Rarest stamp sells for £400,000
A stamp that became one of Britain's rarest when it was withdrawn within hours of being issued has sold for £400,000.
Only 19 sheets of the Edward VII pale dull purple 6d stamp overprinted with "IR Official" were issued on 14 May 1904 and most were destroyed by the Post Office.
The single stamp, which is believed to be the only one surviving outside a museum or the Royal Collection, has now been sold to a private collector by Stanley Gibbons Investment, the Jersey-based stamp dealership.
Stamps overprinted with "IR Official" were used from 1882 by the Inland Revenue and other government departments. It was a criminal offence to possess or sell them. The order to withdraw all IR Official stamps, including the new 6d version, on the day they were issued was taken hurriedly by the postal authorities following the prosecution of some of the world's most prominent philatelists.
Since 2005 the stamp, which was on display at the London 2010 International Stamp Exhibition last month, has trebled in value. Keith Heddle, of Stanley Gibbons, said: "The 6d IR Official is one of the most sought-after stamps in the world."
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
National archives reveal MI5 bugged Edward VIII’s phone calls
World news in pictures
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 4 Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.