A £5 stamp sent from Sheffield 111 years ago is set to fetch up to £3,000 when it goes under the hammer at auction.
The orange stamp, featuring a sharp and clear Sheffield postmark over an image of Queen Victoria, was sent from Sheffield at 11.15pm on January 23, 1900.
Even today £5 would be a hefty sum to pay for a stamp - but back then it was the equivalent of more than three weeks’ wages for the average Sheffield worker, who was earning the equivalent of around £1.40 a week.
The Sheffield stamp is now expected to sell for between £2,900 and £3,000 when it is auctioned at Spink in Bloomsbury, London, on Monday February 28.
But why is it so valuable?
Dominic Savastano, a postage stamp specialist at Spink, said: “It was very rare for the £5 to be used postally. Most often they were used as receipts for tax.
“The £5 orange was the largest postage stamp in size and value at the time.
“Stamp collecting is very much an aesthetic hobby, so naturally the sharpness and clarity of the postmark will make it more popular. Hence it’s a more valuable example than one that is smudged or unclear.”
The year 1900 when the £5 orange stamp was posted was an eventful time in Sheffield.
Sheffield Wednesday, then known as The Wednesday, won the Second Division championship partly thanks to 26 league goals from inside left John Wright, the year after the move to their new ground, Owlerton.
And in 1899, just a few months before the stamp was posted, Sheffield United won the FA Cup for the first time and Sheffield’s first electric tram ran between Nether Edge and Tinsley.