£5k for a block of Maltese 1/2d stamps
5k for a block of Maltese 1/2d stamps
The 19th century stamps will sell alongside other highly-rare specimens from tiny island of Malta
On December 9, Spink will be auctioning 305 lots from Clive Smith's collection of Maltese stamps, based around a selection of proof, unused and specimen examples of the 1860-1884 Maltese Halfpenny.
The largest known block of the orange-brown 'supply 9' version from 1867 is estimated here at 2,500-3,000. Theright hand corner set of 18, with the text 'MaltaOne Half-Penny' above the stamps, still has most ofits original gum.
From right at the end of the stamp's run is a complete sheet of the deep orange yellow 'supply 28' version, with the same text for each of four panes of 60. In fine condition, except for minor wrinkling,the sheetisvalued at 2,500-3,000.
Three proofs are all expected to sell for around 3,000. These area fine black die proof on card with the date 21/6/59 marked on it - one of just two known to exist - anda slightly scratched and rubbed bright yellow die proof on card, thought to be unique.
The third is a December 1860 slightly blued plate proof, imperforate with good margins. It is an unmounted single, though without gum, and one of just three of its kindin the world.
A handwritten note proposing a Malta Halfpenny colour change
Anotherfascinating piece of philatelic history in thesale is a handwritten card, dated July 31 1983, proposing that the Malta Halfpenny stamp bechanged from yellow to green. Attached are two example stamps, in beautiful condition. The cardis valued at 2,500-3,000.
A collection of fine specimens of Malta's '85-90 stamps including the green 1/2d is estimatedto sell for2,000-2,500.
The top lot, valued at 5,000is another set of specimens: one of only two blocks of six 1860 brown-ochre Maltese 1/2d stamps in existence, with most of the original gum.
No blocks larger than six are known to exist, and this is in beautifully fresh and appealing condition.
For philatelists, the saleoffers an excellent opportunity toown fascinating pieces of earlystamp historyfromthis tiny part of the British Empire.
Images: Spink auctions