A rare, unused example of the highly desirable 5 cent Hawaiian Missionary stamp will lead a major sale at Siegel in New York.
Hawaii’s first postmaster, Henry Whitney, designed and printed the issue during the early 1850s.
The Missionary issue was Hawaii's first postage stamp
The stamps were introduced in response to the rising cost of sending mail from Hawaii to the US and received their nickname due to the large number of white missionaries living on the islands.
The vast majority of the surviving covers can be linked to individuals who’d travelled to the islands to spread Christianity.
Very few of these stamps were ever printed due to limited demand.
The present lot is one of only 12 unused 5c specimens and remains in good condition, hence its valuation of $35,000.
The record for a Hawaiian missionary stands at $1.9m, set in 2013 for the Dawson cover – the only example to feature both the 5c and the 2c.
The December 9 sale includes a wealth of other Hawaiian issues, including an 1857 5c on dark red, printed by postmaster Whitney’s successor, Joseph Jackson.
It displays an image of King Kamehameha III (1813-1854), who ruled the island nation for just over 29 years.
The lot is expected to make $7,000.
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