Hidden in a mixed lot brought into the Stanley Gibbons shop at 399 Strand, SG’s valuers were stunned to find this envelope. It was posted without stamps to Major Hills by his wife, who must have been having a bad hair day!
The Postage Due ($1.20) was collected by means of a block of ten of the Malayan Postal Union 10ct on 8ct yellow-orange, and the remaining 40ct – which could have been represented by a further four examples of the 10ct on 8ct – by the two right columns of a sheet of the 2ct. Prior to the discovery of this envelope, one vertical pair imperforate horizontally was known; this 2ct block has no horizontal perforations at all and represents a further ten ‘imperforate between’ pairs! The envelope remained in the family for 53 years until it appeared in Stanley Gibbons’ Auction on 26th April, when it sold to a telephone bidder for £35000 hammer price (£43400 including Buyer’s Premium and V.A.T.) against an estimate of £20000.
Forgotten for all that time, the envelope is now considered to be one of the most important Postage Due covers in British Commonwealth philately.