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Half a rare German postage stamp fetches a fortune

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Half a rare German postage stamp which dates back to 1872 has fetched some 261,000 euros ($347,500) at auction in the southern German town of Bietigheim-Bissingen.

A spokeswoman for the auction house said a German collector paid the high price for the well-preserved half-stamp, which originates from the northern German town of Syke, because it was so rare.

"Stamps were in short supply in Syke between 1872 and 1874 so it was decided that they should be cut in half as a makeshift solution," she said. "But because this was only done for a short period, very few letters actually bear these halved stamps."

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