26. 3. 2016

Gems Abound in WSS - New York 2016

World Stamp Show-NY 2016 is pleased to announce that it has finalized arrangements to display an unprecedented array of priceless philatelic material in the exhibition’s Court of Honor and Invited Exhibits.  Many can be viewed online here: http://www.ny2016.org/SubMenu/Rarities_on_Display.aspx?id=484.  
The world’s most valuable stamp will be there, the unique British Guiana one cent magenta, which was sold at auction June 17, 2014 for $9.48 million to fashion shoe designer Stuart Weitzman.  Its celebrated story of being found in 1873 by a 12 year old schoolboy is legendary.  The stamp is on a three-year loan to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and will be in a special display case at their booth through Friday of the show.
The world’s first two postage stamps will be represented by truly remarkable items courtesy of The Postal Museum of Great Britain and their National Archives.  Two specially designed frames will feature two sheets: the very first printed registration sheet of the Penny Black, plate 1 before hardening, dated April 15, 1840; and the earliest known example of the two penny blue, a sheet from plate 3 from January 1841.  Both sheets, originally of 240 examples, are nearly intact with just a couple dozen of each removed.  The 1d sheet has never been shown outside of the United Kingdom, while the 2d sheet has never been on public display anywhere.  A presentation about them, “Postal Reform & the Penny Black,” will be given at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, May 31 by Douglas N. Muir, Senior Curator, Philately, The Postal Museum.
The earliest known example of the Penny Black postage stamp from the collection of Alan Holyoake will also be on display.  It was recently discovered in the personal archive of Robert Wallace, the leading postal reformer of the time, who created an archive of items dealing with Great Britain’s penny postage program of 1840.  The stamp, lettered A I, comes from the first row of the sheet printed from the first printing plate 1a completed on April 8, 1840.  The stamp is attached on a sheet of stout paper together with a proof of a Mulready, as presented by Rowland Hill to the Council of Academicians on April 10 for approval of the proposed design, which was enthusiastically given.  At the top of this sheet Wallace inscribed in his own hand, “1st Proof of Penny Postage Stamp Cover, presented to Mr. Wallace by the Right Honable. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Francis Thornhill Baring, April 10th, 1840.” and endorsed beneath the stamp, “Universal Penny Postage Fly or Loose Stamp, presented to me Mr Wallace as above” and noted “ These come into public use on the 6th of May 1840”. 
The postal history of the small Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is forever entwined with the story behind its first issue of 1847.  Lady Gomm, wife of the governor, was planning a lavish ball and decorated the invitation envelopes with new-fangled postage stamps hastily produced by a local watch maker.  Each was to have been inscribed “Post Paid,” but shortly after being released were found to bear “Post Office” instead.  It is believed fourteen 1d orange red and twelve 2d deep blue stamps have survived, along with only three Ball covers.  The only such cover in public hands will be on display, from the collection of Vikramm Chand.
All of these rarities and many more await visitors to World Stamp Show-NY 2016.  The 8 day exhibition takes place May 28 through June 4 at the Javits Center in New York City.  Discover more online at http://www.ny2016.org.  Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites.
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