Japanese Tama 6 yo stamp discovered and offered for sale at Postiljonen

For stamp collectors, the recent discovery of a Japanese tama ('egg-brown') 6 yo stamp is little short of a fairytale. There are of course discoveries every now and then, but unsorted collections are usually collections which are only worth sorting for that pleasure alone - valuable rarities are not to be found.

Here's the story of a remarkable exception:

A Scandinavian philatelist manages to buy a large All World collection from a European auction house hoping to find some stamps suitable for his own collection.

Back home he places the collection on the dining room table and starts to check the stamps. He soon comes across a stamp that alerts his curiosity, but he also realises that it could be manipulated or forged.

The stamp goes into a pile of stamps he later intends to examine further. An undisturbed hour with stamp collecting does not come often and sure enough he is soon interrupted by everyday life.

The collection remains on the table for a couple of days until his wife gets tired of it and demands its immediate removal. The album and the pile of stamps are quickly placed into a box in a wardrobe and a whole year passes until he remembers the stamp and starts to examine it.

You can imagine his surprise but also scepticism when he starts to realise that the stamp might be one of the most famous stamps in Japanese philately and among the rarest issues in the world. After some consideration he sends the stamp to an expert and amazingly it comes back with a certificate that is beyond his greatest expectations. 

Japanese tama 6 yo stamp
The Japanese tama 6 yo stamp is expected to sell for up to €250,000 ($336,900)

The stamp is legendary in Japan and called "Tama 6 yo" (egg-brown 6). It is a 6 SEN of the Cherry Blossom issue from 1875 in orange brown colour with syllabic (control number) 15 and before this find only 6 other copies were known.

The catalogue value is a quarter of a million Euros in Michel and in the Japanese catalogue even a bit more. The postmark is a negative cross used in Tokyo and the condition is perfect.

This particular copy is considered by some Japanese experts to be the best of the few existing copies, which are all owned by great Japanese collectors, and in the coming spring a new owner may crown his collection with this jewel.

The stamp will be for sale at the Postiljonen Jubilee Auction # 200 on the 28th of April 2012 in Malmö, Sweden. The auction is going to be held in connection with the "Malmö 2nd International Philatelic Summit" which is an international seminar dealing with competitive philatelic exhibiting.

96c Hong Kong olive-bistre stamp block
The greatest treasure of Hong Kong philately, the 96c bistre block of four
(Click to find out more...)

The Asian stamp markets have been in powerful form over the past several years, but of course whilst Japan holds its own, it is not the strongest market. Chinese and Hong Kong stamps are at the very peak of desirability at this point, and that doesn't seem likely to change any time soon.

For that reason, we're particularly excited to have in our possession what is regarded as the greatest treasure of Hong Kong philately: the unique 96c olive-bistre block of four. It's currently available - and qualifies for our unique 120% guarantee as an extra show of our confidence in its strong future value.

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