British Guiana One-Cent Magenta to be sold


12 March 2021
The world famous British Guiana One-Cent Magenta and a plate block of the USA 'Inverted Jenny' are to be sold by current owner Stuart Weitzman, in a Sotheby's auction featuring just three treasures from the entrepreneur's collection.

The 'Three Treasures – Collected by Stuart Weitzman' live auction will take place at Sotheby's New York on 8 June 2021, and will feature just three incredibly rare items:

  • The 'fabled and elusive' 1933 Double Eagle Coin
  • The sole-surviving example of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, known as the most
    famous and valuable stamp in the world;
  • The Inverted Jenny Plate Block, the most well-known and sought-after American stamp rarity

The Double Eagle coin and the British Guiana stamp will be offered with estimates of $10/15 million each and are poised to set new world auction records in their respective categories.

The Inverted Jenny will carry an estimate of $5/7 million, set to eclipse its own record for an American philatelic item.

SIGN UP TO THE FREE NEWSLETTER TODAY and we'll send you news, views and stamp guides direct to your inbox. It's completely free and a great way to keep up to date with the very latest new stamps and enter our latest competitions.

Richard Austin, Sotheby’s Global Head of Books & Manuscripts, said:

'As the most aspirational objects in their respective collecting fields and each with their own illustrious
provenance, the Double Eagle, the British Guiana and the Inverted Jenny all hold an indelible place in
history, and in our collective imagination.

'Each treasure is unique in its own right: the 1933 Double Eagle as the only legally owned example, the British Guiana as the only one known, and the Inverted Jenny as the only plate block from a unique sheet of stamps. It would be a true privilege to present just one of these sought-after rarities at auction but offering all three one-of-a-kind treasures together in the same sale is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.'

Content continues after advertisements

Stuart Weitzman pioneered luxury shoe design as founder of his eponymous company and is renowned for creating 'high-end shoes'.

Watch the video report from CBS news…

Beyond his highly successful career in fashion, Weitzman is a lifelong philatelist and numismatist with a deep appreciation for one-of-a-kind objects. Growing up collecting stamps and coins at an early age in Queens, New York, he fulfilled his boyhood pursuits at the highest echelon with his acquisition of the Double Eagle in 2002 and the British Guiana and Inverted Jenny Plate Block in 2014.

The British Guiana was loaned to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum where it has been on public display since 2015 in its own special exhibition.

All of the seller’s proceeds will benefit charitable ventures, including The Weitzman Family Foundation, which supports medical research and higher education such as the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Other major Foundation projects include a museum in Madrid, the first of its kind, devoted to Spanish Judaica. 

Weitzman said: 'I had a life-long dream of collecting the single greatest rarities in the two great collecting areas of stamps and coins and then placing these extraordinary treasures, hidden away for decades, on continuous public view. I determined to do that, and I did that. That was my dream. Today my dream is to leave a legacy of charitable works to which the proceeds from the sales of these treasures will go.'