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1898 Pictorials

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1898 Pictorials
Cat. Mint Unhinged Mint Hinged Fine Used
½d Mount Cook 9a $27.00
$10.80
$1.35
1d Lake Taupo / Mount Ruapehu 9b $19.80
$9.00
$0.90
2d Pembroke Peak 9c $315.00
$135.00
$0.90
2½d Lake Wakitipu (design error) 9d $54.00
$27.00
$67.50
2½d Lake Wakatipu 9e $108.00
$54.00
$13.50
3d Huias 9f $108.00
$54.00
$2.70
4d The White Terraces 9g $81.00
$45.00
$40.50
5d Otira Gorge / Mount Ruapehu 9h $198.00
$76.50
$10.80
6d Green Kiwi 9i $585.00
$225.00
$72.00
8d Canoe 9j $225.00
$81.00
$22.50
9d The Pink Terraces 9k $225.00
$99.00
$27.00
1/- Kea and Kaka 9l $315.00
$157.50
$13.50
2/- Milford Sound / Mitre Peak 9m $810.00
$315.00
$67.50
5/- Mount Cook 9n $1,620.00 $697.50
$540.00
Set of 14 9o $4,456.25 $1,887.00 $836.60

The stamps in this issue were selected from over 2,400 entries in a design competition with the brief to include a representation of characteristic or notable New Zealand scenery in the design and a stamp issue symbolic of the land. The quality of the winning entries were so great that a decision was made to print the issue using the more expensive recess printing method, with the anticipation that costs would be covered many times over by sales to stamp collectors.

The issue, following the lead of New South Wales, was one of the world's earliest pictorial definitive issues. The stamps were engraved in England along with initial printings, and subsequently printed in New Zealand from new plates supplied from England.

The same denominations were printed as the Second Sidefaces with a new 9d stamp for overseas parcels, and two and five shilling stamps for parcels, fiscals and telegrams.

The half pence stamp features Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Two alpine flowers are featured on the stamp - the Ranunculus and Celmisia.

The one penny stamp features Lake Taupo with Mount Ruapehu in the background and a Cabbage Tree on the left. It was the first two colour printed stamp in New Zealand. Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand covering over 600 square kilometers. The lake is well known for rainbow trout which were introduced in 1884.

The twopence stamp features Pembroke Peak in Milford Sound.

The two and a half pence stamp features Lake Wakatipu. Initially printed with Wakatipu incorrectly spelt Wakitipu, a new plate with the correct spelling was produced a month after the initial issue. Interest amongst collectors for the original error was so high though, that special printings were made and the mint stamp is easy to track down, although used copies are rarer. Wakatipu is the second largest lake in the South Island and lies at the southern end of the Southern Alps in Central Otago. Mount Earnslaw is shown in the background and New Zealand flax, cabbage trees and toi toi frame the scene.

The threepence stamp features the Huia (Heteralocha acutirostris), a now extinct New Zealand native bird. The Huia was prized for its plumage, and tail feathers were used by Maori as symbols of rank and adornment by chiefs.

The fourpence features the White Terraces which were produced by geothermally heated water which left thick white layers of limestone. Located on the edges of Lake Rotomahana near Rotorua, they were considered the eighth wonder of the natural world until they were completely destroyed by the violent volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. The eruption claimed around 150 lives and is the most violent and destructive volcanic eruption in recent history.

The five penny stamp features Otira Gorge with an inset view of Mount Ruapehu. Otira Gorge, in the central South Island, is on the original stagecoach run from Canterbury to the West Coast. A railway line was later built from Greymouth to Otira. Mount Ruapehu is one of the world's most active volcanoes, located southwest of the southern shore of Lake Taupo, within Tongariro National Park. The North Island's major skifields and only glaciers are located on its slopes.

The sixpence stamp features the Kiwi, the species of flightless birds endemic to New Zealand. Kiwis are about the size of a domestic chicken and all species are endangered. The kiwi is a national symbol of New Zealand.

The eight penny stamp contains a graphic eight with a maori war canoe on the lower circle of the eight and a crown in the upper circle. Tree Ferns are drawn to the left of the eight and Cabbage Trees on the right.

The nine penny stamp features the Pink Terraces, which were destroyed along with the White Terraces by the explosive eruption of Mount Tarawera on the 10th of June, 1886.

The one shilling stamp features the Kea and Kaka. The Kea (on the left) is a species of parrot found in forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand. It is one of the few alpine parrots in the world. The Kea is uncommon and received full protection in 1986. Kea are reknown for their intelligence and curiosity, both vital to their survival in a harsh mountain environment and are often described as "cheeky". The Kākā (on the right) is a parrot endemic to the forests of New Zealand and its name is the Māori language word for "parrot". The Kaka is closely related to the Kea but has darker plumage.

The two shilling stamp features Milford Sound (Piopiotahi). Milford Sound is the northenmost of a number of fjords in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park. It is New Zealand's most famous tourist destination and is named after Milford Haven in Wales. Mitre Peak is shown on the right of the stamp.

The five shilling stamp shows Mount Cook reflected in Lake Tekapo. Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. It is part of the Southern Alps - the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island.
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