On May 11th, the Stanley Gibbons Auction House hosted the ‘India + Area’ signature sale – and set a new world record for a single Indian States stamp.
Following a tense bidding war, the I.F.S Duttia, 1896 ½a black on blue green, with control handstamp in blue, achieved a sale price of £69,600 - shattering the previous highest price paid for a Duttia stamp was £36,464 in 2006.
The record-breaking stamp was part of the collected works of Geoff Rosamond and Peter Kent and made its mark thanks to the unique expertise at Stanley Gibbons. The collection arrived at our team’s HQ largely unsorted and, after careful research and analysis, the Stanley Gibbons describers and valuers discovered some gems that had gone unrecognised by previous evaluators.
Among the other finds were Lot 184 - a Barwani ¼a rose block imperforate horizontally, which realised £3,500; Lot 276 - the Duttia ¼a and 1a without handstamp (the ¼a being unrecorded) the pair realising £2,700; and Lot 338, the extraordinary Jammu & Kashmir Telegraph 5r and 25r (whole stamps used), which had reached £4,800 by the time the hammer fell.
The star of the show, however, was Lot 272 and the I.F.S Duttia. Before the sale, our experts described this as: “A most attractive example of this key stamp, ranking amongst the finest of the five recorded by us. A wonderful stamp of the highest rarity and importance.” As no previous example of this stamp in this condition had ever come to market, we set a modest estimate of £18,000-£20,000 - but knew that if we could attract the right buyers into the room, we could have something quite special on our hands.
A most attractive example of this key stamp, ranking amongst the finest of the five recorded by us. A wonderful stamp of the highest rarity and importance
The £69,600 sale was a fantastic result for everyone involved and once again reinforced the growing reputation that SG Auctions have for achieving the very best prices for Indian stamp collectors and collections.
Other noteworthy realisations included Lot 259, a sheet of twelve Cochin SG 14 catalogued £48 as singles, which bidders drove to a hammer price of £1,900, and Lot 49a, a small group of Baroda Revenue proofs, which cleared £4,200 against estimate of £250/300.
As a complete collection the ‘India + Area’ auction, realised 192% of its estimated value across the lots - an overwhelming response to our first auction to allow in-room bidders since lockdown began.
Watch the moment on YouTube