1857 Woodblocks Experimental Separations Pin-Perf Roulette about 10 6d dull orange , rouletted at left & right but cut from the sheet to preserve the design resulting in margins close - at the base - to large, minor soiling; tied to outer by Barred Numeral '1' of Melbourne (part-b/s of AP/1856), to London "pr Earl of Sefton", light but clear 'AUSTRALIAN/PAID/LIVERPOOL/JY16/*858/=PACKET=' cds & London arrival of the next day both in red on the face, minor blemishes & a small repair at the top of the cover. A great rarity ; unlisted by Gibbons. Ex JRW Purves, Rodney Perry and Roland Geitenbeek. Illustrated by Geoff Kellow at page 93: at page 94 he states "Several examples are known with a pin perforation gauging about 10...including two covers dated in 1856 and 1857...[They] must be classed, in the absence of any other evidence, as private and unofficial". RPSofV Certificate (2015) states "it is genuine, correctly rated and the stamp belongs".
This unusual form of separation predates by at least 18 months Calvert's official experiments of October 1857. It was almost certainly a private expedient that was clearly unsatisfactory, because any attempt to separate the stamps along such widely spaced roulettes would inevitably have resulted in damage to all units. In this case, presumably after initial attempts to tear the stamps apart had failed miserably, the sender resorted to a pair of scissors. The use of this unofficial separation is clearly analogous to Britain's Archer Roulettes - Cat £25,000 for a single mint stamp - and similar expedients in other countries. A classic Belgian cover with private roulettes - Ex Gary Kasparov - sold at auction in April 2012 for €200,000 plus commission. Admittedly, this classic Victorian cover is neither as attractive nor as valuable as the Belgian cover but it is just as rare.
Auction Category: VICTORIA
GREAT BRITAIN , Ship Mail , Postal History , Early Imperforate Stamps , VICTORIA , AUSTRALIAN COLONIES General , AUSTRALIA