India 4 annas cover stars in Medina Collection auction at $12,500

Part II of the Medina Collection of India will be sold through Spink on May 21, with a cover bearing two 1854 4 annas stamps set to lead.

India four annas cover
Many of the four annas stamps of 1854 were issued with the central vignette upside-down, leading to the famous Inverted Head 4 Annas that headlined the first part of the Medina sale

The cover holds the highest estimate of the sale at £6,000-8,000 ($9,335-12,447). It was sent from Calcutta via Trieste to Amsterdam in 1855.

The pair displayed on the cover boast fine colour, with deep shades of red and blue. Both have the watermark inverted and are believed to be from Stone L.3. The margins of each are mainly intact all round, and each is cancelled by the diamond of dots stamps.

Also featured on the cover are manuscript rate marks in red and blue, with the former tying the pair. It shows the sender's cachet and framed "India paid" at the left, and the reverse is stamped with a despatch circular date stamp from Leipzig, Germany and another German transit datestamp.

In the first sale of the Medina Collection, an example of the Inverted Head 4 Annas stamp sold for £58,000($91,805).

Sharing the £8,000 high estimate is an essay for the design of the 1911-1933 definitive 25 rupees stamp. A composite print in blue-green and deep red, this example is similar to the one issued, though the elephant trunk at the right is not raised.

The surround of the vignette has been touched up with Chinese white, though it remains in good condition. It is marked with a manuscript "colours in design reversed" and dated "Nov 27th. 11."

Paul Fraser Collectibles specialises in sourcing the finest British and Commonwealth stamps, with a superb selection in stock today.

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