FULL history of the unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp

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Re: Is this the 1 cent magenta the most expensive piece of a

Post by vinobub »

Norbert Jenkins wrote: PS Here are a few fun StampBoards numbers:

If Glen had decided on day one to charge $4.20 for each message we post here, with 383,000-odd messages as of the time of writing, he’d have raised enough cash to buy this stamp.

If instead posting was free but he wanted to charge to start each topic, buying the stamp for the $16 million ‘mid price’ would have required that each of the 51,500-ish topics cost $310 each to start.

Finally, if the stamp purchase were to be paid for by we, the members of Stampboards, we could all just chip in. As the largest stamp board on the internet, with a mighty 12,217 users (as of now), a bargain price of $1,310 each StampBoards member should cover our purchase. So, who’s for a whip-round?
What Glen should have done is to charge per View! That would have made it a true bargain for each of us to own 1/12,217th of this beauty.

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Re: Is this the 1 cent magenta the most expensive piece of a

Post by Global Administrator »

Norbert Jenkins wrote:
If Glen had decided on day one to charge $4.20 for each message we post here, with 383,000-odd messages as of the time of writing, he’d have raised enough cash to buy this stamp.
Don't give up your day job to go into Maths or Accounting. :D

We have over 3.8 MILLION posts here. :lol: :lol: :lol:

7 figures, not 6. Big difference. 8)

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Allanswood »

Norbert your paper calculations are a fair bit out.

I measure the stamp to be 24mm by 21mm minus the corners (but I would hazard a guess of a missing 10x10mm area in total to give an area of 400mm².

However paper is not that thick! Modern photocopy paper is 0.1mm (10 sheets to a mm).

Given that it's handmade older paper I would double the thickness based on my experience and give the thickness somewhere around 0.2 to 0.25mm thick, not 0.75!

Oddly enough, after all that, the volume probably isn't that far off what you've already speculated. :D
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

Oh well, I may have been off by a couple of quid here or there :oops: but at least I managed to get some nice colours into my post :-)

Thanks Allanswood for the better measurements - that will help me to calculate better if and when I re-run the calculation. Strange that the 'thickness' figure is so different (but in retrospect, a quick 'pages per inch' heuristic shows yours to be much more likely) - I took my figure from the internet and made the 'schoolboy error' of taking what I was told there at face value.
Global Administrator wrote:Don't give up your day job to go into Maths or Accounting
If I told you what my day job is and indeed what my Maths and Accounting qualifications are, I don’t know which of us would be laughing and which crying :D

But seriously, I blame a typo for my error and a lack of proof reading at the silly time I was writing.

Guess it means that you would only have had to charge 42p per post in order to be able to afford this stamp.

That statistic puts both the price of the stamp and the popularity of StampBoards into perspective and reflects very positively on both, I think.

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

Norbert Jenkins wrote:
If I told you what my day job is and indeed what my Maths and Accounting qualifications are, I don’t know which of us would be laughing and which crying :D

Guess it means that you would only have had to charge 42p per post in order to be able to afford this stamp.
Talk about dig that hole deeper and deeper! Please don't use this thread on your next Accountancy CV attesting to your dazzling Maths. :lol: :lol:

42p a post is still about a full decimal place short ...... agree? And you really meant to type 42 CENTS not 42 PENCE correct? Your first $ figure was right, but not your member numbers. :mrgreen:

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

Global Administrator wrote:
Norbert Jenkins wrote:
If I told you what my day job is and indeed what my Maths and Accounting qualifications are, I don’t know which of us would be laughing and which crying :D

Guess it means that you would only have had to charge 42p per post in order to be able to afford this stamp.
Talk about dig that hole deeper and deeper! Please don't use this thread on your next Accountancy CV attesting to your dazzling Maths. :lol: :lol:

42p a post is still about a full decimal place short ...... agree? And you really meant to type 42 CENTS not 42 PENCE correct? Your first $ figure was right, but not your member numbers. :mrgreen:
I don't want to derail this thread any further, but so I will wrap up on this aspect by pointing out that when one reaches a certain level of understanding with mathematics, one realises that Astemeyer correctly postulates that one and two are in fact the same thing, observed from different precepts.

So I am sure you will now agree that all our answers are equally valid. I wouldn't normally give ground so easily, but as I'm feeling magnanimous, I'm happy to call this a draw :-)

Norbert

PS At a push, I guess I'll admit I totally 'f*nn*ed it up' and while my idea was worth a 6 out of 10, the execution was worth perhaps 2 out of 10! :oops: :lol:

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Andyref2 »

I'm anxiously awaiting the start of the auction! This will be most interesting indeed!

Dunno about drumming up interest in collecting though...I figure some newbie will find an old envelope in the attic and think it is the next rarest stamp on earth! He/She will probably contact a dealer (Glen perhaps?) and spend an hour of his time explaining how the stamp was found, in an old shoe box, tucked in the corner of a brass-bound trunk in uncle Jimmy's attic, that in turn came from grandmas house way back in 1965! :lol:
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by jimjung »

I got this off the Sotheby's new preview of this sale. Seems Sotheby's has their own photoshop of the stamp and cleaned up the image a bit.
Here's the link although the images may change day-to-day:

http://www.sothebys.com/en.html

and a new video:

http://www.sothebys.com/content/sothebys/en/news-video/video ... uiana.html

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

Sothebys are BEYOND clueless if that is the BEST image they can conjure up, a fortnight before the sale. :shock:

Near every stamp ebayer does a better job with images than they do.

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Allanswood »

I think the new promo image is quite nice - it's only used as part of a montage of artisitc bits and looks quite effective. Not meant to be the "money shot".

The image posted just above is only part of the screen effect.

I didn't get a download of the first video, (which may have been deleted?). I quite liked it. :(
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

Global Administrator wrote:Sothebys are BEYOND clueless if that is the BEST image they can conjure up, a fortnight before the sale. :shock:

Near every stamp ebayer does a better job with images than they do.
To be fair, I've not seen an eBay listing with a video attached to it that's been as good as the 3 minute potted history of this stamp on the Sotherbys site.

Comparing it to say the Sandafayre auction videos of stamps*, there's a step change in production values, in my opinion.

Has anyone seen other stamp auction sales descriptions in video form? It's not common as far as I can see.

Norbert

* not the stamp in quesion of course, as they don't have one in stock currently :-)

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by MargoZ »

12 days to go.
Norbert- if you are organising the SB whip-around you'd better get your skates on :lol:
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

MargoZ wrote:12 days to go.
Norbert- if you are organising the SB whip-around you'd better get your skates on :lol:
I'd love to but I'm still trying to make sure I get the maths right. 13 thousand users and about 13 million dollars to find - I make that maybe £27 pounds each, but I may be off slightly so I'm working it all through again before Glen points out the error of my ways again :-)

12 days though? I'd best get my skates on, that's less than 5 weeks by my calculation!

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by MargoZ »

LOL....I'll stump up for £30 if that helps
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

MargoZ wrote:LOL....I'll stump up for £30 if that helps
Awesome - we are in that case over half way there!

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by ingegné »

Norbert Jenkins wrote:13 thousand users and about 13 million dollars to find - I make that maybe £27 pounds each, but I may be off slightly so I'm working it all through again before Glen points out the error of my ways again :-)
Glen didn't speak, but I will arrange the figures for you (I know you were joking)

- USA members: $ 1,000.00 each
- UK members: £ 595.34 each
- EU members: € 733.87 each
- CAN members: C$ 1.093,16 each
- AUS members: AUD 1.072,35 each
- JAP members : JPY 102430 each
- China members: CNY 6254,80 each

and so on .....

Good luck and good skating :wink:

P.S. don't count me in. I don't like this ugly piece of paper and, should the 13 thousand members keep it at home for just ONE day, calculating 3 days for shipping to the next one, my turn would be on October 10th 2056.

I will better spend this money for something that I really like and can have at home forever, like the original paintings of the definitive series of Somalia that I showed in the thread on my collection (advertising), that had approximately the same cost (each) of 1/13.000 of this stamp.

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by ingegné »

I don't know if this video was already linked.

It shows what the stamp actually looks like (terrible). And it is even worst on reverse, with plenty of handstamps and pencil marks of the previous owners!

If you had a lot of money, would you REALLY spend $ 10 M to 20 M for this stamp?
Image
On June 17th at least three auctions will be held and I have a bid in two of them, so I will let this one for you.

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

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Anyone read his book?

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

ingegné wrote:
And it is even worst on reverse, with plenty of handstamps and pencil marks of the previous owners!
As I pointed out in my current stamp news piece the REVERSE looks better than the front to me at least!

https://www.glenstephens.com/snjune14.html
Image
REVERSE of the 1856 British Guiana 1c Black on Magenta stamp

One of the more fascinating aspects of the British Guiana 1856 1¢ Magenta stamp is the reverse, which shows the personal owner marks of several of its famous owners including:

1. Two impressions of Count Ferrary's famous ‘trefoil’ owner's mark.
2. A large faint "H" of American Billionaire Arthur Hind - said to have burnt a second copy sold to him. "It is now STILL unique".
3. A small "FK" of Finbar Kenny, the stamp manager at Macy's who brokered its sale by Hind's widow.
4. A small shooting star added by the Australian, Frederick Small who owned it from 1940 to 1970.
5. A pencilled "IW" by Irwin Weinberg, head of a group of investors who bought the stamp in 1970 and sold it to du Pont.
6. A large pencilled "J E d P", initials of the late John E. DuPont who bought it for $US935,000 in 1980, and died in prison.
7. The large and ornate 17-pointed star has all the experts completely stumped.


I recall reading somewhere who made the #7 mark -- I THINK it was Hind's widow .. does anyone else recall reading that piece?
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by ottawasteve »

That was referred to in Linn's:

Several of Lera’s infrared images of the owners’ marks on the back of the 1¢ Magenta appear in the Sotheby’s catalog.

As a result, Redden said, it now seems likely that a mysterious 17-pointed star found there came from Ann Hind Scala, the widow of textile magnate Arthur Hind, who outbid Britain’s King George V to own the stamp in the 1920s and 1930s.

After Hind died, she contested his will and won ownership of the stamp. Thanks to the Smithsonian’s analysis, the ornate star can be seen to cover up Hind’s distinctive cloverleaf-AH marking.


http://www.linns.com/news/stamp-market-insights/533/British-Guiana-1and

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by aethelwulf »

ingegné wrote:what the stamp actually looks like (terrible). And it is even worst on reverse, with plenty of handstamps and pencil marks of the previous owners!

If you had a lot of money, would you REALLY spend $ 10 M to 20 M for this stamp?
Why do collectors get so hung up over how the reverse of a stamp looks? A thin I agree counts as damage, but does it really matter to spend a huge premium for UM (in the case of mint), or to have ownership handstamps?

Its long been a custom for collectors/owners of Chinese paintings to apply their 'chop' (carved seal using red ink) to favourite/important pictures. Traditional scroll paintings have large borders at top & bottom/left & right, lots of white space for stamping on, but I've seen lots of paintings where the chops are all over the picture itself--in the corner mind you, not smack in the middle, but they are applied to the front of the picture, not the back. Rather than hurting the value of a painting, it can actually help, as people get a sense of pride seeing the provenance of a work.

The stamp is rather faded, and has repainting, but its more than 150 years old, and wasn't the best-produced thing to start with. When Da Vinci's Last Supper became so flaky it was hard to see much of the picture, did people write that off as rubbish?

The auction estimate does seem overly ambitious, but its the chance to own "the most valuable object in the world". That's quite a bragging point.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

Well WHATEVER it gets, Banknotes have a long way to go to catch up with stamps!

Image

Image

Stamp collectors are very heavily connected with banknote collecting, as they are when you think on it, very similar things .. great products of the Engraver’s Art.

When I owned and Edited the “Coin And Banknote” magazine (CAB) some years back and a large stamp magazine at the same time, we found that the subscriber base overlap for both magazine was very high – about 25% as I recall.

So events in the word of banknotes interest many readers I am sure, and the sale this year on the highest priced banknote ever will hopefully be of passing interest!

Earlier this year it became the single most valuable piece of currency in the world when it was sold for $US3.29 million (then about $A3.6 million), including buyer’s premium, by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.

Far exceeding its estimate of $2 million, it sold as part of the Florida United Numismatics (FUN) Convention’s rare currency auction. The last time this note was offered at auction was in 1970, when it brought $11,000.

The rarest and arguably the most famous of all US currency notes, the 1890 $1,000 Treasury Note, is popularly referred to as the “Grand Watermelon note” - due to the design of the large zeroes on the reverse that resemble watermelons!

More recently it achieved $US2.2 million in a private sale by Heritage in 2006.

It was produced to allow the bearer to withdraw funds in silver or gold bullion - a move that proved disastrous, as the US Treasury experienced a run on gold that led to a major crash in 1893.

Glen
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by ingegné »

Global Administrator wrote: I recall reading somewhere who made the #7 mark -- I THINK it was Hind's widow .. does anyone else recall reading that piece?
According to Sotheby's description
provenance:
Andrew Hunter (1856–1873), original recipient of the mailed stamp;
Louis Vernon Vaughan (1873);
Neil Ross McKinnon (1873–1878);
Thomas Ridpath (1878);
Philipp de la Rénotière von Ferrary (1878–1920; purple trefoil on reverse);
Government of France (1920–1922);
Arthur M. Hind (1922–1933; manuscript “H” on reverse; cloverleaf "AH" handstamp on reverse);
Ann Hind Scala (1933–1940; perhaps a seventeen-point star handstamp on reverse used to obscure the cloverleaf of her husband);
Frederick Trouton Small (1940–1970; comet handstamp on reverse; also initialed in pencil “FK” by his agent Finbar Kenny);
Irwin Weinberg and Associates (1970–1980; pencil “IW” on reverse);
John E. du Pont (1980–2014; pencil “JEdP” on reverse)
aethelwulf wrote:The auction estimate does seem overly ambitious, but its the chance to own "the most valuable object in the world". That's quite a bragging point.
That's wrong, as you can see in the video I linked, many small objects, other than stamps, have been sold at much higher prices: Sotheby's record seems to be $ 57.2 Million for a 3,2" high limestone statue called "The Guennol Lioness"

This is not the highest price for a sculpture anyway and I think that impressionist paintings sold for even higher prices.

What really puzzles me is:

a) How much rich should I be to spend such a huge amount of money on a masterpiece?

b) There is a substantial difference between objects I can easily show to friends (paintings, statues) and others, like this stamp, that will suffer any time I will take them out from the air controlled vault;

c) When it comes to wines, that are sold by Sotheby's at even more than $ 10,000 a bottle, do they drink them?

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by aethelwulf »

ingegné wrote:
aethelwulf wrote:The auction estimate does seem overly ambitious, but its the chance to own "the most valuable object in the world". That's quite a bragging point.
That's wrong, as you can see in the video I linked, many small objects, other than stamps, have been sold at much higher prices: Sotheby's record seems to be $ 57.2 Million for a 3,2" high limestone statue called "The Guennol Lioness"

This is not the highest price for a sculpture anyway and I think that impressionist paintings sold for even higher prices.

What really puzzles me is:

a) How much rich should I be to spend such a huge amount of money on a masterpiece?
b) There is a substantial difference between objects I can easily show to friends (paintings, statues) and others, like this stamp, that will suffer any time I will take them out from the air controlled vault;
c) When it comes to wines, that are sold by Sotheby's at even more than $ 10,000 a bottle, do they drink them?
Not the outright most valuable object, as there are many many works of art and collectables that have sold for more, but as was discussed earlier in the thread, the most valuable by weight--gram for gram, more valuable than a pink diamond or a rare element (and how exciting would it be to have a bunch of powder in a tube?).

The Qatari royal family holds the art market record, they paid $250m for a Cezanne. But nobody is going to cut up a stamp or a painting and offer little squares of it, so it can't be sold piece-meal like a raw material commodity.

My thoughts to your questions,

a) Its all up to someone how they spend their money. There are people in some countries who drive a BMW, but live in a shabby house, or carry an LV bag yet live in a low-rent flat--driving around town in a fancy car, or walking around the mall with a luxury handbag, you'll project the image of being rich. So you could spend 10% of your net worth on a masterpiece, or 0.1%, its your choice, as long as you have the money to pay the bill.

b) Some works of art have conservation sensitivities--watercolours, textiles, lacquer. Stone sculptures are pretty easy to collect, as are ceramics, the environment won't hurt them easily. But one doesn't want to have a stamp hanging on the wall in the light all day every day. And besides, a lot of people won't be very impressed with a little piece of paper like this, as they would be by a Picasso.

c) If you have something really special to celebrate, you might crack open the bottle. I've never really understood wine collecting--how exciting is it to have bottles stacked up in the basement? Wine is an interesting area--while more of a vintage can't be made, just as more of an old stamp can't be made, we don't consume stamps. Every bottle of wine drunk means that's 1 less bottle that exists.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

aethelwulf wrote:c) If you have something really special to celebrate, you might crack open the bottle. I've never really understood wine collecting--how exciting is it to have bottles stacked up in the basement? Wine is an interesting area--while more of a vintage can't be made, just as more of an old stamp can't be made, we don't consume stamps. Every bottle of wine drunk means that's 1 less bottle that exists.
I agree with almost everything you say, aethelwulf.

However, while stamps aren't 'consumed' in the literal sense, the stock of a given old stamp reduces each year, both in quality and quantity. Say a certain stamp this year has 100 MNH copies.

By this time next year, a couple may have been accidentally bent/creased, got foxing/toning, a perf pulled by bad handling, etc. Maybe a water pipe burst, or the puppy got hungry. So, over time, entropy 'consumes' the quality of some stamps and the overall pool gets smaller.

Very different of course to sitting down with friends and eating them one by one of course, as would be the apt analogy to wine! Not sure why people are that hung up about the taste of the 'better' wines anyway; double-blind tests show that there is no correlation with preferences of wine and (price/score) and that even experts will rank the same 100 wines differently when presented them to evaluate on different occasions. Emperor’s new clothes...

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Allanswood »

Wine collectors don't collect wine, they collect the labels - that's the true value.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

Allanswood wrote:Wine collectors don't collect wine, they collect the labels - that's the true value.
.
You may well be right. I can certainly see more value and more differentiation between the labels than the contents.

Do they collect in the same way as stamp collectors (i.e. care about condition, etc), or is just having one of that label (in legible quality) sufficient?

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by ewen s »

Allanswood wrote:Wine collectors don't collect wine, they collect the labels - that's the true value.
I don't follow wine auctions but surely a full bottle with label would be significantly more than an empty bottle with label?

The more expensive a bottle, the more you value having a glass with either a friend or someone who appreciates a glass. Of course, this is not the view of a >$15 a bottle quaffer :D

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Allanswood »

Unless you have the guts to drink it, the wine is usually off, no matter how uber valuable or well kept. Besides it is not hard to drink the contents and refill the bottle with some other wine, or even as one of my friends does with cold tea inside old Whisky bottles.

I doubt that many high end collectors actually drink the stuff - it's the investment.
.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

Allanswood wrote: I doubt that many high end collectors actually drink the stuff - it's the investment.
You are no doubt correct. But I can't help wonder if it's really that wise for people to invest in any physical asset that deteriorates over time. Surely that's a good way to lose money? e.g.

* Buy some fine wine at $1,000 per bottle. Store it and it goes off anyway. You now have a bottle of sour water with a nice label on it. Value - $??? Surely less than $1,000 though?

* Buy an old watercolour. Sunlight fades it a bit and you have a bit of mostly blank paper. Investment return is suboptimal.

* Buy 1856 1¢ British Guiana for $10 now, wait 20 years for it to disintegrate or fade completely and sell it for $???

At least with a lump of gold, it'll still be a lump of gold in 100 years, even if I drop it down the bog or leave it in the kitchen window or some such.

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by gavin-h »

ewen s wrote:
Allanswood wrote:Wine collectors don't collect wine, they collect the labels - that's the true value.
I don't follow wine auctions but surely a full bottle with label would be significantly more than an empty bottle with label?
Agreed - full with label v empty with label equates in "Penny Black" terms to Unmounted Mint vs 3-Margin Used. :idea:

Anyway, we digress. :wink:

With the auction only days away, I'm quite excited to see what happens.

Will it happen live on the web???

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Norbert Jenkins »

gavin-h wrote: With the auction only days away, I'm quite excited to see what happens.

Will it happen live on the web???
They should have made it live to everyone before the World Cup Football contest final instead. Show the excitement for a couple of minutes to 2 or 3 billion people!

I expect that there would be an overnight doubling of the number of global collectors and also another 100,000 copies coming out of the woodwork (1 of which may actually be the real deal).

Now how cool would that be? And which would have the greater long-term benefit to mankind - getting maybe a million new people interested in stamp collecting or having a few billion people get excited about a ball going into a net?

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by billw2 »

Here's an interesting perspective on this stamp that none of us have yet to consider.....

I had breakfast with a good friend of mine this morning. This stamp came up for discussion. When I mentioned how it's almost certainly the world's most valuable item by weight he came up with an interesting theory:

"You know, that may be just what makes it appealing to someone with zero knowledge of stamps. Think about it, owning the most valuable substance on earth, by weight. That would certainly appeal to some middle eastern or Chinese or Russian billionaire, wouldn't it?"

Food for thought indeed.

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by fromdownunder »

Norbert Jenkins wrote:I expect that there would be an overnight doubling of the number of global collectors and also another 100,000 copies coming out of the woodwork (1 of which may actually be the real deal).
I can imagine thousands of people dragging their old kiddies kollections out of the attic and poring through them in the hope of becoming overnight millionaires. It will be interesting to see if Stampboards gets a bit of a spike in people wanting to know about these after the Auction.

I also predict at least two new threads (we have had three in the past) from people who believe they have the "real deal". There are enough copies of the 1 cent Magenta around to make this a statistical certainty.

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

billw2 wrote:Here's an interesting perspective on this stamp that none of us have yet to consider.....

I had breakfast with a good friend of mine this morning. This stamp came up for discussion. When I mentioned how it's almost certainly the world's most valuable item by weight he came up with an interesting theory:

"You know, that may be just what makes it appealing to someone with zero knowledge of stamps. Think about it, owning the most valuable substance on earth, by weight. That would certainly appeal to some middle eastern or Chinese or Russian billionaire, wouldn't it?"

Food for thought indeed.
Gary Watson is a month ahead of your friend with that thought! He is a one very savvy guy, so his view counts. :mrgreen:

As I typed in my "Stamp News" column last month - https://www.glenstephens.com/snjune14.html

My money is still on Bill Gross to buy it, take a massive tax deduction on it by donating it to his mutli million new Museum in Washington.

Real $$ cost to hm near zero if appraised high enough, and quite a coup for him.

Glen

================

“Someone from China will buy it”

Gary Watson, owner of Prestige Philately in Melbourne told me this week: “I predict the buyer will be a wealthy Chinese person. Who, I do not know, but China is becoming VERY important for the stamp market.”

Gary’s guess is as good as anyone’s of course. A global institution or bank may also like it for bragging rights - the same way as they often buy famous paintings and art etc.

Or USA multi-billionaire Bill Gross might buy it to donate to the National Postal Museum in the super expensive Stamp Galley he just had built there in Washington.

That is my guess, for what it is worth, but this sale could go any way. There are many 1000s of entities globally, for whom $10 million is the running cost of their yacht!

Bill Gross has sold off stamp collections in the past for over $US10 million each, and donated the entire proceeds to charity, which is most generous.

And remember the way US Tax Laws are, in brief if you pay $10m for a piece of art and get it appraised for $20m, and donate it to an institution, you essentially get a full tax write off for the $20m, meaning very little real nett cost, and a lot of goodwill and publicity.

The Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan is a good example. A piece of white board with a red brush stripe down the centre of it will have a note saying: “Generously donated by Dr. Moshe Finkelstein”.

Moshe paid a million, had it appraised in writing at $2.5 million from an obliging art dealer, and gets his name in lights forever at the Guggenheim, at little real cost! If you have visited there, you’ll know what I mean.

Sotheby’s took the Guiana stamp on a roadshow during May that included London and Hong Kong. Their “Buyer Fee” alone, if it sells for the middle of their estimate range is around $US2 million, so that pays for QUITE a roadshow!

Anyway I hope it gets a huge price, as that will be superb and positive global publicity for stamps and most welcome. “The world’s most valuable object by weight” etc. Mainstream media for stamps is very scarce these days.

Weight has been estimated to be about the same as the Sweden 3sk “Tre Skilling Yellow” which we know weighs exactly 0.02675 grams (0.0009 ounces).

If the Guiana is invoiced for around a mid-point $US16 million when all the nasty auction fees are added, it gives the stamp the staggering cost of some $US600 Billion per kilogram.

I have a client who is a Math Professor in Illinois check my figure, and he agrees it is correct! This makes the stamp the most valuable thing in the world by weight or volume - no contest.

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The unique 1856 1c British Guiana Black on Magenta stamp photo

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by capetriangle »

Global Administrator

Glen, you may have stumbled on the truth, here. (see five paragraphs below)

Well, I went to Sotheby's this Wednesday to see/examine the stamp. It is in a darkened room on the 10th floor of the Sotheby's York Avenue headquarters in a cubic foot jewelry case with lights shining in on it, on a plinth in the special mount resting on black velvet.

On one of the walls of the exhibition room is a sheet with the now famous poor quality Sotheby's scan, clearly showing the glassine adhesion and the two white specks of "dandruff" at the left.

The mount has been poorly cut, it shows bruises at the sides and is not a perfect octagon. My own opinion is that the stamp does not have the glassine adhesion on it now and neither of the two pieces of white "dandruff" are present. Now, to be fair, one of the young ladies from the department was of the opinion that it was still there and that it had not been removed. I beg to differ but I could be wrong. They were generous to allow photography but the lighting situation really prevented worthwhile results from being obtained.

Memory is, of course, one of the least reliable of senses, even if it is a sense at all, but I will go to my grave thinking that the stamp has become a little faded since I last saw it in Toronto at Capex 1987.

Sotheby's are having a reception at 6.00 pm before the sale and I as a resident member of The Collector's Club have received an invitation to attend. I am going with a colleague.

Now to the possible realization. I will admit that I am beginning to agree with opinion, as expressed to me privately by other professionals, that Sotheby's have already got the stamp sold.

The point made by Glen and others is that there are now 1,600 Billionaires in the world whereas in 1980 there were only about 16 is well taken. Life is, after all, nothing but an ego trip, to quote my ex-wife's third husband.

Time, Tuesday of next week will tell.

Kindest regards, Richard

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

capetriangle wrote:
I will admit that I am beginning to agree with opinion, as expressed to me privately by other professionals, that Sotheby's have already got the stamp sold.
Yes that is the 'word on the street' I hear.

We know of course that serious bidders need to 'pre-register' for such high ticket sales, so the house tends to know if they have a sale or not well in advance. :mrgreen:

If any real bidding takes place live, that is all gravy. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Is anyone from here planning to be in the room?

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by capetriangle »

Global Administrator
Global Administrator wrote: Is anyone from here planning to be in the room?
Certainly I am and I believe billw2 from Bergen County, NJ will be there.

Also the buyer's premium for this sale will be 20% and not the 12% as suggested on the thread. I hope Stampboards members remember to adjust their bids accordingly.

Kindest regards, Richard

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Tassie_Stamps »

capetriangle wrote:Also the buyer's premium for this sale will be 20% and not the 12% as suggested on the thread. I hope Stampboards members remember to adjust their bids accordingly.

:lol:

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

capetriangle wrote:
Global Administrator
Global Administrator wrote:
Is anyone from here planning to be in the room?
Certainly I am and I believe billw2 from Bergen County, NJ will be there.

Also the buyer's premium for this sale will be 20% and not the 12% as suggested on the thread. I hope Stampboards members remember to adjust their bids accordingly.

Kindest regards, Richard
Well one or both, please update us all with a first hand summary on this sale. :mrgreen:

I recall reading the Buyer Fee at Sothebys was on a siding fee?

So much up to $X and a lesser % thereafter?

Or does this sale has a flat 20% as you mention?

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by aethelwulf »

Can't do a copy/paste for some reason from the T&C pdf, but point 3 states "The buyer's premium is 20% of the hammer price for each lot of the property."

Maybe their Books & Manuscripts sales are on a different system than art sales?
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by MarkoSK »

Will be there live stream or TV broadcast of auction?

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

capetriangle wrote:
Also the buyer's premium for this sale will be 20% and not the 12% as suggested on the thread.
I do not think so? Do you have info this chart does not apply Richard?

The 30%+ in Italy on near all lots is Obscene, even for Sotheby's. :roll: :twisted: :twisted:
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https://www.sothebys.com/content/dam/sothebys/PDFs/buyersprem ... 13_new.pdf

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by gavin-h »

Global Administrator wrote:The 30%+ in Italy on near all lots is Obscene, even for Sotheby's. :roll: :twisted: :twisted:
Given the decimals in those % figures compared to UK, Switzerland etc, I suspect that there's an element of tax included in that. Hopefully someone familiar with Italian commerce will be able to advise.... :idea:

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by capetriangle »

All concerned

On unnumbered page 7 of the actual catalogue - at the bottom-right corner of the page in a box - is the statement.

SPECIAL NOTICES AND REMINDERS FOR SALE NO9154

There is no online bidding for this auction.

The buyer's premium for this sale is 20% of the hammer price.

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum has requested the loan of the One-Cent Black on Magenta for a special event this fall.


The catalogue itself is a work of art, positively "Trepelesque."

U. S. Philatelists will know what that means.

Kindest regards

Richard Debney

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by ingegné »

gavin-h wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:The 30%+ in Italy on near all lots is Obscene, even for Sotheby's. :roll: :twisted: :twisted:
Given the decimals in those % figures compared to UK, Switzerland etc, I suspect that there's an element of tax included in that. Hopefully someone familiar with Italian commerce will be able to advise.... :idea:
You are right. In Italy, the customer must pay 22% VAT on auctioneer's fees. So:

25% + 5,50% = 30,50%
20% + 4,40% = 24,40%
12% + 2,64% = 14,64%

According to Bolaffi's auction catalogues, foreign DEALERS can ask the refund of VAT providing an appropriate official export document within 90 days after collection. Private customers are not refunded of VAT anyway.

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by gavin-h »

Grazie Mille, ingegné 8)

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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by ausfoo »

Is there any way I can obtain an auction catalogue?
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

ausfoo - Sotheby's have that option now on their website. Be well worth having one in your library!

Be keenly sought collector items in the future. :idea:

I ALWAYS get $150 for the Arthur Gray Kangaroo sale catalogues. :idea:

Indeed AFTER the sale and the global headlines, there will be a stampede to get one is my guess, so I'd be ding it NOW if I wanted one. :)

Knowing Sothebys, they'll have printed far less than will be ordered. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Less than 24 hours to go to this one item auction.

7:00pm New York time 17th. June = 9:00am Sydney time 18th. June.

It will certainly be an interesting auction with mountainous amounts of ego involved :!:
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