The auction of Dr Edward Kossoy's stamp collection of Poland saw an 1857 10k cover feature as its top lot on September 12 in New York.
Dr Edward Kossoy is a highly respected Polish lawyer and activist for the victims of the Nazis. Also a renowned publicist, he is best known for his defence of over 60,000 victims of persecution and was recently awarded the Grand Cross of Order of Merit - one of Poland's highest honours - in respect of his achievements.
Kossoy's extraordinary collection of the nation's stamps documents the finest examples from Polish postal history, with much of it fresh to the market. Focusing on the country's first issue and stamps issued during the Russian occupation, it also tracks the evolution of cancellations used on the stamps of imperial Russia in Polish territory.
The 1857 cover displayed a Russian 10 kopeck brown and blue stamp, which had been cancelled with pen and tied by an oval "C.A. Moes & Co. Choroszcz" merchant's handstamp, along with a Polish town departure postmark. Also boasting a framed "Polucheno 17 February 1858" arrival datestamp at the reverse, the piece is believed to be a unique usage of the stamp from Choroszcz, a small town near the city of Bialystok. In fine condition, it sold for $9,500.
Poland's first stamp, the 10k blue and rose, was seen on a cover featuring an 1860 railroad cancel. The hexagon of dots cancellation was used in 1862 to St Petersburg, with a "A.Feinberg & Rosa - Werballen Polen" merchant handstamp, which confirms the letters origin as from Wierzbolowo. A fine and rare usage, it brought $4,250.
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