A stunning selection of stamps documenting the philatelic history of the Olympic Games will be offered as part of David Feldman's June 13-14 Specialised Summer Auction.
The stamps chart the modern Olympic Games from Greece's 1896 Summer Games through to the modern day. A die proof from the first Greek games holds the highest estimate, valued at $39,500-78,729.
The 10 drachma framed die proof is printed in black on thin paper, depicting Athens' famous Parthenon. This unique piece is described by the auction house as being of "great beauty and extremely rarity, museum quality and importance."
Also starring will be a unique complete sheet of the famous €0.65 stamp from the Greek games in 2004, which was hastily withdrawn from sale after it was discovered that the Olympic gold medal-winning weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis, who is featured in the stamp's vignette, had used performance-enhancing drugs.
Valued at $52,500, the sheet is inverted and is one of only 1,000 printed locally at Thessaloniki, very few of which are thought to exist today. It will be sold alongside a normal sheet of 20 from Thessaloniki, which currently holds a catalogue value of $787.
It is errors in printing such as this that lead to some of the world's most famous and valuable stamps, such as the legendary Great Britain 2d Tyrian Plum, a magnificent example of which we currently have in stock.