The auction of the Hutson Collection of New South Wales - held February 19 in London - has been highlighted by the sale of a block of eight 2d stamps from the legendary Sydney Views issue.
The largest known multiple of all Sydney Views, the block sold for £21,000 ($32,164) to lead the single lots of the sale. Despite some of the stamps being torn away, this is still a major exhibition item of great importance.
Until 1848, when the region's postal system was reformed, New South Wales' mail service did not use stamps. The first locally produced stamps appeared on January 1, 1850.
This issue showed a scene of Sydney and its harbour, therefore warranting the nickname "Sydney Views". The series of 1d, 2d and 3d stamps were engraved separately and there were many improvements made over the year they were in circulation, providing dozens of varieties in what is now a very popular collecting area.
The block at auction, a superb marginal example, originates from plate one and is part of what has become known as the Intermediate Impressions, which indicates that the stamps were produced mid-way through the issue. Like most stamps from this issue, the block is in poor condition with scissor cuts, heavy creases and discolouration.
Also selling well was a magnificent example of the 8d stamp from the Diadem Issue, the series that followed the Sydney Views. With part original gum, good margins and a lovely colour, the stamp sold for £8,000 ($12,236), along with a BPA certificate.
The only known multiple of the 8d stamp from the Diadem Issue sold for £10,000 ($15,834) in January, displaying the popularity of New South Wales stamps among collectors.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fine selection of stamps for sale, including the very best from Great Britain and the Commonwealth.