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).
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.
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