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Saturday, November 13, 2010

German auction estimates 'near mint piece of luxury' Austrian stamp at €80,000

This military post philatelic rarity from 1919 is the only known mint example of its kind in the world...

We've already reported on the vast and lovingly compiled collection of letters by each of the French rulers from Louis XIII to Napoleon III that's going under the hammer at Christopher Gärtner Philatelic's November 23 auction.

The collection is estimated at €180,000, and is definitely worth a look. Most collectors, however, will be there for the stamps - and they certainly won't be disappointed. Among the philatelic highlights is this world rarity from 1919, a 4th release Austrian Stanislav stamp...

Christopher Gärtner's lot notes (when translated from German) describe this stamp as a "near mint piece of luxury": an unused 10 kr violet/gray stamp bearing the Ukrainian cancellation "POSCHTA UKR.H.REP. HRIWNI".

The one-of-a-kind mint Austrian military post rarity, estimated at €80,000

The stamp is marked "K.u.K Feldpost", the Austrian military postal service and is, according to the auction house, "perfectly perforated and centred". What's more, this happens to be the only mint condition example in existence. Unsurprisingly, the stamp carries a massive pre-sale estimate to match its scarcity: €80,000.

Just as impressive is the stamp's provenance. It was formerly in the Marquis of Bute's collection, before being auctioned in 1959 and later appearing at the 2002 Monaco Phil collectors' festival.

A bona fide world rarity, we can see this stamp selling for more than its €80,000 estimate. It will auction in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany in two weeks' time.