A January 30 auction in Australia is to feature a stunning mint example of the Great Britain 1867-1883 £5 orange.
The stamp has been described by the auction house as "impossible to find in better condition", warranting an estimated value of $26,000. Mint £5 orange examples are exceedingly rare, as few could afford to keep them unused; the stamp cost five gold sovereigns upon its issue.
The stamp was Britain's first two-colour high value and would have been used to send heavy items to the furthest reaches of the British Empire. It originally began life as a telegraph stamp, the plate for which was altered to include the word postage.
The next two-colour high value stamp was not seen in Britain until 1977.
The stamp at auction is a marginal example, with its value heightened further by its intense colour. It will be sold along with a 2002 Raybaudi photo certificate.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb used example of the £5 orange for sale, which boasts a nice strike of a "13 December 1901 LANCASTER" circular date stamp and is lettered AL.
Also starring in the GB section is a fascinating selection from the Nazi occupation of Jersey, which will be led by a 3d stamp centenary overprinted with a swastika and "Jersey 1940". With much of the stock destroyed, Nazi occupation stamps are incredibly rare, with this being the only mint unhinged example known to the auction house. It is expecting bids in the region of $9,500.
More of the 1940 Jersey stamps were seen at a September 2012 auction of the Chartwell Collection, with a complete set selling for $25,781.