FULL history of the unique 1856 1c British Guiana stamp

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Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp for auction June 17 2014

Post by jadrake »

I didn't see any "recent" discussion about the British Guiana 1c and my father (who hasn't collected stamps in 15+ years) read this this morning.... so I thought I'd pass it along....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-26189281

I guess it isn't lost, as some speculation assumed.

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Re: British Guiana 1c is going up for auction

Post by Global Administrator »

Well spotted Jason. Wonder if they'll take credit cards for it. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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

British Guiana stamp could fetch $20m, says Sotheby's

The 1856 British Guiana 1-cent stamp The stamp is said to be the last example of the British Guiana one-cent Magenta

A 19th Century postage stamp from British Guiana is set to fetch a record price when it goes on sale in New York in June, the auction house has said.

The 1856 one-cent Magenta, regarded by collectors as the world's most famous rare stamp, might sell for up to $20m (£12m; 15m euros), Sotheby's says.

The unique stamp has set a world record each of the three times it has been sold at auction.

The current record for a single stamp sold at auction is $2.3m.

The Swedish Treskilling Yellow was last officially sold in Zurich in 1996 for 2.88m Swiss francs (about $2.3m at the time).

It is believed to have set another world record in May 2010 but its buyers did not disclose how much they paid.

"You're not going to find anything rarer than this”

The British Guiana one-cent Magenta is the sole surviving example of its kind and regarded as the most well-known of rare stamps.

"This is just incredible because it has always been a rarity," Richard Ashton, Sotheby's stamp specialist, told the BBC.

"It something that every schoolchild who was a stamp collector, everyone knew this was the rarest stamp - it has always had this mystique about it."

The British Guiana was last bought in 1980 by John du Pont, a chemical industry millionaire, who kept it largely out of public view, locked away in a vault.

The stamp's most recent owner was jailed for murder

Du Pont was jailed for shooting dead an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler in 1996 and died in 2010. The stamp is being sold as part of his estate.

Printed in black on magenta paper, the British Guiana stamp bears the image of a three-masted ship and the Latin motto "we give and expect in return".

It was produced in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) after a shipment of stamps was delayed from London, threatening to disrupt the postal service.

It carries a post mark, showing it has been used, and is initialled by a post-office employee.

Its first owner was a 12-year-old Scottish boy who apparently found it among family papers in 1873.

"Since it was discovered, it has had this wonderfully colourful history and that certainly adds to its appeal," said Mr Ashton.

The stamp has not been on view publicly since the 1986, when it was exhibited at the Ameripex 1986 International Stamp Show in Chicago, Sotheby's said.

It will travel to cities including London and Hong Kong, before returning to New York where it will go on sale at auction on 17 June.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by Global Administrator »

Image
The unique 1856 1c British Guiana Black on Magenta stamp photo
The stamp is cut to shape, thinned, torn, and repaired apparently.

I wrote this about duPont 9 years back - before he died -

https://www.glenstephens.com/snmay05.html

The other major world rarity is curiously also owned by: 'an individual of a magnetic interest for the media'. The 1856 1¢ magenta from British Guiana was purchased in 1980 at a Robert. A. Siegel auction by Mr John E. duPont for $US935,000.

Mr duPont, the eccentric multi-millionaire connected to the US chemical fortune was sentenced in 1997 to 40 years incarceration for murder (but whilst deemed to be mentally ill, thus sparing him a life sentence) for the 1996 slaying of Olympic wrestler David Schultz.

The exact present whereabouts of the 1¢ magenta is unknown - but is believed to be in a bank vault in Philadelphia. When this stamp next comes on the market it is anyone's guess as to its realisation. Mr duPont is now 65 years old and is still incarcerated.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by mikeg »

This is good to see 8)

I had honestly thought at this point it was lost forever, although if the picture the BBC shows is what it looks like now, it has badly faded since last being on display.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by Global Administrator »

mikeg wrote:
...... if the picture the BBC shows is what it looks like now, it has badly faded since last being on display.
I hope and suspect it is the blockheads at Sothebys who have released this appalling scan to the global media.
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I have contacted Richard Ashton who is trying to get me a better scan.

He confirms it will be a single stamp sale, in the evening in New York.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by jadrake »

There is a quite a variation as well in the Magenta papers. If you look at Brandon's website they have 3 of their 4c for sale as POR - I can only imagine these are in private hands (or investors) willing to sell for the "right price" - I can not see why Brandon would simply hold on to them (if so that is a pretty sad state of our hobby)

http://www.brandonstamps.com/british-caribbean-british-guiana-c-52_2152.html

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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by Global Administrator »

Yes this is a mint Brandon FOUR cent on Magenta and the 1c will not look that much different I am sure.

Just a clueless Press Office there at Sothebys, and I've just asked them to please do a GOOD scan of the rarity.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by mikeg »

On the other hand, those lines on it in Sothebys photo might be the imprints from Dupont's pillow :roll:

I also see 3 spots where the red color has started flaking off.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by Stewie1980 »

The picture of the 1c we all know is a photo of a photo from a book or catalogue. It is edited. With colour, contrast, etcetera changed.

Image

Image

Maybe Sotheby's scan is what it actually looks like and has looked like in the past.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by Global Administrator »

mikeg wrote:
I also see 3 spots where the red color has started flaking off.
I'd bet it is just some lazy schmuck at Sothebys who did not clean the scanner platen. :twisted:

Their head Press guy just sent me his original scan that I made a bit clearer but that gunk is just that I think. Bit of stamp hinge it looks like. :roll:
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Re: British Guiana 1c is going up for auction

Post by aethelwulf »

Global Administrator wrote:Wonder if they'll take credit cards for it. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Imagine the number of air miles you could get by charging this on plastic. :shock:
It will travel to cities including London and Hong Kong, before returning to New York where it will go on sale at auction on 17 June.
Hopefully they don't bring it here just for 'private viewing by appointment'. Would be amazing to see such a fabled things in person--the philatelic equivalent to something like the Mona Lisa or the Arnolfini Wedding.

Sotheby's spring edition of their bi-annual fine art & antique sales are held here mid-April or so, and for the last few years, the big auction houses have been bringing all types of material here scheduled for later sale in other cities, hoping to catch the eye of cashed-up mainland Chinese. Sotheby's did a "selling exhibition" of antique French furniture--all that gilded stuff is right up the alley of Chinese taste, and there's a regular parade of Picasso's and Impressionists.

But why/how did Sotheby's get this? We know they haven't had a very good track record when it comes to philatelic sales lately. But then, an item like this speaks for itself, assuming they've set a reasonable reserve on it, it will sell, and won't fall victim to "overly ambitious estimate". DuPont passed away years ago, so it won't be a case of a seller who will sell if it goes for 'enough', and given the family's position, its unlikely his heirs are hurting for money.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by Global Administrator »

Here is the original 1935 RPSL Cert.

I do not believe it has been shown anywhere before.

Odd it does not mention the repairs and thins and creases that it allegedly has?

As can be seen the cds is nice and dark and words BRITISH GUIANA top and base can be made out readily.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by aethelwulf »

SOTHEBY’S TO OFFER THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS STAMP

The Legendary and Unique British Guiana One-Cent Magenta Is Estimated to Sell for $10/20 Million

TO BE OFFERED IN A DEDICATED EVENING SALE IN NEW YORK ON 17 JUNE 2014

NEW YORK, 14 February 2014 – Sotheby’s New York will offer the most famous stamp in the world in a dedicated auction on 17 June 2014.

No stamp is rarer than the sole-surviving example of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, a unique yet unassuming penny issue from 1856, and no stamp is more valuable: each of the three times it has been sold at auction, it has established a new record price for a single stamp.

The British Guiana is equally notable for its legacy, having been rediscovered by a 12-year-old Scottish boy living in South America in 1873, and from there passing through some of the most important stamp collections ever assembled.

The stamp comes to auction this spring with a pre-sale estimate of $US10/20 million*, which would mark a new world auction record for a stamp**.

The British Guiana has not been on view publicly since the 1986, when it was exhibited at Ameripex ’86 International Stamp Show in Chicago.

The stamp will travel this spring to locations including London and Hong Kong, before returning to New York for exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 14 June.

The British Guiana is on offer from the estate of John du Pont – its most recent purchaser, in 1980 – and a portion of proceeds from the sale will benefit the Eurasian Pacific Wildlife Conservation Foundation, which du Pont championed during his lifetime.

David Redden, Director of Special Projects and Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Books Department, commented: “I have been with Sotheby’s all my working life, but before I knew about the world’s greatest works of art, before I knew about the Mona Lisa or Chartres Cathedral I knew about the British Guiana. For me, as a schoolboy stamp collector, it was a magical object, the very definition of rarity and value, unobtainable rarity and extraordinary value. That schoolboy of long ago would be bemused and astonished to think that he would one day, years later, be temporary guardian of such a world treasure.”

THE BRITISH GUIANA ONE-CENT MAGENTA

In 1852, British Guiana began receiving regular postage stamps manufactured in England by Waterlow & Sons. But in 1856, a shipment of stamps was delayed, which threatened a disruption of postal service throughout British Guiana.

The postmaster turned to the printers of the local Royal Gazette newspaper, and commissioned a contingency supply of postage stamps: the one-cent magenta, a four-cent magenta, and a four-cent blue.

The sole-surviving example of the one-cent magenta was first rediscovered not far from where it was initially purchased. In 1873, L. Vernon Vaughan, a 12-year-old Scottish schoolboy living with his family in British Guiana, found the stamp among a group of family papers bearing many British Guiana issues.

A budding ‘philatelist’ (stamp collector), Vaughan could not have known the one-cent was unique, but he did know that he did not have an example, and added it to his album. He would later sell the stamp to another local collector in British Guiana, for several shillings.

The British Guiana One-Cent entered the UK in 1878, and shortly after, it was purchased by Count Philippe la Renotière von Ferrary, perhaps the greatest stamp collector in history.

France seized his collection, which had been donated to the Postmuseum in Berlin, as part of the war reparations due from Germany, and sold the stamp in 1922 as one of a series of celebrated auctions from 1920–25.

It was bought by Arthur Hind, a textile magnate from New York, for its first auction-record price of $35,000, followed by: Australian engineer Frederick T. Small; then a consortium headed by Irwin Weinberg; and lastly by John du Pont, heir to the eponymous chemical company fortune, eccentric amateur sportsman, and avid collector. Du Pont paid $935,000 for the stamp in a 1980 auction, marking the object’s most recent record-setting price.

HISTORY OF OWNERSHIP

1873
L. VERNON VAUGHAN, BRITISH GUIANA
• Discovered by the Scottish schoolboy living in South America, among family papers

1873
NEIL R. MCKINNON, BRITISH GUIANA
• Purchased from Vaughan
• Sent to Glasgow, Scotland for inspection

1878
THOMAS RIDPATH, LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND
• Purchased from McKinnon
• Recognized the stamp’s rarity

1878
PHILIPPE LA RENOTIÈRE VON FERRARY, FRANCE
• Purchased from Ridpath
• Austrian nobleman and owner of the world’s most famous stamp collection, who moved to Switzerland at outbreak of World War I
• Bequeathed his collection to Postmuseum in Berlin at his death
• Ferrary Collection seized by France as war reparations and sold in a celebrated series of 14 auctions from 1920 to 1925, including the British Guiana in 1922

1922
ARTHUR HIND, UTICA, NEW YORK
• Purchased at the auction by dealer Hugo Griebert on behalf of Hind
Set then-record auction price of $35,000

1933
WIDOW OF ARTHUR HIND, NEW YORK
• Hind's will directed that his collection should be sold for the benefit of his estate.
His widow successfully contested this, saying Hind had given her the stamp in his lifetime.
• Hind’s widow continued to exhibit and display the stamp
• Sold to Frederick T. Small by Finbar Kenny, Manager of the stamp department of R.H. Macy of New York, after the 1940 World’s Fair exhibition

1940
FREDERICK T. SMALL, FLORIDA
• Australian living in Florida
• Consigned for auction with Robert Siegel of New York, 1970

1970
IRWIN WEINBERG STAMP CONSORTIUM
• Irwin Weinberg led a consortium of buyers at the auction
Set then-record auction price of $280,000
• Consigned to auction in 1980

1980
JOHN E. DU PONT, PENNSYLVANIA
Purchased at auction for then-record price of $935,000

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.

** The current auction record for a single stamp is CHF 2,8750,000 (approximately US$2.2 million), set by the Treskilling Yellow in 1996.

The current auction record for any philatelic item is CHF 6,123,750 (approximately US$4 million), set by The Bordeaux Cover in 1993 – the cover including both of the Mauritius “Post Office” stamps.

The current auction record for a block (plate or otherwise) is $2,970,000, set by the Inverted Jenny plate block in 2005 – the block comprising four individual stamps.
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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by Stewie1980 »

When I compare the 3 images it wouldn't suprise me if someone tried to clean the stamp and that had a fading of the black inks as a result!
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Re: DuPont: owner of unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp, di

Post by Global Administrator »

GregPaulFraser wrote:
Did you know they are making a film of his life, where he will be played by Steve Carrell? Should be a good watch, if not a tad ridiculous.
Now that movie I HAVE to see! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Any idea when it is released?
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Re: DuPont: owner of unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp, di

Post by Global Administrator »

aethelwulf wrote:DuPont material is starting to dribble out.

His collections of Falkland Islands, Papua, and Postage Dues will be offered by Grosvenor in March 2013.

http://www.grosvenorauctions.com/wordpress/2012/12/british-e ... -6th-2013/
In view of that, wonder how Sothebys were chose for the "big one"?
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Re: DuPont: owner of unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp, di

Post by fromdownunder »

Global Administrator wrote:
GregPaulFraser wrote:
Did you know they are making a film of his life, where he will be played by Steve Carrell? Should be a good watch, if not a tad ridiculous.
Now that movie I HAVE to see! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Any idea when it is released?
Glen, I don't think this is the Movie you are looking for:

Foxcatcher
The story of Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz and how paranoid schizophrenic John duPont killed his brother, Olympic Champion Dave Schultz.

Starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1100089/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_2

And Steve Carrell? An excellent reason to avoid this like the plague. the duPont role was originally offered to Gary Oldman, which makes a lot more sense. The release date was pushed back from late 2013 to sometime in 2014. But even now, there is still no official release date.

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

Post by jrobb »

Steve Carrell is most well known for his comedic roles, but he's had some surprisingly good dramatic turns as well. I wouldn't write the movie off just yet.

Also, as rare as the 1c magenta is, I have a hard time fathoming it going for 10-20 million, plus buyer's premium on top.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by fromdownunder »

jrobb wrote:Also, as rare as the 1c magenta is, I have a hard time fathoming it going for 10-20 million, plus buyer's premium on top.
Me too. Maybe somewhere between 3-5M is more realistic.

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Re: Unique 1856 British Guiana 1c stamp is going up for auct

Post by ausfoo »

Global Administrator wrote:
mikeg wrote:
I also see 3 spots where the red color has started flaking off.
I'd bet it is just some lazy schmuck at Sothebys who did not clean the scanner platen. :twisted:

Their head Press guy just sent me his original scan that I made a bit clearer but that gunk is just that I think. Bit of stamp hinge it looks like. :roll:
Image
Wow DuPont needs a class on Stamp Storage 101.. Looks nasty
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by MargoZ »

Too late for Dupont AND the stamp
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by aethelwulf »

DuPont after all do make chemicals--maybe the stamp could be taken over to the lab and they can ask the scientists if there's anything that could help spruce up the stamp. :o
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Allanswood »

What, cover it in Teflon and some pantyhose?

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

Post by aethelwulf »

Allanswood wrote:What, cover it in Teflon and some pantyhose?.
Sounds like a party at J. Edgar Hoover's house. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by smithrhm97 »

Since we're losing out on all the publicity, now is a good time for me to mention that David Feldman will be auctioning the DuPont collection of British Guiana. Which will take place concurrently with the Sotheby's auction of the 1c on June 27.

We have it in our safe :)

We'll be doing a proper press release on Monday as well as all the publicity at Stampex, but Sotheby's "pre-emptive strike" has kind of taken the wind out of our sails a bit...

PS. Don't ask me why the Estate chose to sell the 1c separately with Sotheby's because I don't know!
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

Ricky, yes David Feldman would be pretty miffed to have the rest of du Pont's extensive British Guiana but NOT have the Mega Star piece.

Both would compliment the other.

I honestly do think Feldman would have done a better job of drumming up global publicity for it.

It may be they assume Bill Gross will buy it at any price, and thus being in NYC will circumvent import hassles etc. Who knows.

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

Post by smithrhm97 »

Got my facts wrong: Sotheby's is holding their auction on the 17th. Ours will be held afterwards on the 27th
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1856 British Guiana 1-cent Magenta is set to sell for £12m

Post by sukhothai »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2559935/Mona-Lisa-st ... l-12m.html

It's coming up for auction! The stamp is being sold at Sotheby’s in New York on June 14 , any chance we can have a whip round and get it for Glens birthday? :wink:
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by MarkoSK »

Looks better here. A staff member points to the "British Guiana One Cent Magenta" at the Sotheby's gallery in New York, February 14, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

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Re: 1856 British Guiana 1-cent Magenta is set to sell for £1

Post by jumet »

Uh, No!
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: 1856 British Guiana 1-cent Magenta is set to sell for £1

Post by fromdownunder »

I'm good for it.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by David Benson »

Just surmising why it was not included with the rest of the collection is that the reserve placed on it by the current owner or liquidator was deemed to be so unrealistic because of it's current appearance that they refused to include it in the sale unless a lower reserve was applied, which was not accepted and then was offered to a competitive Auction House.

I don't know what the reserve should be, but doubt anyone would pay anywhere near 1m., let alone multiples of that.

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

Post by Global Administrator »

David Benson wrote:
I don't know what the reserve should be, but doubt anyone would pay anywhere near 1m., let alone multiples of that.

David B.
Well don't think of starting a new career in Public Stamp Auctions. :lol:

I agree if the Bulgarian Weightlifter who seems to be the main beneficiary of the will insisted on an INSANE reserve, even Feldman in Switzerland might have got nervous.

But doubting anyone would pay even $1 million for the stamp is just silly. I'd pay that in a heartbeat, right now. If a single 1928 Kookaburra mini sheet gets $326,000 at auction, the unique British Guiana will get 10 times that.

Even torn in half it will easily get several million in genuine bids.

I'd expect a Gross would simply ask an agent to "buy it up to $10 million" and it will get a high price.

Don Sundman of Mystic Stamps will be in the mix up to 2 or 3 million, just for bragging rights and marketing, like the Inverted Jenny block 4, and the 1c Z grill, he dragged around the world.

His young KID bid a million on the Z Grill a decade back, and that is not even unique. Got him a lot of publicity tho. 8)

And a bunch of others will also take a shot at a few million.

Remember it is New York, home of lots of VERY rich wackos!

Many of them are up for $5 million a year just to run their Yachts - literally.

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

Post by David Benson »

Glen,

time will tell,

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

Post by Allanswood »

I'll put it at 7 million plus comissions.

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

Post by Global Administrator »

Remember for collectors like Gross, $5 or $10 million is lunch money.

His Bond Company manages nearly 1000 BILLION in assets. Near one TRILLION Dollars.

He sold his GB stamps for well over $US9 Million, and gave all the money to Charity as he did with many of his stamp collections -

https://www.glenstephens.com/snaugust07.html
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The cost to Gross to near single handedly set up the Smithsonian Stamp Gallery in Washington DC in the past year is of the same or greater kind of money level.

Gross is committed to that Gallery and its success, and might even buy and donate the British Guiana stamp there to put on permanent show.

Remember in the US donations to institutions allow the giver to take a tax deduction for the APPRAISED value of the donation.

Buy for $5 million, and get it appraised for $10 million, allows you to take a few million personal tax cut right up front.
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Re: British Guiana 1c is going up for auction

Post by maturin »

Global Administrator wrote: The stamp has not been on view publicly since the 1986, when it was exhibited at the Ameripex 1986 International Stamp Show in Chicago, Sotheby's said.
I saw the 1 cent magenta at Ameripex in 1986. It was on display with the Hawaiian Missionaries, an Inverted Jenny block, and many, many other rarities. Everything was under the eye of a very bored security guard.

Regarding the 1 cent magenta's appearance, it was easily the grubbiest and least interesting of the super-rarities there.

If its corners hadn't been clipped, I wouldn't have recognized it at all. Most of the detail was impossible to see under exhibition conditions. (And you could get really close - the guard didn't care).

I still have my Ameripex 1986 Passport, which about 100 participating foreign post offices could cancel at their booths. I posted it below, along with the page for BAT.


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Re: British Guiana 1c is going up for auction

Post by Global Administrator »

maturin wrote:
Regarding the 1 cent magenta's appearance, it was easily the grubbiest and least interesting of the super-rarities there. If its corners hadn't been clipped, I wouldn't have recognized it at all. Most of the detail was impossible to see under exhibition conditions.
Interesting. I do not recall ever seeing it in the flesh, and it does seem like Weinberg carting it about in his wallet as a brag piece, and du Pont's odd stated habits (sleeping with it under his pillow!) might mean it looks less attractive now than it once did.

A well know person in the trade "guarded" it every day at a UK show in 1965.

In fairness I'll not name him as it was a private email to me yesterday, but interesting comments from one of few who has viewed it up close -

The last time I saw 'magenta' in-the-flesh was at the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue Centenary show in 1965 in London. I was with Harmer Rooke/Stanley Gibbons Auctions at the time and was tasked by the Chairman of Gibbons A.L. 'Mick' Michael with having care of the stamp during the course of the exhibition. It meant first in and last out. A very tiring and onerous duty.

I am one of the few people who have seen the stamp close-up, and while I expect a better image can be sourced, I have to say that the image you showed is a heavily doctored, almost artistic impression, of the great stamp.

The truth I am sure is closer to the Sotheby's image than your image.

The printed stamp is of course on a magenta-surfaced paper and never clear from the day it was printed. You will note this from published images of other locally produced stamps of British Guiana which have appeared in auction catalogues.

Whenever the 'magenta' has been reproduced in stamp articles, journals etc. it has always been in this 'doctored' form - never to deceive - just to reproduce an image so people could get a sense of what it looks like.

'Warts and all' this is still the most iconic image in the world of stamps. I can remember as a youthful collector - now some 60 years ago that my dream was to find one! I imagine it remains famous with many many thousands of people throughout the world who collected stamps as children.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by ottawasteve »

I had not seen this in the papers....very interesting! As to the final price, maybe we should start a thread asking for guesstimates, the winner winning....somethng appropriate. An ebay grubby with four clipped margins?
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Allanswood »

I think the photograph, with the finger, taken in subdued light (so a little dark) will be on the money for how it actually looks.

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

Post by MarkoSK »

I don't understand why such big auction house as Sotheby's for this historical event show us such a poor scan.

Macro photo with HQ DSLR would make much more realistic picture.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by Global Administrator »

Yes, most ebay sellers offer far better scans of $10 items, than Sotheby's have for a $10 MILLION stamp.

I'd put it down to total sloppiness.

I contacted their UK and USA media offices about it Friday, and they CLAIM a better photo will be worked on.

What they offered so far a chimp with a $100 Panasonic throw away camera could improve upon I think.

The New York guy claimed the image was taken with their state of the art camera equipment.

When I pointed out a small piece of a glassine hinge, and other junk from a never cleaned scanner platen was on face, and all clearly impossible with a camera shot, he went quiet!

Sadly, that piece of fuzzy junk image is exactly what they offered to the global media.

We shall see.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by revcollector »

My understanding is that what you see there is pretty much what it looks like at this point, that the impression is barely visible now.

DuPont did not take care of it, and it was never very attractive anyway. I saw it soon after it was sold to the Weinberg group back about 1980.

There have also been many discussions and even arguments since the 1880's about whether the stamp is even genuine or is just an altered four cent stamp.

DuPont refused to have it certified; it will be interesting to see whether someone else is willing to do so.
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Re: British Guiana 1c is going up for auction

Post by honza »

maturin wrote:
I saw the 1 cent magenta at Ameripex in 1986. It was on display with the Hawaiian Missionaries, an Inverted Jenny block, and many, many other rarities. Everything was under the eye of a very bored security guard.

Regarding the 1 cent magenta's appearance, it was easily the grubbiest and least interesting of the super-rarities there.
Ahoj maturin!

I saw the 1c British Guiana at an exhibition in Hamburg, Germany. I think it was in 1979.

Since it had been reproduced in black & white on all the inserts from the FG series of packets I used to buy at Woolworths as a boy, I was looking forward to something special, but, like you, I was not very impressed with the real thing.

If I remember correctly, and that is a big IF these days :lol: , you had to enter a dark, cavern-like structure. The stamp itself was lit by pale violet light (to avoid fading, I suppose) and it was back in a recess with several layers of glass inbetween it and the viewer. The result was it was too far away to get anything but a very general impression.

Of the gems & oddities on display it was not the 1c black on magenta I remember most, but a cover that had been near Hiroshima at the time of the H-bomb and, according to a geiger-counter alongside, was still emitting low levels of radiation, :)

Cheers,

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

Post by Global Administrator »

revcollector wrote:

DuPont refused to have it certified; it will be interesting to see whether someone else is willing to do so.
It is sold complete with this Cert. Old I agree, and photo on that looks better than stamp appears today it seems!
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by revcollector »

It's a nice historical document, but for all intents and purposes this cert is worthless.

The examiners are all long dead (and we have no way of even knowing who they were, unless the Royal chooses to make that information public), and the technical capabilities of today are MUCH better than they were at that time.

I really cannot imagine anyone with a serious interest buying this stamp based on that cert.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by gavin-h »

revcollector wrote:It's a nice historical document, but for all intents and purposes this cert is worthless.
Three words: provenance, provenance, provenance :idea:
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by revcollector »

The provenance goes back long before this anyway. No one needs this cert for provenance with a story this famous and a long list of sales it has been in. It's nice to have it, and it certainly is not a negative, but at this point it is essentially useless for any philatelic purpose.
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Re: Unique 1856 1¢ British Guiana stamp Auctioned June 2014

Post by The Pom »

revcollector wrote:It's a nice historical document, but for all intents and purposes this cert is worthless. The examiners are all long dead (and we have no way of even knowing who they were, unless the Royal chooses to make that information public), and the technical capabilities of today are MUCH better than they were at that time.
I really cannot imagine anyone with a serious interest buying this stamp based on that cert.
No idea who might have examined the stamps, but the Cert looks like it was signed by Thomas W Hall, who was President of the Royal Philatelic Society from 1923-1929.
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