Record for the most expensive stamp in the world to beat, by itself: 9.48 million dollars, obtained on June 17, 2014 by a black and magenta “1 cent”, from British Guiana, issued in 1856, and known to a only copy… The only copy which will therefore be submitted to the auction again on June 8 by Sotheby’s, still in New York, for an optimistic estimate of 10 to 15 million dollars (approximately between 8.25 and 12.4 million dollars). euros).
This stamp is the property of many famous luxury shoemaker, American Stuart Weitzman.
The very erased design of the stamp which does not shine by its aesthetic qualities, it must be admitted, represents a three-masted in a formed rectangular frame, with the caption « British Guiana » and the motto of the former colony “We petit que Conversely[us] » (“We give and expect in return”), all printed in typography, in black, on colored paper.
The stamp, signed with the initials EDW (for ED Wight), is canceled “Ap 4 1856 Demerara” (“April 4, 1856 Demerara”), from the name of a town in British Guiana, the former name of the capital Georgetown.
Note that the original selling price of this stamp, in 1856, was 1 cent, before going down to 6 shillings, in 1873 (when it was “rediscovered” by a schoolboy)… The price The stamp surged in 1922, bought at the time for 32,500 dollars by an American industrialist … to reach more than 9 million dollars in 2014.
The rarity of this sticker means that it has been reproduced on some stamps from various countries: North Korea, Chad, Ajman and… Guyana (in modern versions).
Stuart Weitzman is also selling a 24-cent red and blue airmail stamp, issued in the United States in 1918, among the most prized of American philatelists, called “Inverted Jenny” (the “Upside Down Jenny”), whose rarity comes from a printing error, the aircraft represented, a Curtiss JN-4 biplane christened Jenny, appearing upside down (philatelists speak of “upside down”).
More extraordinary, the lot offered for sale is a block of four units, generously estimated between 5 and 7 million dollars (approximately 4.1 to 5.8 million euros), whereas such a block of four (but without a leaf edge) went away in 2019 at $ 1.74 million at Spink.
These prices refer to the analysis carried out by the economist Roland Granier (Stamp collecting. Collections and investments, PUF, 1999): “There are many similarities that bring [le marché philatélique] of the art market (…). Non-reproducible goods (…), solvent demand for luxury goods (…). Great uncertainty about financial returns characterizes both markets (…). With works of art and philately the uncertainty is if not total, at least immense, especially since no income is perceived between the purchase of the good and its resale ” and “Future inflation and therefore the expected real returns remain an unknown”.
Finally, during the same sale will be offered an American gold coin estimated between 10 and 15 million dollars – which is part of the last series of gold coins, called “Double Eagle”, minted by the State Mint. -Unis (US Mint), in 1933, but which were never officially put into circulation, only a few copies having fraudulently escaped the cast -, bought in 2002 by Stuart Weitzman for $ 7.9 million.
All proceeds from the sale are expected to go to charities, including the designer’s own foundation, The Weitzman Family Foundation.
It should be noted that the website of the renowned Swiss auction house David Feldman, specializing in philately, offers a very relevant “Philately Museum” which, among other sections, lists rarities from around the world, specifying their price and the date of the transaction, or where they come from.
Obviously not missing the block of four of 1 franc vermilion with the effigy of French Ceres with a head-to-tail (more than 900,000 euros in 2003), the letter from Mauritius from 1847 with 1 penny red and 2 blue pence (more than 6 million Swiss francs in 1993) or the tre skilling banco of Sweden of 1855, yellow instead of green (2.875 million Swiss francs in 1996) …
Sotheby’s, « Three Treasures collected by Stuart Weitzman », le 8 juin, à New York.