Philatelic Rarities

Philatelic Rarities

April 4, 1856 was a momentous day in British Guiana in South America, unknown as such by the British Plantation owner of the day, this was the day that the Unique One Cent British Guiana the world’s rarest stamp made its debut. Crudely made as an emergency issue when the British Packet failed to arrive with the stamps printed in London the local newspaper printers undertook the job of making stamps for their small colonial government. Using woodblock printing type as all newspapers were printed from, they made and used the masthead of their newspaper as the central theme of their provisional issue stamp, printed in black ink on magenta paper and counter signed by the postmaster in ink to prevent their being used twice.

The Famous Mauritius ‘Post Office’ 1st issue from this small British Colony island in the Indian Ocean are among the Great Philatelic Rarities of the World. Engraved by Joseph Barnard a Englishman who had been a stowaway on ship to this tiny island, he engraved and printed these stamps depicting Queen Victoria, they were the first stamps ever to be made in a British Colony.

Above are the 2 stamps unused, then used on cover together and the original copper print plate with their engravings that they were produced with in 1847 a unique trio of Philatelic-Rarities that are priceless!

Who Proclaims the Great Rarities

A Proclamation of Rarity is enough for most collectors but to take a rarity and make it among the Greatest Philatelic Rarities of the world takes a lot of News Media, crowds of people and acclamation of the Philatelic circles of collectors in general. There are yet many unknown rarities that are not so promoted . The 24 c Inverted Jenny airmail stamp, the most famous and rarest of American Stamps, was issued on May 14, 1918 just after WWI when a Full Sheet was discovered by William Robey who was in his 20’s and a newly licensed stock broker in Washington DC,  Robey a young broker and family man with a wife and young daughter had remembered the Pan American inverts and had high hopes that the ‘Jenny’ would also turn up as a invert from two runs through the press. Much to his surprise it did ! He bought the only Full Sheet of 100 of Americas 1st Airmail stamp invert at just 24 cents each for a mere total of $24 at the US  Post Office and sold it within 6 months for $15,000. It was purchased by Col. Howard Green the only son of another Wall Street personality Hettie Green whose wealth exceed $200 million in 1918 and was one of the most astute investors in American History. Today they sell for over $250,000 or more each.

The Famous One Cent British Guiana was an emergency printing for local circular mail because of the lack of stamps that were supposed to have been delivered by the British Government Packet Ship, thus the local newspaper printer was tasked with printing some temporary self-designed provisional stamps to see the Post Office thru on a provisional basis until the packet arrived with the British Empire governments more precisely printed stamps in England. It recently sold at Sotheby’s for $10 million.

Sweden’s first issue of stamps in 1855 produced the famous Tre-skilling 3k error which was accidentally printed in yellow, the printer either got his denominations mixed up and printed it in the wrong color or the 3k die transfer was mistakenly used to repair the 8k yellow printing plate. It is the only example that exists today. Also discovered by a schoolboy in Sweden while going through his grandmothers trunk in her attic in the 1886 who sold it to a local stamp dealer at the time just 7 kronor, it was soon sold for 37,000 kronor and it ended up in Count Philip Ferrari’s collection in Paris. It recently sold for over $2 million dollars in Switzerland. 

The Promotion and Sale Art vs. Stamps

A Basquiat painting of a skull sells for a $100 million, a Matisse of a odd looking human figure sells for over $100 million each and then a small feminine portrait by Leonardo Da Vinci of Jesus sells for $450 million dollars where do these insane prices come from and can these collectors ever get their money back in the Future; Doubtful then why do they buy these paintings! Who is buying them and why, a lot is for safe storage of large amounts of  money, for example, from Russia, Arabia, and China. Many of these paintings never go on a wall but remain in secure storage vaults from Geneva to Hong Kong throughout a lifetime as a monetary hedge?