The second auction of former chess champion Anatoly Karpov's renowned Belgian stamp collection has enjoyed estimate-smashing results.
Pick of the April 18-20 auction in Geneva, Switzerland, was an 1861 20c Epaulettes with 20c Medaillons perforation essay cover.
The superb lot was sent on January 25, 1863 from Antwerp to Norway via Hamburg.
Estimated at €15,000, it achieved €240,000 ($317,650), a 1,500% increase.
A lot consisting of 10c black proof and 20c black proof sheets likewise made a mockery of its €10,000 estimate, selling for €114,000.
A lot comprising Epaulettes and Medaillons mixed issue franking, which came to auction with a €2,000 estimate, sold for €156,000, while a Belgian Congo inverted centre on cover, estimated at €10,000, made €33,600.
A renowned Belgian expert commented that the results "were extraordinary, certainly unattainable in Belgium".
The first auction of Karpov's superb collection witnessed similar estimate-beating realisations in December, including a world record for a Belgian Congo stamp.
As the auction house's David Feldman told us ahead of the December 2011 auction: "World rarity, connoisseurship and legend all meet together for the first time in my 44 years of auctioneering... it is a great honour and privilege to bring the Anatoly Karpov Belgium collection to the market."
Paul Fraser Collectibles is delighted to offer you our own gems of philately.
This wonderful block of 12 from Great Britain's rainbow trials is currently available and would make a superb addition to any portfolio.
The April 18-20 auction also featured the Russian Post Offices in the Chinese Empire sale from the esteemed collection of Dr Raymond Casey. Look out for full details of this sale very soon.