French stamp auction posts record prices

18th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 18 (AFP) - The sale of the renowned La Fayette collection of classic French stamp errors fetched EUR 5.77 million and broke two world records, organisers said Tuesday.

PARIS, Nov 18 (AFP) - The sale of the renowned La Fayette collection of classic French stamp errors fetched EUR 5.77 million and broke two world records, organisers said Tuesday.

"It was a huge success," said French expert and dealer Pascal Behr, who with British auction house Spink co-hosted late Monday's auction of the privately-owned collection belonging to an unnamed US collector, the most important stamp sale held in France in 70 years.

The collection, containing 129 lots, had been valued at between EUR 5.75 million and EUR 8 million due to the rarity of some of its pieces, including tete-beche (head-to-tail or inverted impression) blocks.

A French 1-franc vermilion - where one of four heads is inverted - said to be the most famous philatelic item of France, was auctioned to a private collector for EUR 924,000, making it France's most expensive stamp. It had been estimated at between EUR 600,000 and EUR 800,000.

Another tete-beche, the so-called "Vervelle" 1-franc pale vermilion, one of a series of five, fetched EUR 521,000, well over its estimated value of betweenEUR 325,000 to EUR 425,000, breaking another world record.

Some 300 collectors attended the sale but Behr refuse to divulge the identities of any of the buyers, saying only that with the exception of one US buyer, the others were European.

Behr had described the Lafayette collection as "simply incomparable". It included items once owned by prestigious collectors such as Ferrari, Champion and Burrus, and most of which had not been seen on the market since the 1920s.

The auction was Spink's first foray on the French market, only recently opened to foreign auctioneers and where Sotheby's and Christie's are the other non-native players on the scene.

© AFP

Subject: French news


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