November 2021: The Philatelic Traders’ Society is delighted to announce its new Chairman, Simon Carson. Simon Carson has been a member of the PTS Council since 2015 and has most recently held the position of Vice Chairman.
After 3 years as PTS Chairman, Suzanne Rae will take on a new role as the PTS’s Managing Director as of November 2021.
Shifting the society’s organisational structure in this way recognises the need for this new senior professional position within the PTS team. Suzanne will report directly into the PTS Chairman and Council. In her time as Chairman, and working extensively with the PTS Council, Isobel and Helen, Suzanne has steered the society through a global pandemic, brought in new offers and initiatives such as Virtual Stampex, new physical Stampex concepts, the eBay Authorised Seller Partnership, the globally recognised PTS Awards, the PTS Collector Handbook, our ‘Look for the Shield’ and Proud Member campaigns and online Smiler Shop. Suzanne has worked with the team to streamline back office processes, grow our membership, improve member and external communication, promote our members in new and creative ways, integrate new technologies into how we do things, and positioned the PTS as the International Society for Philatelic Professionals. There is still work to do to ensure the society can thrive and the PTS Council is delighted that Suzanne will continue to drive forward the future agenda in this new role. The Council is also thrilled that Vice Chairman, Simon Carson will be stepping into the Chairman position to bring a fresh perspective and new energy to the society.
Simon says: “I am so proud to be taking over the baton as PTS Chairman. I truly believe that we have a world class society and Stampex brand, with a host of remarkable and diverse members who all add something to who we are and what we do. I look forward to meeting many of our members and partners face to face and remotely over the coming months and welcome any ideas and feedback on how we can make our society even stronger.”
Suzanne says: “It has been an incredible honour to have acted as PTS Chairman from 2018-2021. The society has taken up a lot of my head space over the past few years, but it has also taken up a lot of my heart space. I am excited about what and how I can deliver even more in my new role, hand in hand with Simon. I remain committed to delivering the best possible benefits for our members and to ensuring that the society remains bold, innovative, professional and community led in how it promotes its members, supports the trade and boosts the hobby.”
From ERIVAN to the whole world: exciting, top-quality philatelic material and extraordinary results - a look at the 377th Heinrich Koehler Auction (20-25 September 2021)
From 20 to 25 September 2021 the eagerly awaited autumn auction of Germany's oldest stamp auction house Heinrich Koehler took place in Wiesbaden. The more than impressive auction programme, which had already caused a sensation in the run-up with a total of ten catalogues, offered many highlights and many a surprise that only very few would have expected. Rediscovered treasures, valuable rarities and remarkable items, among others from the ERIVAN collection, kept the philatelic public in suspense. Many of the stamps, covers etc. each told their own very interesting stories, which were able continually to captivate and motivate collectors. The high demand and the interest of the bidders once again resulted in exciting bidding "battles", breathtaking price increases and a number of top realisations.
Highlights of the "ERIVAN - German States" Collection
With the continuation of the "German States" auction series of the ERIVAN collection, once again an outstanding selection of covers was offered for sale, which had everything to offer for lovers of classic German philately. For the first time there were also ten covers with the first stamps of the German Empire, the "Shield" issues, which were in no way inferior in beauty and rarity to the lots of the German States collecting areas. The best example may be a first day cover of the German Empire, which caused astonishment and enthusiasm. This cover with a mixed franking of the Michel 1 (¼ groschen) and Michel 3 (½ groschen) from the first day of use, 1 January 1872, soared to an incredible 130,000 euros after a starting price of 5,000 euros. The combination of first day usage together with the Michel 1 on this cover motivated the bidders to "top performance". A truly remarkable result, surpassed only by a Hanover cover from the ERIVAN collection, which was knocked down at 145,000 euros. Here, too, a first day was involved, because the mixed franking of the 10 groschen, 1 groschen and (two) 3 groschen values on cover to Caldera, Chile was sent on the first day of use of the 10 groschen stamp, the highest value in the set. And these are only two examples of the lots from the ERIVAN collection that sold extremely well, without exception.
Philatelic treasures, exciting backgrounds and stories
A small sensation was already in the offing with the discovery of a very special cover. A letter from Bavaria, which had been lying dormant in a Franconian family archive, was offered at auction for the first time in 170 years and fascinated collectors. The cover with a strip of three black one Kreuzer, the “Schwarzer Einser”, and a blue three kreuzer stamp is a top rarity in Bavarian philately, as it is the only known coloured franking of the first issue of German stamps. This rarity had caused a sensation far beyond philatelic circles and appealed to the media and also to new interested parties. As luck would have it, the unique background story of the find left a lasting impression on the highest bidder, who won the cover for 54,000 euros (starting price: 25,000 euros).
Overall, it was striking how much interest there was in the respective individual histories of the stamps and covers. Knowledge of the background, whether it be that of the cover itself or of its provenance, is of decisive importance to many bidders. It was also noticeable that a personal connection to the item was often linked to a personal auction visit in the case of the "great" rarities. Especially with the valuable items from the ERIVAN collection, the room was filled to capacity, aided by the relaxation in COVID-19 precautions - naturally in compliance with all safety requirements.
Philately that inspires - from the auction room to the whole world
Needless to say, the fascination with the major and minor rarities went far beyond the auction room. Thanks to the possibilities of online live bidding, collectors and dealers from all over the world vied for the philatelic treasures, among which the specialised collections of the collecting areas of the German States were just as much in demand as the lots from Europe and the wider world. An example of this was the "Bavaria from 1849 - The Eliahu Weber Collection (Part 1)", which was notable for remarkable bidding increases and top hammer prices. Also the lots from the "Duchy of Brunswick" and "Bremen: Hanover Post Office, North German Confederation und Shield Issue" collections of Friedrich Meyer were very popular. In the field of international philately, the "International Postal Connections via Trieste (Part 1)" and "Austria - First Issue Used in Hungary (Part 1)" collections of Rolf Rohlfs were impressive, as were the collections "Gems of Indian States 1864-1950" and "Dominican Republic from 1863 - The Hansmichael Krug Collection".
All the results of the 377th Heinrich Koehler Auction are available online at www.heinrich-koehler.de.
Further information at
Heinrich Köhler Auktionshaus GmbH & Co. KG, Hasengartenstr. 25, 65189 Wiesbaden
Telephone: +49 (0)611 3414 9-0, Fax: +49 (0)611 3414 9-99, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rolf Rohlfs Collection
Lot 8009: Austria 1861, 2 kr., 5 kr. and 15 kr. (5) on a cover from Teplitz via Trieste and Alexandria to Batavia. Starting price: 8,000 euros - hammer price: 25,000 euros
The "ERIVAN – German States" Collection
Lot 282: German Reich 1872, Small Shield ¼ groschen and ½ groschen with ELBERFELD horseshoe postmark of 1 January 1872 from the first day of issue of the "Breastplate" stamps. Starting price: 5,000 euros - hammer price 130,000 euros
Main catalogue "German and International Philately
Lot 1644: A sensational find! Bavaria 1849, strip of three of the "Schwarzer Einser" in a mixed franking with a 3 kreuzer blue on cover from Augsburg to Immenstadt. Sensational new discovery. Starting price 25,000 euros - hammer price: 54,000 euros
North German Confederation
Lot 8597: 1869, 5 groschen bistre, three singles with a perforated 2 groschen blue on cover from the well-known Apotheker Steudemann correspondence to Soerabaja, Java (Dutch East Indies). Starting price: 2,000 euros - hammer price: 7,500 euros
Hanover Post Office in Bremen
Lot 9738: German Empire 1872, ¼ gr., 1 gr. and 2½ gr. on cover from Bremen to Hawaii. Provenance: Silvain Wyler collection, Heinrich Koehler Auction (2013). Starting price: 5,000 euros - hammer price: 16,000 euros
"Stars of India" – Indian Convention and Feudatory States stamps and postal history from 1864
Lot 10028: Barwani 1917, ¼ Anna blue, the first stamp of Barwani in a pair on cover. Unique item. Starting price: 9,000 euros - hammer price 11,500 euros
Duchy of Brunswick – the "Victoria Luise" collection
Lot 9372: The 'Alfred Krupp cover': provisional numeral cancellation "50" of the Braunschweig court post office on a vertical pair of 1 sgr. on yellow, on a 1 sgr. yellow postal stationery envelope to the well-known Krupp family of entrepreneurs in Essen. One of the great philatelic rarities of Old Germany; only one other cover known. Provenance: Pfaff Brothers (1904), 71st Corinphila auction (1984), 27th Kruschel auction (1988). Starting price: 40,000 euros - hammer price: 76,000 euros
Postal History of the Faroe Islands in the Second World War - The Jack Petersen Collection
Lot 6069: 1942, "Undercover Mail" via P.O. Box 506 from Copenhagen to Lisbon. Intercepted by the Germans and returned to the sender. Hammer price: 4,000 euros
Dominican Republic from 1863 – the Hansmichael Krug Collection
Lot 6593: British Post Office in Santo Domingo, 1877, GB 1s. (2) and 1d. (3) on cover to Italy. Starting price: 500 euros - hammer price: 9,500 euros
Bavaria from 1849 - the Eliahu Weber Collection
Lot 9009: 1 kr. black with open millwheel cancellation "418" of REGENSBURG on printed item dated 20 February 1858. Latest use of a "Black One"! Provenance: 10th Maier auction (1916), 6th Stock auction (1919). Starting price: 50,000 euros - hammer price: 75,000 euros
WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE STAMP IS GOING ON DISPLAY AT A FREE EXHIBITION HOSTED BY STANLEY GIBBONS IN LONDON (8TH NOVEMBER – 18TH DECEMBER)
“The world’s most valuable stamp has been bought for $8.3m by Stanley Gibbons, which plans to offer investors a chance to buy fractional ownership of the unique asset.” Financial Times (9 June 2021)
On Monday 8th November the world’s most expensive stamp, the 1c Magenta, will be going on display as part of a free exhibition hosted by Stanley Gibbons, the world’s longest standing stamp merchant.
Stanley Gibbons has created a series of exhibits around the 1c Magenta and its history displayed on the gallery floor of its head office at 399 Strand, London. Visitors can discover the full story of the stamp, and its owners, from schoolboys to shoe designers via governments and murderers. They will also be able to discover other members of this rare stamp’s philatelic family tree and join in the trend of signing the back with our communal wall mural.
The exhibition will also introduce a limited-edition artwork of the 1c Magenta, by London-based sculptor Guy Gee. Renowned for exploring the merging boundaries between design and contemporary art Guy Gee has been working with Stanley Gibbons on a number of projects as an extension of his “Terrence Stamps” series. The Magenta piece will be the first exclusive launch from this collaboration.
The exhibition will be open to the general public every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8th November to 17th December. There are also Saturday openings on November 20th and the 4th and 18th December. Opening times are 11.00 – 18.00 and the full address for Stanley Gibbons head office is 399 Strand, London, WC2R 0LX.
ABOUT THE 1 CENT MAGENTA
There are any number of 'unique' philatelic items, but only one which is accepted as being 'The World's Rarest Stamp'. The 1856 British Guiana ONE CENT black on magenta is indeed unique in that all other contenders for the title are errors or varieties of more widely available stamps or have been rendered 'unique' by their postmarks or postal use.
It was first discovered by a local schoolboy, 12-year-old L Vernon Vaughan, amongst some family papers in 1873; he soaked it off and placed it briefly in his collection, before selling it to a local collector Neil R McKinnon for the sum of six shillings. Vaughan was apparently convinced that he would be able to find a better example of the stamp, but no one ever has. A few years later McKinnon sold his collection to a Liverpool stamp dealer Thomas Ridpath, for £120 and Ridpath subsequently sold the ONE CENT on to the renowned collector Philipp la Renotière von Ferrary, an Austrian living in Paris, for an undisclosed sum, believed to be around £40. Ferrary died in 1917, intending to leave his collection to the Postal Museum in Berlin. However, it was confiscated by the French Government as part of Germany’s war reparations and sold in a series of auctions between June 1921 and November 1925, with the ONE CENT going under the hammer on 6 April 1922, when it was bought by Arthur Hind, a British-born American millionaire for a total sum of £7343 including taxes, making it the highest price ever paid for a single postage stamp and leading to it being widely regarded as 'The World’s Rarest Stamp'.
Hind died in 1933 and after a legal battle between his wife and his estate, the stamp passed to Mrs Hind, who attempted to sell in London in 1935 when it failed to reach its reserve. It was finally sold for a sum believed to be around $45,000 in 1940 to an anonymous buyer who was eventually revealed to be Frederick Small, an Australian living in the United States. His name did not become known until the stamp was next sold in 1970, but it was exhibited on a very few occasions, most famously at the Stanley Gibbons Catalogue Centenary Exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in 1965, the programme for which quoted a valuation of £200,000. This proved to be reasonably accurate, because when the stamp sold in New York on 24 March 1970 as part of the ‘Great’ collection it reached the equivalent of $280,000, the buyer being an investment syndicate one of whom was stamp dealer Irwin Weinberg. Ten years later Mr Weinberg, on behalf of the syndicate, again offered the stamp for sale at Robert A Siegel of New York and this time, including commission, the sum paid totalled $935,000.
At first the name of the new owner was again a mystery but was eventually revealed to be John E du Pont, heir to the Du Pont Chemicals fortune. In 1997 du Pont was convicted of murder and spent the rest of his life in prison, dying on 9 December 2010. For most of its 30 years in du Pont’s ownership the stamp was in storage, but an extensive promotional ‘tour’ took place before it went under the hammer again, this time at Sotheby’s New York salerooms on 17 June 2014. This time the selling price was slightly more than ten times its previous peak, the buyer paying a total of $9,480,000. The new owner was shoe designer Stuart Weitzman. Over the next seven years the ONE CENT black on magenta remained in the limelight, being widely exhibited until it once again returned to the auctioneer’s rostrum, also at Sotheby’s in New York, on 8 June 2021, when it achieved a total price of $8,307,000. The buyer was Stanley Gibbons Ltd. who had proudly shown the stamp at its Catalogue Centenary Exhibition 56 years earlier, stating its value to be £200,000.
Announcing the purchase, Stanley Gibbons stated that the ONE CENT black on magenta would once more be returning to the UK, where it would be made available for public viewing at its flagship store at 399 Strand, London. In addition, Stanley Gibbons also announced its intention to make ownership of the item, in part at least, available to a much wider audience through shared ownership – a concept which has become increasingly popular in recent years and will hopefully create greater enjoyment of this rarest of philatelic artefacts for a far greater number of people. For more information see: www.showpiece.com
Information supplied by PTS Member Stanley Gibbons
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