Hawaiian 1851 5c blue cover achieves $110,000 in New York sale

A rare cover featuring a Hawaiian 1851 5c blue missionary stamp headlined a sale at Robert A Siegel in New York on October 22, realising $110,000.

Only eight covers are known to display the stamp, with the present lot one of two showing a forwarder's marking (this example is attributed to a GD Gilman).

Siegel Missionary cover
Only eight 5c Hawaiian missionary covers are known to exist

Gilman sent the letter from Lahaina, Hawaii to Portland, Maine. The trip took almost a month, with the letter travelling over the sea and across the entire continental United States.

The missionary stamp was produced primarily for use by the missionaries stationed on the island during the 19th century, hence the nickname.

Henry M Whitney, the local postmaster, was responsible for the design and printing. It was mostly used between 1851 and 1856.

Today, and even as far back as the late 1800s, the issue was prized as one of the world's rarest. In Paris in 1892, a philatelist named Hector Giroux murdered friend and fellow collector Gaston Leroux for his missionary stamp.

In June last year the Dawson cover, which features both 2c and 5c variants, realised $1.9m at Siegel.

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