Anatoly Karpov Belgian stamp collection offered at David Feldman

Anatoly Karpov is one of the greatest chess players of all time, being a long-serving World Champion and a destructive force in chess tournaments. But he has also been very active in both the last century and this one in many other pursuits.

He has been equally energetic and very successful in such fields as politics, ecology, art appreciation and of course by no means least, philately.

His collection of Belgium has gained great fame not only due to the importance and quality of the items (with many of those being from the 19th Century), but also for its vastness and volume. He has made studies of the issues of Belgium almost from the beginning to the end - a remarkable feat!

We took a look at Karpov's collection for our newsletter last December. By some estimates it is worth as much as $15m.

Needless to say, for stamps to have Anatoly Karpov as a previous owner gives an extra layer of desirability to the collection. Many stamp collectors are impressed with the cerebral struggle of chess and would consider it a privilege to add to their collections items which are 'ex-Karpov'.

David Feldman is naturally delighted to be offering the collection, as he explained to us: "World Rarity, Connoisseurship and Legend all meet together for the first time in my 44 years of auctioneering ... It is a great honour and privilege to bring The Anatoly Karpov Belgium collection to the market!". 


Belgian Congo green invert stamp
Karpov's exquisite Belgian Congo green stamp with inverted centre

It's difficult to pick out enough highlights to give a true feel of the collection, but one of the highlights is the most beautiful 10f green with inverted centre from the Belgian Congo.

Considered the finest example of just five known copies, it is in beautiful condition with rich colour and freshness, and its original gum. It is expected to achieve CHF50,000 ($56,600).

Another extraordinary piece is an important multiple of Belgium's first stamps, the 1849 epaulettes:

This is a brown sepia, horizontal strip of six (positions 125 to 130 of the second panel) with a huge sheet edge, in excellent condition with its original gum (four of the stamps have no trace of being hinged).

This too is expected to sell for CHF50,000 in David Feldman's auction which is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland on December 8.

Fine multiples from the early years of stamp use are highly coveted by collectors, such as this rare block of 12 from Great Britain's rainbow trials.

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