Great Britain 1882 £5 Orange Plate 1, SG137.
A Very fine used example lettered AL, neatly cancelled by a Plymouth circular date stamp for JA.2.1900.
A very high quality used example of Britain's boldest stamp design and particularly scarce so fine.
Because of the high face value, there was no postal need for this stamp issue.
It was first introduced as a Telegraphs stamp to account for payment of bulk telegrams and for those of individual high cost.
Telegraphs were withdrawn in 1881 and the same plate design was adapted for use as a postage stamp, but postal packages that warranted a £5 stamp were obviously going to be very few and far between.
That is why so few of these stamps exist. Dr. John Horsey’s book, aptly entitled "The £5 Orange", analysed 3,534 examples of the £5 Orange and he calculated that to be nearly half of the £5 Oranges that still exist.
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