Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The "There Is No Inflation" Report (Philatelic Edition)

 The One-Cent Magenta from British Guiana
A  one-cent postage stamp from the 19th century — sold for $9.5 million on Tuesday, the most ever paid for a stamp at auction.

The buyer, bidding by telephone at Sotheby’s on the Upper East Side, was not identified. The auctioneer, David N. Redden, opened the bidding at $4.5 million — $5.4 million once a 20 percent buyer’s premium was added.

The bids climbed in $500,000 increments to $7.5 million. After three more offers a bid hit $7.9 million, closing the auction at $9.5 million with the buyer’s premium.

The stamp is known as the One-Cent Magenta from British Guiana. It was printed by a local newspaper — the scheduled shipment of thousands of stamps from Britain did not arrive, and the local postmaster did not want to run out — and issued in 1856.

It carries the image of a schooner and Latin words that are often translated as, “We give and expect in return.” It had not been seen in public since the mid-1980s until Sotheby’s sent it on a recent tour of museums and libraries.

(via NYT)

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