An array of Polish stamps and covers from Dr Edward Kossoy's noted collection will sell in a dedicated auction on September 11 in New York.
Dr Kossoy is a respected lawyer and publicist of Jewish origin, who is known for his work in defending over 60,000 victims of Nazi persecution - he was recently awarded the Grand Cross of Order of Merit in respect of his achievements. He has also published several books on the restitution for Nazi crimes, plus contemporary international relations.
His collection contains some of the finest examples of Polish postal history in existence and will undoubtedly attract strong attention when auctioned, as many of the offerings have never been seen on the philatelic market before. It follows the postal history of the Kingdom of Poland, with a focus on the country's first issue and Russian stamps used in Poland, as well as the evolution of cancellations used on stamps of imperial Russia in Polish territory.
One of the sale's main draws will be supplied by a stunning 1859 cancelled cover, which stands as one of just 10 used examples of the 3k prepaid envelope. On the recommendation of the Postal Administration of the Kingdom of Poland in December 1858, two types of prepaid stationary (1 1/2k and 3k values) were admitted for use in the postal area of Warsaw, before being withdrawn in 1861. Cancelled with a numeral "1" cancellation, this example will sell with a starting bid of $4,500.
Also featuring the numeral cancellations will be another cover, this time showing the country's first stamp - the 10k blue and rose Poland Number 1 - in a rare horizontal pair. The blue and rose stamp was first issued on January 1, 1860 and stood for just five years before the usage of Russian stamps was made compulsory in 1865. This cover, which was sent from Warszawa to St Petersburg, has been given a $2,400 starting bid by the auction house.