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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stamp rarity posted to St Petersburg stars in Swiss philately auction

This very scarce cover proved an excellent entry-level investment in Platinum Philately's online sale

The big destination was Leipzig at Platinum Philately's stamp auction, earlier this week - or rather two very scarce covers sent to or from the German city.

Dated to 1861, this folded cover (pictured below) was sent from Leipzig to St Petersburg, Russia, and exhibits a truly superb franking made up of the 1Ngr black on deep rose stamp.

It is accompanied by a 5Ngr brownish red Michel specimen. Both stamps, boasting full to good margins, are tied with a bold circular datestamp in blue.

Described by Platinum as being in "truly magnificent condition [with] freshness throughout and great eye-appeal" the scarce cover sold with a 1993 Maria Brettl certificate of authenticity.

The scarce cover posted from Leipzig to St Petersburg, dated to 1861
(Click to enlarge)

Considering it is especially rare to find a cover of this kind and era addressed to St Petersburg, it's not surprising that the envelope exceeded its pre-sale estimate of €1,500, bringing €1,700 - a great entry-level investment for its lucky buyer.

The 1861 cover sold alongside another from the following year: a Swiss hotel post issued envelope originally sent to London... Then Dorking UK... And then finally Leipzig, after it was discovered that the intended recipient had moved there.

Of course, the cover's convoluted journey is evident upon its surface, including various ink strikethroughs to the address, a Swiss 25c green stamp of the Standing Helvetia issue, and a rare and piece of philatelic memorabilia: a private hotel stamp of the Stoos resort in Brünnen.

One of the most unique and most - if not the most - collectible of the Swiss hotel posts issues, the cover with a fascinating story behind it realised a final price of €6,400.

An exceptional and rare Swiss Hotel Post cover, with a complicated story
(You can read our full report here)

Elsewhere, among the other highlights in Platinum's auction was one of the greatest classic rarities of Belgian philately, the three-of-a-kind 1890 50c stamp on an 1882 cover, sold for €3,200.

The above three lots auctioned with various lots of classic philately from numerous countries and areas, including China, the Colonies and British Commonwealth. The auction was held in Switzerland, and bidding closed on Monday (August 16).