Hong Kong 1863-71 96c brownish grey, watermark CC, SG19.
A brilliant mint example with large part original gum. Minor gum wrinkles mentioned for accuracy only and lovely condition for this key stamp.
The 96c was the highest denomination in the first stamps issued by Hong Kong and are particularly scarce due to low need and small print quantities. Few survive in such fine mint condition today.
The first postage stamps of Hong Kong were issued on 8 December 1862. They portrayed the head of Queen Victoria in line with the contemporary definitive stamps used by Great Britain at the time. They were letter-press printed, initially on unwatermarked paper. In 1863, watermarks were introduced on these stamps.
The Chinese characters for Hong Kong and the denomination were produced by craftsmen of the British printer, De La Rue. They based the carving of the printing blocks on the enlarged strokes of the Chinese characters provided by the Hong Kong government.
Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: £1,600.
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