New Zealand 1907-08 3d brown 'Huia', reduced format, perforations 14x13, 13½ (comb), block of 4, SG378.
A brilliant mint block with original gum, (lower pair unmounted mint). Some slightly short perforations at right, which do not detract from what is a lovely block.
By 1906 the 1/2d, 3d, 6d & 1s pictorial stamp printing plates needed to be replaced. The opportunity was taken to reduce in size the 3d, 6d and 1s stamps so that they would be the same size as the 1d value.
Huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) became extinct in 1907 as a result of hunting, clearing of their forest habitat and over zealous specimen collecting for overseas museums. The bird was noted for its green black plumage, its rounded orange wattles and white-tipped tail. The female had a long, slender curving bill which made it easily distinguishable from the male, which had a much shorter but more powerful beak. Almost always seen in pairs, they normally bounded along the ground or from branch to branch, flying only when necessary. Huia tail feathers were greatly prized by the Māori as symbols of rank and used as adornment by chiefs.
The Stanley Gibbons catalogue value is £220+.
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