Skip to content
+44 (0)1534 639998 |
+44 (0)1534 639998 |
british stamps

23% Upside Potential in this all-time great of British Commonwealth philately

The Queen of England owns this…you could own it too!

Today, I have the honour of presenting to you one of the Queen’s classic stamp rarities. 

This first stamp issue from Queensland, Australia features in the all-time greats of British Commonwealth philately.

There are only three recorded examples of this major rarity.

But, there are only two recorded examples in private hands. 

That’s because the other example resides in the Royal Collection owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

You would, obviously, expect such a major rarity to come at a price unobtainable to most collectors.

Not so…

The current Stanley Gibbons catalogue value is only £11,000. 

I believe I could find a buyer at the full catalogue value.

Yet, I am willing to let it go today for the price of £8,950.

That gives you 23% upside potential immediately on your purchase price.

It is also considered one of the most beautiful stamp designs from the Victorian era. The design is based on the 1838 painting of the young Queen Victoria by Alfred Chalon.

Allow me to present to you the “Chalon Head” of Queensland…

No alt text provided for this image

Technical description:

Australia Queensland 1860-61 1 shilling violet, watermark small star, clean-cut perforations 14-16, SG10.

A fine used example with crisp part strikes of the Perkins Bacon ‘(CANCELLED)’ barred oval which, most importantly, leave the portrait clear. Slightly trimmed perforations at upper right, which do not detract from its beauty. 

A stunning and fascinating stamp of the highest rarity, being position 2 of an original block of 6 (3x2) for presentation to Rowland Hill’s family, and one of only two recorded in private hands (plus a third in the Royal Collection).

Price: £8,950

Click here to buy now

Fascinating provenance

We owe a gratitude of thanks to Perkins Bacon. They were responsible for the printing of the world’s first postage stamp, the penny black. 

Their production of the Chalon Head designs were part of a magical age for collectors. 

An error of judgement, however, led to their sad demise… 

On 18 April 1861, the nephew of Rowland Hill, the originator of the penny postage system, sent a letter to Joshua Bacon, the head of Perkins Bacon, asking for a few stamps to give to his friends.

He requested that they were appropriately cancelled so they would have no value for posting.

Joshua Bacon did not think things through properly and he agreed to supply cancelled examples of every stamp they had in stock in blocks of six.

However, the stamps with or without postal cancellation were not Perkins Bacon’s property to give, regardless of the importance of the recipient. 

Once this got out into the public domain, the inevitable political storm it caused resulted in the demise and ultimate end of a great printing company.

You can read the full story in the book written by Peter Jaffe “CANCELLED by Perkins Bacon”. 

The stamp I offer you today, not only forms part of that fascinating history… 

It was also previously owned by the author of the book, Peter Jaffe. In 2006 Jaffe auctioned it in Australia for A$11,500. 

The stamp is fully documented on page 57 of his book, giving it the ultimate in provenance.

It is also accompanied with an independent Brandon certificate of authenticity from when it was sold in 2006…

No alt text provided for this image

Why Collectors Love the Chalon Head stamps

The Chalon Head stamps came from an 1838 painting by Alfred Edward Chalon.

The painting depicted the first public appearance of Victoria as Queen on the occasion of her speech at the House of Lords. 

The work was intended as a gift to her mother.

While sitting for the portrait, the young Queen asked Alfred Chalon whether he was worried about the impact of a new invention called photography on the popularity of his painted portraits. To, which he replied:

“Why no, Madame, photography can never flatter!”.

The beauty captured of the young Queen in the Chalon Head stamps proved extremely popular.

They have since become an absorbing area of philatelic study.

Their visual appeal with layers of philatelic complexity have drawn collectors to them from all over the world.

Certainly, now is the perfect moment for collectors to consider the stamps and postal history of the Australian States.

It is an area which has attracted renewed attention and interest in recent years, particularly with retired Australians rekindling their childhood interest in stamps.

Looks undervalued

An all-time classic British Commonwealth rarity such as this should command a much higher valuation.

The Chalon Head stamps were the first issue from Queensland. They were so popular, they remained in use for 19 years and became a symbol of Queensland.

The Chalon Head stamps were issued in many British colonies from the 1850s until 1912 in Queensland. They are among the most prized and valuable stamps of the British Commonwealth.

For example, in February 2006, the 12d black of Canada sold at the auction of Gawaine Baillie’s collection for £116,000. At the same sale, a New Zealand Chalon Head stamp reached £69,000.

As for our Queensland rarity, it has shown reasonable growth in value in the past 15 years.

It has increased in the Stanley Gibbons catalogue during that time by 120% from £5,000 to £11,000.

But, in my view, in comparison to its peers, the price has a lot of room for further growth. 

Let’s recap

This truly is a remarkable and beautiful stamp rarity, with a fascinating back-story.

To summarise:

  • A majority rarity featured within the Royal Collection
  • One of the all-time greats of British Commonwealth philately
  • Of the ultimate rarity, being one of only two examples recorded in private hands
  • With exceptional provenance
  • Available at a price giving a 23% immediate upside
  • In a fascinating and enduringly popular area of stamp collecting

Click here to buy now

Call me immediately on +44(0)1534 639998.

Or email me today at

Owning this stamp has been a privilege.

Its beauty, rarity and investment potential is there for all to see.

Will you be the next proud owner?

Kind regards

Mike Hall

PS. Finding a stamp this rare you can own for a four-figure sum is a major rarity in itself.

Previous article Today in history: A brutal legend is born