British Guiana collection to be sold


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10 August 2021
Just weeks after the world’s most famous stamp, the British Guiana One-Cent on Magenta, went under the hammer in New York, it has been announced that ‘the most comprehensive collection of British Guiana ever formed’ is set to be sold at auction in October.

David Feldman International Auctioneers have revealed details of the ‘Imperium Collection’ of British Guiana, which includes all of the items from the Grand Prix winning John E. du Pont collection, plus two of the most notable rarities that had been missing, and several other pieces added over the ensuing years. 

A spokesperson for David Feldman said:

‘It is a great honour for the company to have been entrusted with the unreserved offer for sale of this distinguished British Guiana collection, which is without doubt the most comprehensive we have ever presented, now eclipsing the John E. du Pont collection sold in 2014.'

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'It is decorated with great world rarities, including stamps of remarkable quality in the very scarce, and often fragile, primitive issues. It will be an auction of this territory which is unlikely to be equalled again for a generation, and a rare opportunity for any serious British Guiana collector to acquire elusive, unique and world-famous material. Indeed, as a collection at auction it is comparable in both stature and rarity to our offer of the legendary Kanai Mauritius in 1993, another one of the most significant territories of worldwide philately.’

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Study of three British Guiana stamps

The collection is a pre-eminent study of the three key British Guiana primitive stamps; the 1850 ‘Cotton Reels’, the 1852-53 Waterlows, and the world-renowned 1856 Provisional stamps both on and off cover. Also included are a presentation of the pre-stamp period, the British Post office in British Guiana, Postage Dues, and the Inland Revenue issues.

Highlights of the sale

One of the many highlights of the sale is the ‘Miss Rose’ cover, which is one of only two covers that exist with the 2 cents issue, and the unique ‘error of colour’ or ‘2 cents instead of 12’ cover, described by Robson Lowe in the 1963 Burrus auction catalogue as being ‘as important as the 1856 One-Cent on Magenta.’ 

Other highlights include a series of the 1852 ‘Tall Ships’ issues of the One Cent and Four Cents in astounding quality, examples of the celebrated 1856 Four Cents on Magenta ‘Provisional’ Issues as well as the rarer 1856 Four Cents on Blue.

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The collection will also be presented at the Autumn Stampex Exhibition in London, from 29 September to 2 October 2021; following the London show, the Collection will be taken to New York for viewing. The collection then returns to Geneva in anticipation of its sale.

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