 surviving sheets from an original printing of 3323. Intended for use in government offices, the stamps were never officially released. It sold for £5,290 ($8,524), its value damaged by a part-absence of its original gum.
We are currently offering a stunning mint example of the VR official, which displays four excellent margins.