Tonga 1896 (May) 'Half Penny' on 7½d on 2d pale blue, perforations 12x11, typewritten surcharge in violet with black Tongan surcharge reading downwards, showing variety 'Stops instead of hyphens', SG37Ad.
A fresh mint example with part original gum. A trivial thin spot but of very fine appearance as most examples found of this rare variety are in poor condition.
A particularly rare stamp and the first time we have ever handled one.
Accompanied with a Brandon certificate of authenticity (2003).
The Stanley Gibbons catalogue value is £1,100.
Tonga became a constitutional monarchy under King George Tupou I (named after King George III), in 1875. Stamps were first issued with a King George I visage in 1886. Tonga became a British Protectorate in 1900 under a Treaty of Friendship. Tonga, however, maintained its sovereignty, and the Tongan monarchy continues to this day.
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