The only known multiple of the New South Wales Diadem Issue 8d stamp has sold as part of the UK Collector's Series sale, which was held on January 23 in London.
The multiple realised £10,000 ($15,834) as one of the highest selling lots of the auction. The 8d stamp is particularly popular, with a large and dedicated group devoted to collecting the Diadem Issue.
New South Wales, a former British colony in Australia, saw its first stamps in 1850, following a reform of its existing postal service in 1848. Locally produced, these stamps have become known as the Sydney Views, with the central vignette depicting the famous Sydney harbour.
The first stamps issued with a Queen Victoria portrait came in 1851, though were beset with problems and were soon followed in 1854 by the Diadem Issue - so called due to its portrait of Queen Victoria wearing a diadem crown. These locally produced stamps were printed from plates engraved by the famous Perkins Bacon, printer of the Penny Black.
The Diadem Issue was issued in both imperforate and perforate format, though the imperforate examples are far rarer. This has caused the stamps to become one of the most cut down issues, in an attempt to increase value.
The multiple at auction is comprised of two vertical imperforate stamps, with part original gum and a strong impression. It displays good to large margins, although the upper right margin just cuts into the design. This may be the reason why the stamps fell short of the £12,000-15,000 estimate.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic collection of rare stamps for sale, including our latest addition, a mint block of 12 Penny Black stamps from plate 3, which is believed to be the largest surviving multiple from this rare plate in private hands.