St Helena 1961 (Oct 12) Tristan Relief Fund set of 4, SG172/75.
A very fine quality set, unmounted mint with full original gum.
Only 434 complete sets were sold and they were withdrawn from sale on 19 October after just one week. Most were used, and this has become recognised as one of the key British Commonwealth philatelic items of the Queen Elizabeth II reign.
In October 1961 violent volcanic activity on the small island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic led to an evacuation of the population. The authorities on the neighbouring island of St Helena, some 1,400 miles to the north-east, established a Relief Fund, and a supply of Tristan da Cunha stamps were surcharged “ST. HELENA Tristan Relief” with an amount for the fund.
Unfortunately only the Colonial Office in London were permitted to authorise new stamps. This fact was clearly unknown to the Governor, and the issue was withdrawn. These are among the rarest of modern stamps as only 434 sets were sold.
Accompanied with a British Philatelic Association (BPA) certificate of authenticity (1965) and original Colonial & Foreign Stamp Co. Ltd. invoice (1977).
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