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Monday, August 16, 2010

From Dorking to Liepzig... 'Perfect' Swiss Hotel Post cover auctions online

One of the best Swiss hotel post issues has a €8,000 price tag - and a fascinating story behind it...

There have been some great Swiss stamps sales this year, most notably Peter Rapp's $14.9m (17.2m CHF) June auction which included the "lost" Ticino Collection.

Among that sale's highlights was Europe's third-oldest adhesive postage stamp, the Double Geneva, which realised a final price of $235,000.

But if you missed out on that auction, don't fret, because Platinum Philately's forthcoming online sale features another historic Swiss rarity. Better still, it's at an entry-level investment price.

Auctioning alongside one of the greatest classic rarities of Belgian - and European - philately, the three-of-a-kind 1890 50c stamp, is this breathtakingly fascinating cover from 1882.

Within this Swiss Hotel Post envelope remain its full contents. On the front is a Swiss 25c green stamp of the Standing Helvetia issue, marked with a circular black datestamp (August 16, 1882) also cancelled in pen.

Beside it is another rare and impressive piece of philatelic memorabilia: a private hotel stamp bearing the name of the Stoos resort in Brünnen. Like the 25c, it has be tied this time with a postmark which reads "CARL MÜLLER-CAMENZIND / KURORT STOOS OB BRÜNNEN" in blue, also pen-cancelled.

The exceptional Swiss Hotel Post cover (Click to enlarge)

Apparently, the letter was originally sent by Swiss hotel post to London, hence the two green stamps. The cover reached London the very next day (August 17) when it received an airmail circular datestamp on the back.

However, the addressee was not in London anymore. So the letter followed him to Dorking... and from there onwards to Leipzig, Germany, where he'd apparently moved again.

This is evident in the additional Great Britain stamp in the envelope's top-centre, a 2 1/2d light blue (Plate 22) of the 1881 definitives issue. (It was likely applied by someone in Britain who knew the addressee.)

Surely enough, it was tied with a datestamp in Dorking, on August 20, 1882, also in black.

According to Platinum Philately, both the cover and the stamps are in "virtually perfect" condition, and will sell accompanied by a 2006 Jean-Claude Marchand certificate of authenticity.

A stunning cover with a fascinating story behind it, it remains one of the unique and most important collectible - if not the most - of the Swiss hotel posts issues. An incredible opportunity for philatelists everywhere, the cover is auctioning online with an estimate of €8,000.

Platinum Philately's online sale began on August 1, and closes this Monday, August 16.