Do you know what a Bull's Head is? It is one of the most valuable stamp is in the philatelic history of Romania. This stamp was released over 150 years ago in the Romanian principality of Moldova and will be the star of a historical items auction organised by Romanian auction house Artmark, on September 29. StampNews.com strongly recommends our readers to add this precious item to their collections.
The Bull's Head with a face value of 27 parale (an old Romanian currency that doesn't exist anymore) issued 1858, is considered to be one of the rarest and most valuable Romanian collectable stamps.
The starting price for the stamp that will be auctioned at the end of September is EUR 10,000, but in international auctions such an item can go up to as much as EUR 100,000, according to Artmark.
Another Bull's Head with a face value of 54 parale will be sold in the same auction, for a starting price of EUR 3,500.
The Bull's Head stamps are so valuable because they were the first stamps to be issued in the Romanian principalities, and thus represented an important step towards Moldova's independence from the Ottoman Empire. The bull's head was the Principality of Moldavia's coat of arms.
The stamps were printed by the "Atelia Timbrului" in Moldova's capital Iasi, which had the Principality of Moldavia's warrant to produce stationery, tax forms, and revenue stamped paper. A total of 24,000 such stamps were issued in four values (27, 54, 81, and 108 parale), but only about half were sold, the rest being destroyed.
Today, it is estimated that fewer than 800 items of all four values still exist, according to experts.
The stamps have a rich history. Some ended up in the British Museum and other public exhibitions, some were seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War Two and vanished. Romania's King Carol II had a collection of "Bulls" which disappeared after he reportedly used it as a collateral for a loan in Mexico, which he forfeited. A group of items destined for auction in England in 1988 was stolen at a London airport and has never appeared again.