On June 8, 2021, Sotheby’s New York will auction three collector's rarities from Stuart Weitzman's collection.

It's been a long 7 years since the world record was set for the most expensive postage stamp. Renowned shoe-designer Stuart Weitzman then bought the British Guiana 1c magenta stamp for an incredible $ 9,480,000 plus auction fees. The stamp from 1856 was discovered in 1873 by a twelve-year-old schoolboy in the attic of a family house and has since changed owner several times. Its holders included such personalities as Philip von Ferrary or John E. du Pont, the great-grandson of E. I. du Pont, the founder of the world-famous chemical company. The stamp will be auctioned at an estimated price of $ 10 million, which is, in my opinion, a completely unreasonable price. The stamp is neither the oldest nor the most beautiful, nor the first in the territory. In fact, there are many similar rare stamps, which reach much lower prices at the auctions. In my opinion, Weitzman overpaid it significantly in 2014, but as usual, he set a new trend and it is possible that it will be maintained.
Unfortunately, Weitzman add his ownership mark to the back of the stamp, which is very distinctive.

The second rarity to be auctioned on the same day is the American 24c Inverted Jenny in a block of four. Only one 100-sheet sheet of this stamp was printed and it is interesting that 99 examples are documented to this day, only one stamp is missing! A similar block of four was auctioned in 2019 at Spink New York for $ 1,450,000. Weitzman's block, which includes a plate number, comes from the bottom of the sheet and can be expected to reach a higher price.

The life path of this rarity is, as with the above-mentioned 1c stamp, perfectly documented - from the purchase of the entire 100-sheet on May 14, 1918 by a man named William T. Robey, to today's owner. The block was last auctioned 16 years ago when it was bought in 2005 by financier and investment guru William Gross for $ 2.97 million. Subsequently, it was bought by Weitzman in a private transaction in 2014.

You can read more about the history of these stamps in my book “Poštovní známky – koníček, nebo investice?” which I wrote about in the December news. The English version of the book is planned for beginning of 2022.

In addition, Sotheby’s will auction a unique 20-dollar 1933 Double Eagle gold coin with an estimate of about $ 15 million. This coin is unique in the way that it is the only specimen that can be owned by a private person. Weitzman auctioned it in 2002 for a record amount that was almost double the previous sale record.

This coin is the last American gold circulation coin, ending a tradition that began in 1795. The coin was minted, but was never put into circulation. It was ordered that all produced stamps must be destroyed, only two pieces were sent to the Smithonian Institution. In 1937 (the same month that these coins were melted down), however, several specimens appeared on the collector's market. In a subsequent investigation, the US Secret Service found that all the discovered pieces were stolen from the US Mint and therefore illegally owned. However, one copy was purchased just a few weeks before the start of the investigation in 1944 and was even (incorrectly) granted an export license. The coin ended up in the diplomatically untouchable collection of King Farouk of Egypt, where it remained until 1954. Its ownership is then unknown until 1996! On this year, the coin was confiscated during a raid of the US Secret Service in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. A several-year legal battle (to as high as the Supreme Court) followed. The above-mentioned coin eventually got authorized permission for legal private ownership. Now you can buy it too.

I'm glad Weitzman didn't engrave his ownership mark in it either. :-(

#worldrarities #invertedjenny # britishguyana1cmagenta #themostexpensivestampoftheworld #rarestamp #1933doubleeagle


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  • Radek Novák
  • radek.austria@gmail.com
  • +420 608 386 845