Beautiful £5 Orange stamp lights up auction

Spink has three auctions of rare stamps lined up for the New Year so far.

Later this month, there is a sale of stamps from China and Hong Kong, whilst in March the Alexander Reid collection of Antigua, Cayman Islands and Ceylon stamps goes under the hammer.

Just this Thursday, however, is a sale straightforwardly referred to as Stamps and Covers of the World. We've already looked at one highlight - a Great Britain (1873-80) 6d. pale buff abnormal plate 13, MK, thought to be the only instance of the stamp to be used in Ireland.

£5 Watermark Anchor
£5 Orange

In use for a little longer around that time, the 1867-83 £5 Orange is a popular piece, but rare, especially in good condition. Stanley Gibbons gives a listing of £12,000 for a mounted mint example.

A particularly fresh, unmounted example of the bright orange stamp is available here with white paper attached by perforations on the left.

It has very few wrinkles, which is unusual for this type of stamp, and is accordingly estimated to sell for £8,000-10,000 - a sound investment if well-preserved.

William Bell design Victoria 1 shilling
William Bell 1 shilling design

Also in the sale is a unique piece: a William Bell design for a 1 shilling stamp. This particular design, executed in a dark red on card, is marked '27/4/75' with the initials 'RR'. The face of Queen Victoria, not quite turned into profile, is cut from a 1d die.

Bell's design is expected to fetch £6,000-8,000 at Spink's sale, which takes place in London. Keen philatelists will also want to take a look at a rarity depicting Victoria's grandson: a Tyrian Plum is currently for sale.

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