Rare Norwegian letter with foreign postage is priced $24,000

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 11:59:56

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Rare Norwegian letter with foreign postage is priced $24,000

This rare and exceptional fyraskilling stamp cover from 1857 will auction in Sweden on Saturday

Swedish auction house AB Philea's "Quality auction #287" is set to take place this Saturday (May 15),featuring sought-after philatelic gems from around the world.

Among the auction's highlights is this rare Swedish cover, a Facit 2f Mountain Post letter dated July 23, 1857 and originally intended fordelivery to Repvg in the Norwegian mainland.

Interestingly, thecover is addressed to John Wolley, a travelling English ornithologist. The letter's content concerns a consignment of bird's eggs, due to be received by Wolley.

Here, the details are somewhat complicated. Presumably becauseWolley was always on the move, the letter was posted to Hammerfest, Norway, and then redirectedto Muonioniska near Lapland,his then-permanent address.

The only known Swedish letter posted outside of the country bearing a blue fyraskilling banco stamp (Click to enlarge)

The letter was posted from Hammerfest at 5 shillings (4 +1 sk.), entered as "12g / 5" on the envelope's reverse.

Despite this,the coveralso failed to findits intended recipient in Muonioniska.It was then sent over to Stockholm, Sweden,where it was successfullyobtained by Wolley.

The cover's complicated history is evident upon its surface (although it of course remains a mystery as to whether Wolley ever received his bird's eggs).

In addition, expert Martin Mrck was commissioned to carry out a private study inorder toconfirm that the letter was sent to Stockholm before the "Alten 26.8.57" hand stamp was applied.

The cover is one of very few known Norwegian letters with foreign postage, and is also the only known Swedish letter posted outside of the country which bears a bluefyraskilling banco stamp.

(The blue stamp, pictured top right,happens to bea relative of the highly collectible $2.33m Treskilling Yellow.)

This exceptional and singular piece of Scandinavian philatelic history will auction at AB Philea with a reserve of 175,000 Swedish Krona ($24,500).

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