In 1921 through 1923, the current Cyprus definitives picturing King George V were issued on paper watermarked multiple crowns and script “CA.” De La Rue, the printers, had prepared for a Half Piastre value, but it was apparently not ordered, and perhaps only one sheet (of four panes, totalling 240 stamps), in black, was printed and perforated (the 1912-15 version was in Green and Carmine).

Of that entire preliminary printing, only one example has survived, and shows the Samuels Type D16 “SPECIMEN” overprint, perhaps to keep it from being inadvertently issued. The stamp is affixed to a small piece of paper from the De La Rue Archives, and is UNIQUE per the current BPA Certificate, issued in 2011.

Not mentioned by Gibbons, or by the Robson Lowe Encyclopedia. In 1924, a Half Piastre value, in Brownish Black & Black, but in the new “Shield” design, was issued.

This rarity, a true “gem” of high-level exhibition calibre, ranks with the top rarities of the entire British Empire, and appears in our Geneva Autumn Auction series, December 2011.

View this lot N°40157