David Feldman has one of the strongest reputations for rare stamp auctions in the world, with a variety of records held including that for the overall highest price for a stamp (the Treskilling Yellow).
One area it has certainly made its mark in is the field of early Mauritian stamps, selling the world-famous collection of Hiroyuki Kanai and providing Vikram Chand with the centrepiece in his collection.
Mauritius was the first country in the British Commonwealth other than Britain itself to begin issuing stamps, initially in quite small numbers.
In David Feldman USA's latest auction, there is a classic on offer. It isn't one of the very earliest ('Post Office') varieties, but it is a fantastic piece just the same: a Superb "Post Paid" Set on Cover.
The early Intermediate Impression 1d Dull Vermilion (Position 9) & 2d Deep Dull Blue (Position 6), both with good to large even margins all round, rich deep colour and clear sharp impressions, neatly tied by "3" in circles with octagonal boxed "Souillac DE 18 1851" & "MAURITIUS / DE 19 1855" crowned circular date stamp below, appear on a folded inland cover to Port Louis.
This is a magnificent item for any collector of superb world rarities; most certainly it is one of the most beautiful & important items of classic Mauritius. Described by the auctioneer as a 'Crown Jewel' of Philately it should make an excellent investment.
The Holcombe certificate states, "The 3d. rate was a charge for a letter between branch offices (2d.) but if the letter was to Port Louis and had to be delivered a further charge of 1d. was made. Such letters are extremely rare, especially so bearing the two different values."
It is listed at $300,000-400,000. David Feldman's auction takes place in New York on March 4.