Stanley Gibbons recently acquired the mythological 1904 6d Pale Dull Purple (I.R. Official) which is on display on their stand (Number 79) at the London 2010 International Stamp Exhibition at the Business Design Centre, London until Saturday 15th May.
Issued on 14 May 1904, the Edward VII 6d purple, overprinted I.R. Official, has earned the handle “Britain’s rarest stamp” due to the fact that it was issued on the very day that an official order came into effect withdrawing all official stamps from use.
The only known examples of this stamp in existence today belong to the Royal Collection and one or two museums such as the National Postal Museum.
‘Examples of this rarity just don’t come on to the open market’ said Stanley Gibbons Director of Great Britain Stamps, Vince Cordell.
This wonderful philatelic treasure is the key stamp for any collector hoping to build a complete collection of Great Britain.
‘This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire one of the rarest and most coveted stamps in the world’ said Mr Cordell.
This stamp is the only known example to have been in private hands, which came from a collection in Switzerland in the 1950s and has been passed from one private collection to another before being offered to Stanley Gibbons earlier this year.
For these reasons, the 6d I.R. Official has become known as a ‘mythological’ stamp. Collectors from around the world, visiting the London 2010 International Stamp exhibition have been fascinated by this rarity on the Stanley Gibbons stand.
‘It’s great to see people’s eyes widen when they see we have the 6d I.R. Official here on the stand. They can see that it really is here and we do have it for sale’ said Stanley Gibbons Director of Group Sales and Marketing, Keith Heddle.
So far no one has parted with the £375,000 needed to own Britain’s rarest stamp but collectors around the world are enjoying the spectacle of seeing this rare philatelic treasure for themselves.