Stamps from bond billionaire Bill Gross’s collection sold for $10 million in New York on Wednesday evening, a record for a single-day auction dedicated to philately.
Bloomberg News reports that the group was offered by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc., the first in a series of sales of Gross’s stamps over the next two to three years. All but a handful of the 106 lots at the auction sold. The top lot was a center-inverted block of four stamps from 1869 that fetched $737,500. Prices included an 18 percent buyer’s premium.
“A lot of these iconic items were bought by a billionaire and now they are dispersed among the riffraff,” said Arthur Przybyl, chief executive officer of Ani Pharmaceuticals Inc. Sitting in the first row, he won the night’s second-most-expensive item: a blue Hawaiian missionary from 1851 that brought $619,500. “I lost a lot, but I won the stamp I really wanted.”
Gross, 74, has the most complete collection of stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service, with individual stamps, blocks of them, and stamped envelopes. One album has hundreds of examples from the first U.S. federal postage issue in 1847.
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