Notes from the Past

What Is the Most Extraordinary Item Known to the Philatelic World?

How would you answer this question?  It is an interesting subject.  I would name the small original copper plate from which the extremely rare "Post Office" Mauritius stamps, the 1p orange and 2p blue of 1847, were printed.  These two stamps, unused, catalog $37,000.  The plate was engraved by J. Barnard, a watchmaker, of Port Louis, Mauritius, for the first stamps issued on the Island.  The one-penny design was in one corner, and the two-pence in the opposite corner, and only a small number of stamps were printed, one at a time.

The plate was found in 1912 after remaining undiscovered for 65 years among the effects of the long-deceased Governor of the Island who was in office when the stamps were current.  It was acquired by Neville L. Stocken, of Lon[don and subsequently sold to . . .] Loder, an English collector.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions on this subject, write the Editor, who will be glad to publish your letters in the "Open Forum."

- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
July 13, 1935

 Posted December 12, 1999

Editor's Note:  This item was subject to the vagaries of linotype editing.  When proofreading corrections were made to linotype copy, the whole line in the column was redone and then inserted into the body of type.  On occasion, the line was omitted or, in this case a duplicate of another line.  I've inserted what appears to have been the sense of the missing line.  

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