TONGA 1896 'Half-/Penny-' on 7½d on 2d pale blue variety, SG37Bp
Tonga 1896 (May) 'Half-/Penny-' on 7½d on 2d pale blue, typewritten surcharge in violet with Tongan surcharge reading upwards, perforations 12, and exceptionally showing the variety 'Deformed E in PENI' (R2/2), SG37Bp.
A fine mint example with part original gum. Minor traces of gum toning but fine appearance and very rare with this combination of perforation and plate variety. Few can have existed.
Stanley Gibbons catalogue value: £800+.
Tonga became a constitutional monarchy under King George Tupou I (named after King George III), in 1875. Stamps were first issued with a King George I visage in 1886. Tonga became a British Protectorate in 1900 under a Treaty of Friendship. Tonga, however, maintained its sovereignty, and the Tongan monarchy continues to this day.
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