$200,000 for a stamp and cover from the finest collection of Ceylon philately

Regular readers will be familiar with the name of Joseph Hackmey, the businessman and collector who sold one of the greatest ever collections of New Zealand stamps earlier this year, as well as a strong US one. He owns a Van Gogh, and the most expensive newspaper in the world.

New Zealand is one of two countries which Hackmey has stamped his name on their philatelic history, and now Spink Shreves is preparing to sell the other.

The International Award-Winning Joseph Hackmey Philatelic Collection of Classic Ceylon (1797-1870) is the finest collection of this popular country ever formed. This collection contains an impressive array of rare and unique items, several of which have not appeared at auction in years.

The majority of stamps and postal covers featured in the Hackmey collection come to the market with outstanding provenance. Many have once resided in world renowned collections formed by such philatelic giants as Ferrary, de Worms, Caspary, Dale-Lichtenstein, Agabeg and Pearson.

Two spectacular lots stand out in particular:

Ceylon cover Gordon correspondence
Ceylon cover from the Gordon correspondence
(Click to enlarge)

Firstly a cover sent from Kandy to London, marked "Via Marseilles", bearing two 4d dull rose stamps (one with close to large margins, the other just-into at the right), both of lovely rich colour, and a 1d blue, each cancelled by an oval of bars and the two 4d stamps clearly tied by a red London Paid arrival datestamp.

Addressed to John Gordon (the Gordon correspondence is well-documented) the reverse shows the red "kandy/post-paid" datestamp. One of the most important frankings in Ceylon philately it is listed at $75,000-100,000.

Ceylon Dull Rose 4d stamp

Equally exciting will be an exceptionally fine 4d dull rose single. One of the major British Colonial Classics, it has an attractive strong, rich colour and unused with large part original gum, it is one of the finest known to exist, and carries the same listing of $75,000-100,000.

Spink Shreves auction of the Hackmey collection will take place in New York on the afternoon of October 22, with online bidding available.


  • Click here for all the latest Stamps news


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock