A Tasmanian 1858 6d Lilac on "star watermark" paper block of 21 has provided the top lot at Mossgreen's Stamps, Coins and Postal History sale.
This largest known multiple of the unissued stamp sold for $8,234 at the February 18 auction in Melbourne, Australia.
The lot was prevented from achieving a higher price by the presence of creasing on all the stamps, a result of a protracted period spent in the recesses of a safe drawer.
A strong performance was also offered from an earlier Tasmanian item, stemming from the days before the island's change in name from Van Diemen's Land in 1856. The horizontal strip of three 1853 1d Blue Couriers auctioned for $4,118, just above its high estimate.
The item was particularly notable for its good all-around margins.
And the island also provided an attractive 1865-71 1d Dull Vermilion Chalon, numeral watermark, block of 44, which sold for an identical figure of $4,118 - its excellent condition and gum adding to its value.
A decade on from the change in name, these stamps still bear the words "Van Diemens Land" due to the great cost of replacing printing plates. It is not uncommon to find covers from this period featuring both names.
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