StampNews.com hurries to inform our readers about the latest sensational news from the philatelic world: an unidentified Czech investor has bought the two most expensive stamps in the world ‒ the red and blue Mauritius.
The price was not disclosed but it is estimated to have been Kč 100 million, or US$4.1 million. The transaction was reported by both financial newspaper Hospodářské noviny and tabloid Blesk. The anonymous owner plans to display the stamps at the Praga 2018 world stamp exhibition.
Stamp expert David Kopřiva consulted on the sale and says it is the first time the stamps are in Czech hands. The name of the seller was also not disclosed, but the transaction took place in Britain, according to Kopřiva. Further details, such as whether they are on an envelope together or are separate, were also not disclosed.
The stamps are rare but not unique. A blue Mauritius sold in 2011 for $1.7 million. Experts say that prices for rare collectibles such as these stamps go up in times of uncertainty.
The red Maritius stamp is denominated at one penny, while the blue sold for two pence. They were printed in 1847 and feature a portrait of Queen Victoria. The stamps were issued by the British colony of Mauritius, and are the first British Empire stamps produced outside of Britain.
The original text on the stamps said "Post Office", which was later changed to "Post Paid". Despite the high value put on them now by collectors, the engraving is actually quite primitive as was common for stamps in distant colonies. The engraving was by Joseph Osmond Barnard, who stowed away on a ship in 1838. He was thrown off the ship in Mauritius; his original destination had been Sydney, Australia.
His initials JB appear on the lower right margin of the portrait. Some 500 stamps of each denomination were printed with the Post Office text, and many were used on envelopes for invitations to the Governor's Ball. Some 27 stamps are known to exist today.
Most of the stamps are in private hands, but some can be seen in the British Library in London an in museums in Mauritius, Berlin, Stockholm and The Hague. Several notable collectors have owned examples over the years. Britain's King George V paid £1,450 for an unused blue Mauritius at an auction in 1904, which was a world record price at the time.
The stamps have also been the subject of an episode of The Avengers television series, a play and a novel.
Sourced by praguemonitor.com