A strong example of the Great Britain 1880 two shilling stamp holds the highest valuation in the Spink auction of The Lionheart Collection of Great Britain and British Empire, which will be held on April 17 in London.
The sale will offer part one of the collection, which spans Great Britain high values and specimens as well as rarities from across the British Empire. The two shilling stamp is expected to make £5,000-6,000 ($7,607-9,128).
The first two shilling value was produced to pre-pay double rate letters to America and the West Indies. It arrived in 1867, featuring a totally original design. This example is from the second issue, which emerged in February 1880 when the stamp's colour was altered to brown.
The change in colour was a result of Britain joining the Universal Postal Union, which demanded that certain values had to correspond to those of other nations. However, the post office scrapped the two shilling stamp in July 1880, due to cheaper postal charges imposed on certain countries.
As such, a total of 677 sheets were destroyed, with the number of stamps evading the shredder standing at around 77,500. This makes this unique and attractive stamp a considerable rarity at auction, and even rarer in good condition.
The example at auction is unused and has been partly re-gummed. It is centred to the left and there is a short perforation at the top. Nonetheless, it remains a reasonable example of the popular stamp.