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Rare and Unique errors – Should you feel lucky?

We are proudly displaying, on the front cover of our latest Sandafayre catalogue, three rather splendid and very different errors which although will clearly appeal to collectors of those specific areas may have a wider appeal to those wishing to build a portfolio of highly unusual impossible to duplicate items.

The first is a pair of stamps printed by the veritable printing firm of Waterlow and Sons for the Indian Feudatory state of Sirmoor. The design, surely one of the best animal topic designs of the 19th Century, features a full Indian Elephant. Sirmoor, being one of the wealthier states could afford to engage Waterlows to print their stamps but that was no guarantee against failure, and fail they did with a single horizontal row of perforations being missed on one sheet creating the potential for ten ‘imperf between’ vertical pairs. We do not know how many survive but we are delighted to offer one here, we believe the first to be offered to the market for many years.


From old to new, just a quick glance will tell you all you need to know about the stamp and its correctly printed partner. The rare “Pink Omitted” error on the 1973 $5 definitive of Hong Kong was discovered almost immediately after issue. It’s no surprise given the striking difference with the correctly printed version and that the error has been listed since the 1970’s that probably no examples remain to be discovered.


How many stamps do you have to check to find a previously unknown watermark error? The collector who discovered this Nigerian 1962 Anti – Malaria stamp with an inverted watermark left behind a sack of – wait for it – 230,000 stamps which he had checked. Yes, he checked almost a quarter of a million stamps. Now we can’t know how many of this particular stamp he checked but it does illustrate why most sane collectors are happy to buy these errors rather than relying on good fortune and finding one!


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