King George V’s stamp collection
King George V’s stamp collection was the product of the Monarch’s passion for philately. He grew to become one of the most notable philatelists of his era.
This devotion earned George V the unofficial nickname, “The King of Philately”.
Patriotically, the King’s collection focused on stamps from the British Empire.
George V’s collection was housed in 328 “Red Albums”, each of around 60 pages. Later Monarchs would add their own albums to the Royal Philatelic Collection, including George VI’s “Blue Albums and Queen Elizabeth II’s “Green Albums”.
Prior to his death of influenza on January 20th, 1936, George devoted much of his final years to philately.
Vice-president, Royal Philatelic Society of London
In 1893, while still Duke of York, George V was elected honorary vice-president of what became the Royal Philatelic Society of London.
As a wedding gift later that year, fellow society members gifted George with an album of nearly 1,500 postage stamps. George duly expanded this collection with a number of valuable purchases.
Mauritius two pence blue
In 1905, George V set a new record price for a single stamp when he purchased a Mauritius two pence blue for £1,450.
This purchase led to a famous exchange. Upon hearing of the sale, a courtier asked the prince if he had heard "that some damned fool had paid as much as £1,400 for one stamp". "Yes," replied George. "I was that damned fool!"
According to experts, the unused two pence item would be worth millions were it ever to emerge at auction. A two pence cover sold for $4m in 1993.
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