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Misprinted four-anna stamp could fetch a fortune

A rare 159-year-old four-anna Indian stamp, with an image of Queen Victoria’s head upside down due to a printing error, is expected to fetch £70,000 at an auction here.

During the first printing of the four-annas stamp in the survey office in Calcutta in 1854, the Queen’s head was accidentally printed upside down on the stamp. The mistake went unnoticed and dozens of the stamps were sold in India, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

The postage stamp is said to be one of the most sought-after items in the world of philately. Only about 20 or 30 of the stamps remain in existence today and the one that is to be auctioned is said to be completely free of faults or blemishes. It was in the collection of renowned U.S. philatelist Robert Cunliffe for many years and is now being sold by another private collector.

Auctioneers Spink of London has put an estimate of between 50,000 to 70,000 pounds for the auction on January 23.


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