British Guiana's “Cottonreels”

15 Mar 2018  Thu

We all know about the record-breaking 1c British Guiana Magenta Stamp, but very few are aware of the 2c Guiana “Cottonreel” stamp, which is another rarity in the list of British Guiana stamps.

Till the official postage stamps arrived from London, the First British Guiana Stamps were produced locally till 1852. These early stamps were also known as the “Cottonreels” and were produced during 1850 and 1851. They were named so because they resembled the ends on a cotton thread reel.

There were four different values, 2 cents, 4 cents, 8 cents and 12 cents, all of which are rare. However, the lowest one – the 2 cents rose - is among the world’s greatest philatelic rarities.

The design is extremely simple; it consists of the figure of value followed by the word “Cents” in italic letters in the centre around which is ‘BRITISH GUIANA’ in Roman capital letters. The whole legend is enclosed in a single-lined circular frame.

There are only four known verities; two of them are acquired by private collectors and the other two are in ‘British Library’ and in ‘Post and Telecommunications Museum. London”.

After the 1c Magenta Stamp, the 2c Cottonreel stamp is a classic rarity which was sold in a recent auction at the price of US$225,000.

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