A fine example of a rare Inverted Head 4 Annas is to be offered in London on January 23, from one of the award winning Medina collections.
The famed Indian philatelic rarity, which carries a £70,000 ($112,268) top-end estimate, features strong colours and impressions and is cut to shape - as almost all existing examples of this stamp variety are.
Catalogue notes confirm that the impressive stamp is "completely free of the faults associated with so many of these stamps" and remains "one of the finest examples of this famous variety available on the open market".
The Inverted Head 4 Annas of India, one of the world's first multicoloured stamp varieties, were first created in vivid red and blue in 1854. However, during production an invert error occurred and the head design was printed upside down.
On the first day of printing (October 13, 1854) 206,040 stamps were produced using the Head Die 1 and Frame Die 1. The stamp in question is one of those 206,040 first printing stamps.
The error appears not to have been discovered until many years later. It is thought by distinguished British collector EA Smythies (1885-1975) to have been first detected by the Philatelic Society of London in 1874.
The star lot of what will be the first auction of the Indian portion of the Medina collection, which were shaped over several decades by Mohammad Syeed, and which have won numerous medals and awards at international exhibitions over the years, the Inverted Head 4 Annas' performance is sure to be highly anticipated.
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