The Holy Grail of Revenue Collecting – 1880 Postal Fiscal 75 Pound Yellow
Much debate has surrounded the existence of this sought after stamp. Does it exist? When was it printed? Who has a copy? How much would one sell for?
We do know a few things about the 75 Pound Yellow…
1. RPSNZ Vol VI lists its existance, even that it has been sighted and it being perf 12.5 but uncertain as to whether the Watermark is NZ over Star 6mm, 7mm or 4mm. This helps narrow down the printing period to the 1886 – 1895 period – it has been suggested that it was printed with a specific purpose in mind eg. related to registration/incorporation of banks. These dates coincided with the Otago Gold Rush – there were plenty of banks around then!
2. Forbin – a 1926 French catalogue lists its existance and not many of the other values from the QV longtype set, which indicates a presence of the stamp in Europe perhaps? (A fact finding mission awaits!)
3. Barefoot lists its exitstance and price at a modest 75 Pounds in 2002, and it has been suggested in local revenue circles that we should ring John up and order 3 or 4
4. The Kiwi catalogue lists the stamp as uncertain with copies yet to be seen, and the recent ACS catalogue does not acknowledge the existance of the stamp at all.
Personally I believe the stamp would look something like the narrow-fonted FIFTEEN Pounds (9mm) or FIFTYm (6mm) both of which have been identified as Perf 12.5 but watermark uncertain as also is such with the 35 Pound, 45 Pound and 100 Pound which fall into this category as well, and have the narrow-fonted printing described in the Fifteen and Fifty pounds.
I have confirmed the watermark of the 100 Pound as NZ over Star 6mm, Perf 12.5 (See the notes on the 100 Pound catalogue webpage relating to this and also for a possible earlier printing than listed in RPSNZ Vol VI) however the confirmation of this printing type leads me to suspect that the watermark of all the rest of the values in the “uncertain” range are NZ over Star 6mm too, being printed 1886-88. This narrow printing range seems correct as it is very hard to find examples of the higher values (15 Pounds and above) identified with this printing having being perfed 12.5, and I would suggest that examples of this type warrant a much highrt catalogue listing in the future.
Therefore In tentative conclusion we see a 75 Pound yellow being Type 3 Printing, 1886-1888, Perf 12.5, Watermark NZ over Star 6mm, with a narrow font SEVENTY-FIVE in capitals similar to similar printings of the 15, 35, 45, 50 and 100 Pound stamps of the era.
Now does it exist and, if so, how much would it fetch at auction? The search begins again!
I have viewed this stamp as perhaps the Holy Grail of Revenue Collecting and am considering writing an article for RPSNZ Stamp Collector to this effect if should further information comes to hand. I sense the beginnings of a quest and certainly a pot of gold awaits he who discovers the end of this rainbow!
Is any other collector able to add to this information? Any contribution would be helpful – please use the Contact Us area, or e-mail us direct on firstname.lastname@example.org