New Zealand's first stamp sells above estimate for $10,750

A rare example of New Zealand's first stamp has beaten its estimate by 4% at auction.

The imperforate 1855 1d dull carmine sold for NZ$13,000 ($10,750), against its NZ$12,500 ($10,338) estimate at the November 3 sale in Wellington, New Zealand.

New Zealand one penny stamp
Depicting Victoria at her coronation in 1837

Bearing the head of Queen Victoria, the stamp was printed in London, and features three margins along with a fine barred "9" cancel.

The auction house's manager director, John Mowbray, told New Zealand's Dominion Post that he had seen only 10 of the 1d stamps during his four decades in the sector.

"These stamps are very rare," he commented, helping to explain its strong showing.

Its "Fine Used" condition was another major factor. A lesser "Good Used" example sold for $5,250.

Designed by Alfred Chalon and depicting the Queen at her 1837 coronation, the stamps are known as "Full Face Queens" due to their front view depiction of Victoria. They were produced in 1d, 2d and 1s denominations.

The first stamp designed in New Zealand was the half penny 1873 Newspaper stamp, so called because it was employed on newspapers being sent through the mail.

The top lot of the auction was a collection of 1847-82 Wellington postal history. Featuring 37 covers, it sold for NZ$21,000 ($17,370), just below its NZ$25,000 ($20,667) valuation.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb range of investment-grade stamps available, including this great rarity from Canadian philately.

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