Stanley Gibbons, the embattled philatelist, has banked £500,000 after selling a strip of four very rare Indian stamps.
The block of four was sold to a private collector-investor in Australia for the highest ever price for Indian stamps. Its shares rose as much as 7 percent in London.
Her four stamps of the same type are in a square block rather than a strip.
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A Mahatma Gandhi stamp issued in 1948 after his assassination (Representational image). Only single stamps of this kind have previously been recorded to exist in private collections.
The Indian stamps were particularly rare owing to the fact they were in a set of four.
However, the record price for a stamp sold an auction is United States dollars 9.5 million (7.4 million pounds). In March, an Indian stamp where the head of the young Queen Victoria had been inverted in error sold for 110,000 pounds.
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"The market for high-quality Indian rarities has been strong for several years and is supported by the on-going desire of the wealthy, Indian diaspora and savvy global clients to own these historic assets", said Stanley Gibbons' managing director of investors.
Although the company highlights the strength of the Indian collectibles market, it reported a pretax loss of 29 million pounds past year amid financial restructuring and discovery of errors in its accounting methods.
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