1915 registration sheets to star at $456,000 at Sotheby's

Sotheby's will offer stamps from the British Postal Museum and Archive on July 11 in London, led by a set of three 1915 registration sheets.

1915 registration sheet British Postal Museum
The registration sheets will raise money for the new British Postal Museum, which will open in 2016

The sale will feature a number of similar registration sheets, or imprimateurs, which the British Postal Museum and Archive is releasing for auction to raise money for a new museum that is due to open in 2016.

The sheets of 36 - each of which is missing a block of four - feature the 2s 6d, 10s and 5s denominations, and are valued at £240,000-300,000 ($365,000-456,000).

Each of the sheets features a manuscript registration certificate on the back, with the 2s 6d reading: "This sheet of forty 2s/6d postage stamp was this day printed in my presence by Messrs De La Ruse & Co for registration. G W Stonestreet, Assistant Inspector of Stamping".

The 5s and 10s sheets are signed by F Tapsott for the inspector of stamping.

Each of the sheets is in superb condition, boasting full original gum, as would be expected, with brilliant colour. The 2s 6d has a 17mm tear in the left margin, while the 10s has a 10mm tear in the left margin, though neither affect the printed impressions.

A registration block of 36 from the 1916 2s 6d issue will bring the second highest bids of the auction, valued at £90,000-120,000 (137,000-182,500).

This unique example was printed on a Hoe press, which was an improved printing press invented by American Richard March Hoe. It features the plate mountings in the right and lower margins with part of the reversed plate number in the upper margin.

Paul Fraser Collectibles specialises in sourcing the finest British stamps for sale, including a spectacular selection of 1840 Rainbow Trial presentation sheets.

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