Gandhi overprint makes $205,000 World Record price for any modern stamp

Yesterday (May 19), Geneva auction house David Feldman sold a 1948 10 Rupee Mahatma Gandhi stamp of India for the incredible price of €120,000; €144,000 (US$ 205,000) when buyer's premium is included.

This is much greater than the price paid for the prized example of the 4 Annas 'Inverted Head' error, which sold at Spink in October 2010 for £105,390 ($170,500 on today's exchange rate) - at that time a world record for an Indian stamp.

Since then another example of the error has sold for €140,000 hammer price at German auctioneers Christoph Gartner. Following on from Spink's sale of an 1854 Indian issues cover for the equivalent of $183,000 in January, it's clear that this is to be a huge year for Indian philately. 

David Feldman also believes that their sale represents a World Record price paid for a modern stamp from any country.

The stamp, probably the finest remaining example out of only 18 known in existence today, was issued by the Government of India as a set of 4 commemorative stamps on August 15th, 1948 as a tribute to the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated in January of the same year.

Gandhi stamp Indian world record price
It is fitting that one of India's
most valuable stamps features Gandhi

These were the first commemorative stamps of Independent India, and issued in 4 denominations  - 1 ½ / 3 ½  / 12 Annas, and the 10 Rupees. A set of only 100 10 Rs. stamps (in two sheets) were overprinted with "Service", making these the world's least printed stamp.

In the same auction, part of a fantastic Grand Prix winning collection of covers of Indian stamps used in Burma attracted interest from all over the world. During a tense period of bidding, the collection was sold for a total amount of €672,000 (US$ 957,000).

The results at David Feldman have shown that the market for Indian stamps and postal history is extremely buoyant, and makes an excellent opportunity for investors.

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