Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke
Some of the world’s greatest rarities were auctioned off in June. One exceeded expectations, setting a world record for the amount paid for a philatelic item.
The only copy of the Mauritius Ball cover in private hands was sold for just under $ 12 million at the end of June at an auction led by the German company Christoph Gaertner. Matthew Healey’s report on the sale appears on page 10 of this issue.
One of the highlights of my philatelic career was seeing this cover, along with the other two Mauritius Ball covers, on a trip to London a few years ago.
The Mauritius Ball cover follows the sale by Sotheby’s on June 8 of the single block of four plates British Guyana 1856 1 ¢ Magenta and United States 1918 Jenny Invert for $ 8.3 million and $ 4.87 million, respectively.
1 ¢ Magenta continues to grab the headlines. Stanley Gibbons announced on the day of the auction that he was the highest bidder.
At the end of June, Gibbons CEO Graham Shircore sent an email to interested parties on how he intends to “make the ownership of this historic object accessible to all”.
Shircore said Gibbons was in the process of finalizing shipping and payment for the stamp and had “started putting the display into service at 399 Strand”, the company’s London, England address.
“We have seen tremendous interest in the concept of fractional ownership and will be sharing more about what it looks like in the coming weeks,” he said. Gibbons also plans to release details on the site he created for the stamp.
The Gibbons email included a link to a poll that asked the following questions:
1. The stamp has a long history of owners signing the back of it. Should we continue this tradition and sign the reverse?
2. What additional benefits of ownership would be most important to you?
3. Do you think that only those who buy part of the stamp should be able to see it for free?
4. What interests you most about owning some of the most expensive stamp in the world?
5. How important would it be to you to be able to sell your stake in the stamp quickly?
6. Are you interested in the idea of putting together a collection of unique and valuable pieces of treasures?
7. How do you see the use of blockchain technology as part of the digital offer?
These seven questions begin to paint a picture of what Gibbons’ plan for the stamp might be. It will be interesting to see how this stamp continues to make the headlines. I’m sure.
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