2011 Review: The most valuable postage stamp to sell at auction in 2011

June's sale of the Chartwell Collection was one of the most hotly anticipated stamp auctions for years.

The collection was assembled by British businessman and philanthropist Sir Cyril Humphrey Cripps over the course of several decades.

Pride of place at the £5m Spink auction in London went to the 1847 Mauritius 'Post Office' 2d blue.

It sold for £1.08m, making it the most expensive stamp ever auctioned in a UK saleroom and the most valuable stamp auctioned this year.

The specimen is regarded as the most beautifully preserved of the 27 known surviving examples.

Featuring a neat cancel in the bottom left-hand corner, it is said to be the 'lightest cancelled' of the Mauritius 'Post Office' issues.

Chartwell Mauritius Post Office
The 1847 Mauritius 'Post Office' 2d blue was the highlight of the Chartwell Collection sale, and the year

Sir Cyril acquired the stamp in 1972 for £29,000. Soon after he turned down an offer of £39,000 for it.

Its value has risen 10% pa since then.

Spink's chairman, Olivier Stocker, told British newspaper the Daily Mail that the two-day sale had been "without a shadow of a doubt, one of the biggest 'wow' moments we've ever experienced."

It also featured a £144,000 world record for a British Virgin Islands stamp: the 1867 one shilling "Missing Virgin".

Its new owner is thought to be the same anonymous bidder who acquired the Mauritius 'Post Office' 2d blue.

Take a look at the Top 5 sales from the June auction.

The Chartwell Collection received further airings in October and December, with smaller selections going under the hammer at Spink.

Among the highlights from December was the £102,000 sale of one of just 12 extant 2d Tyrian Plums, issued in 1910.

The Great Britain Concise Catalogue valued the stamp at £65,000 in 2007, rising to £100,000 in 2011 - an increase of 8.99% pa.

Another superb 2d Tyrian Plum is available through Paul Fraser Collectibles today for £85,000 (approx. $132,000).

We are offering our example with our unique 120% guarantee.

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