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However, as the owner of a dinosaur egg, laid by a hadrosaur some 75 million years ago, which I am still waiting to hatch, and as a collector of British postal history, I was bemused to note that the T Rex has only 50.17 % original bone material, and consists of composite bones from three specimens.

If a similarly divided 1d Black postage stamp were up for public sale, it would be described – in a philatelic auction – as a fake, or a forgery, implying fraud, and it would be worth very little, probably less than £50. However, if it were originally affixed in that state to an envelope, or a lettersheet, in the 1840s by the sender, who had illegally combined uncancelled parts of three separate examples, in order to fool the Post Office, it would be worth a few thousand pounds.

Although there were approximately 80 million 1d Blacks printed, the same principle would remain, even for a stamp as rare as a T Rex, and it would also be regarded in the philatelic community as something of a joke, were an auction house to offer, as a single item, parts of three examples.

Perhaps the old fossils in the stamp world have something to teach the young tigers in the fossil world?

Gavin Littaur

London NW4