October 26, 2005
NZ’s biggest annual stamp auction on Saturday by Mowbray’s attracting huge attention
The first postage stamps ever issued in New Zealand 150 years ago are among nearly 1200 lots to go under the hammer at
Mowbray’s major international $1.3 million stamp auction in Wellington on Saturday.
The sale by publicly-listed Mowbray’s is easily New Zealand’s biggest annual stamp auction.
The penny, two penny and one shilling 1855 full-face Queen Victoria stamps were the first New Zealand postage stamps
ever sold in this country.
Up for auction at the West Plaza Hotel on Friday are five one shilling stamps, one penny stamp and eight two penny
stamps, all from 1855. The dull carmine-coloured one penny stamp, on its own, is expected to fetch $3500.
Stamp dealer John Mowbray said it was rare for the first ever NZ stamps to come up for sale at auction.
``These stamps were printed in London and were sent out here in February 1855. They were the very first stamps used in
New Zealand, just 15 years after the first stamps in the world were sold in Britain,’’ he said.
``Our auction this week is attracting significant attention from around New Zealand and overseas. We have over 400 lots
estimated over $1000 each and 47 lots worth over $3500.’’
One block of stamps – of 10 1996 health stamps printed in error – could fetch $15,000.
The Plunket Society complained at the time that the teddy bear in a carseat in the stamp was facing the wrong way. The
stamps were withdrawn and redesigned to later show the teddy bear correctly seated.
However, a small number of stamps showing the babyseat facing the wrong way did reach the market.
Two other lots of 1996 teddy bear health stamps are also expected to fetch $15,000 between them.
One collection of full-face Queens could reach $10,000 while an original 1840 Great Britain penny black stamp could
sell for as little as $250.
Three eight penny stamps, worth 20c in 1935, has attracted huge interest worldwide and will sell for at least double
the estimate of $1350.
Mowbrays have been auctioning for 30 years and they have the record for the most expensive stamp sold in New Zealand – a
1903 Taupo 4d stamp (with inverted centre) bought by NZ Post for $125,000 for an investment.
The stamp auction will be preceded on October 28 by Mowbray’s international banknote, coin and token sale which
includes a 1935 proof Waitangi Crown worth about $4000.
John Mowbray International is the largest stamp auction house in New Zealand. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary
of Mowbray Collectables, Australasia’s largest stamp dealers and listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.