GILBERT & ELLICE ISLANDS 1911 set of 7 to 1s SPECIMENS, SG1s/7s
Gilbert and Ellice Islands 1911 set of 7 to 1s, type 1 overprint on Fiji, overprinted 'SPECIMEN', the 1s value exceptionally showing variety Broken 'M' (pos.41 of the setting), SG1s/7s.
The 1 shilling variety is extremely rare being one of only seven possible examples.
A fine quality mint set with large part original gum to full original gum. In particular, the valuable 1 shilling variety is in very fine condition. A few of the lower value stamps have a few slightly shortish perforations, but not detracting from overall quality of the set.
These "SPECIMEN" examples were used solely by postal administrations for reference purposes to help spot any attempted forgeries.
The Gilbert and Ellice Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean north east of Australia, were a British protectorate from 1892 and a colony from 1916. The first mail service was ad hoc, depending on which ships were calling at the various islands. A regular service began in 1911 and Edward VII postage stamps of Fiji were overprinted GILBERT & ELLICE / PROTECTORATE and put on sale on 1 January of that year.
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