Saturday, June 7, 2014

Serious Return on Your Penny: A one-cent stamp is set to sell at Sotheby's for $20 million

There goes the labor theory of value.

WaPo reports:
In 1873, a British schoolboy living with his family in British Guiana (now Guyana) who was a fledgling stamp collector was going through his late uncle’s personal letters, soaking off the stamps to add to his collection, when he came across an octagonal specimen, printed in black letters on magenta, adorned with an image of a three-masted ship and inscribed with the colony’s motto: “We give and expect in return.” 
Louis Vernon Vaughan had not seen anything like it, in part because there was nothing like it.
It was printed in 1856 by a newspaper publisher in the colony of British Guiana after the local post office ran out of stamps shipped from London.
The postmaster was unhappy with the quality of the stamps and concerned that they might be counterfeited. So he ordered the postal clerks to personally initial each stamp at the time of sale to prevent fraud, according to a history offered by the Kenmore Stamp Company.
Sotheby’s is set to auction the stamp known as “The British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta” on June 17 in New York.
The value: between $10 million and $20 million.... 
“It will be by size and weight simply the most expensive object ever sold in history,” said Sotheby’s David Redden in a promotional video.

1 comment:

  1. And it went for only $350,000 in the early 70s

    Buyer beware!