Tags: one-cent | magenta | stamp | auction

One-Cent Magenta Stamp Auction: Rare 1856 Postage Sold For $9.5M

Image: One-Cent Magenta Stamp Auction: Rare 1856 Postage Sold For $9.5M
British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, described as the most famous stamp in the world.

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Jun 2014 11:26 AM

One of the world's rarest stamps, an 1856 British Guiana one-cent Magenta, was sold at auction Tuesday to an anonymous buyer for a record of nearly $9.5 million.

Even though the stamp garnered less than the $10 to $20 million experts had expected, it still set a record for the most expensive stamp sold at auction with its $9.48 million price tag, The Associated Press reported.

"The One-Cent Black on Magenta is unique — the sole surviving One-Cent of the entire 1856 issue produced in Georgetown, British Guiana," wrote Sotheby's on its website. "The survival, rediscovery, and subsequent chain of ownership of the unique example of the One-Cent Magenta is just as serendipitous and captivating as the story of its creation. The significance of the stamp was first recognized by the great philatelist Edward Loines Pemberton, who declared as early as 1878 that the 'ONE cent, red, 1856!!! [is] as genuine as anything ever was.'"

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The 1-inch-by-1¼-inch stamp had not been seen publicly since 1986 and is the only major stamp absent from the British Royal Family's private Royal Philatelic Collection, stated the AP.

"That price will be hard to beat, and likely won't be exceeded unless the British Guiana comes up for sale again in the future," David Redden, Sotheby's vice chairman, told the AP, saying that the sale was "a truly great moment for the world of stamp collecting."

The estate of multimillionaire and convicted murderer John E. du Pont put the stamp up for sale, according to the New York Daily News.

Du Pont died in 2010 at age 72. He was convicted of killing David Schultz, a gold-medal Olympic wrestler, in 1997. Schultz was training and living at du Pont's Foxcatcher Farm in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, at the time of the murder, according to the Wilmington News Journal.

"It stands alone," Thomas Lera, chair of research at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, told the News Journal about the stamp. "When you're the only one in the world, you really have nothing to compare it to."

The previous auction record for a stamp, according to the AP, was $2.3 million in 1996 for an 1855 Swedish stamp.

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One of the world's rarest stamps, an 1856 British Guiana one-cent Magenta, was sold at auction Tuesday to an anonymous buyer for a record of nearly $9.5 million.
one-cent, magenta, stamp, auction
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2014-26-18
Wednesday, 18 Jun 2014 11:26 AM
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