Before the discovery of Australia, it was believed that a black swan was impossible. However, after people discovered the existence of black swans in Australia, it soon became the symbol of the continent.
In 1854, Western Australia issued its first stamps, featuring the colony symbol, the Black Swan, as did all WA stamps until 1902. While 1d black was engraved in Britain by Perkins Bacon, other values, including the 4d blue, were produced by Horace Samson in Perth using lithography, and with various settings around the design for each swan value.
The Inverted Swan, a 4-pence blue postage stamp issued in 1855 by Western Australia, was one of the world’s first invert errors. Technically, it is a “frame invert”.
In January 1855, the 4d stamps were needed. When Alfred Hillman had the impression of stone out of storage, it was found that two of the impressions had been damaged, so he had to redo them. One of the replaced frames has been replaced tilted, and one was accidentally redone upside down. The stone block of 60 has been transferred four times to give the impression of stone, and 97 cards were printed before Hillman discovered and corrected the error, resulting in a total of 388 printing errors are produced.
However, the errors went unrecognized and unreported for several years. Only 15 complete copies, plus a part of a stamp in a strip of three, have survived. No unused copies are known.
Estimated value of this stamp is around US$80,000.