Great Britain SG#137 5 Pounds Orange Queen Victoria, 1867-1883 Surface Printed Issue With Uncoloured Corner Letters a VF Appearing Used Example


A lovely very fine appearing, but VG used example of this iconic high value British classic stamp. 1898 Threadneedle St. Registered cancel.

There are two condition issues with this stamp, one of which affects the grade and the other, which does not:

  • The perforations at the bottom and the left side appear to have been separated with scissors. I have measured the perforations on all sides with an Instanta gauge and can confirm that they measure exactly 14 at the top and bottom sides and 13.9 on the sides. So, I don't believe that the stamp has been re-perforated, but rather cut from the sheet by a very careful accounting clerk at the time. 
  • There are two crease lines running the length of the stamp on the right side, that are really only noticeable under a 10x loupe. They are either creases, or at one point the stamp has been torn and pieced back together. Looking at the back in this area, the paper appears completely even and consistent with the paper texture on the remainder of the stamp. Looking a little more closely there appears to be an additional layer of cellulose paper fibre that has been added and blended in to the rest of the paper. The design does not appear to have been repainted at any point. So, I would conclude that it was not torn, but deeply creased and this crease was repaired by adding more paper fibre to strengthen the stamp.

A fine example in Gibbons lists for 4,750 pounds, which is our equivalent to VF. This translates to approximately $8,000. Usually for fine material during this period, the true market value is 50% of VF and VG would be 50% of that again. So, 25% of the catalogue value would be approximately $2,000. Thus even with the repair outlined above, the stamp should be a great buy at our asking price. The example offered here grades VG-55 as follows:

Centering/margins: 40/60

Paper freshness: 5/5

Colour: 4/5

Impression: 3/5

Absence of visible paper flaws: 5/5

Perforations: 10/10

Cancellation: 8/10

Adjustment for repaired creases: -20 points

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