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First NZ stamps ever issued up for auction


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Two of the Full Face Queens which will go under the hammer

Media release – October 13, 2005

First NZ stamps ever issued up for auction at Mowbrays

The first postage stamps ever issued in New Zealand 150 years ago are expected to be in hot demand when they go under the hammer at Mowbray’s major international $1.3 million stamp auction in Wellington later this month.

The penny, two penny and one shilling 1855 full-face Queen Victoria stamps were the first New Zealand postage stamps ever sold in this country.

Up for auction on October 29 are five one shilling stamps, one penny stamp and eight two penny stamps. The dull carmine-coloured one penny stamp, on its own, is expected to fetch $3500.

Stamp dealer John Mowbray said it was rare for the first ever NZ stamps to come up for sale at auction.

``These stamps were printed in London and were sent out here in February 1855. They were the very first stamps used in New Zealand, just 15 years after the first stamps in the world were sold in Britain,’’ he said.

Another lot of stamps – a block of 10 1996 health stamps printed in error – could fetch $15,000.

The Plunket Society complained at the time that the teddy bear in a carseat in the stamp was facing the wrong way. The stamps were withdrawn and redesigned to later show the teddy bear correctly seated.

However, a small number of stamps showing the babyseat facing the wrong way did reach the market.

Two other lots of 1996 teddy bear health stamps are also expected to fetch $15,000 between them.

One collection of full-face Queens could reach $10,000 while an original 1840 Great Britain penny black stamp could sell for as little as $250.

Mowbrays have been auctioning for 30 years and they have the record for the most expensive stamp sold in New Zealand – a 1903 Taupo 4d stamp (with inverted centre) bought by NZ Post for $125,000 for an investment.

The stamp auction will be preceded on October 28 by Mowbray’s international banknote, coin and token sale which includes a 1935 proof Waitangi Crown worth about $4000.

John Mowbray International is the largest stamp auction house in New Zealand. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mowbray Collectables, Australasia’s largest stamp dealers and listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

ENDS

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