An exhibition of stamps worth a quarter of a billion crowns starts in Prague. The Red Mauritius will be transported by the security
For the first time in its history, The National Museum presents a philatelist exhibition of private collectors. The unique exhibition called Treasures of World Philately is the only exhibition of its kind this year. Post office stamp enthusiasts can look forward to such rarities as the Orange-red Mauritius, which will be escorted to the museum by special security only a few minutes before the start of the exhibition.
Stamp to be escorted by a security guards
The duo of blue and red-orange stamps is well known to the public. Prague will host the red-orange Mauritius stamp from the year 1874.
Together with a blue two-pence stamp it became a legend, showing that some unique pieces are simply out of reach. From the original edition of 500 pieces, only 15 red-orange stamps survived till this year. One of them belongs to a Czech philatelist and investor that borrowed his piece to the curators of the exhibition. Its price is estimated at 20 million crowns. Because of its price, it will be transported to the exhibition only shortly before its start.
Blue Mauritius stays in a safe
The most famous stamp, Blue Mauritius, will be missing.
"Working with the stamp is extremely challenging and we do not want to expose it to the light too often,"
explained the curator of the exhibition and president of the Prestige Philately Club Prague Tomáš Mádl.
Although Mauritius is the most famous colonial stamp, only a few people know it was not the first one. That privilege belongs to Lady McLeod, issued in 1847 at Trinidad, also displayed at the exhibition.
The absolutely first post office stamp in the world is Penny Black, issued in 1840. At the exhibition, you can see a unique reconstruction of its sheet.
Among other rarities belongs the Red Mercury. The most expensive Austrian stamp, named for its vermilion colour. Considering it used to be valid even in our country, it belongs to the most expensive stamp even for the Czech Post office history.
Traditionally, Red Mercury is considered to be an icon of international classics with only 40 pieces in existence. The rare stamp, which can be found in every large collection, will be on display in 3 copies. All of them from Czech collectors in the total value of 14 million crowns. This many of them have never been seen together.
The exhibition even offers other unique items such as the very first letter delivered by a regular postal service in the 16th century or the first newspaper stamp in the world or the rare reprint of Pošta Československá 1919 stamp.
Request for an exception
The exhibition Treasures of World Philately was supposed to take place in November already, however, due to the government restriction over the pandemic the National Museum was closed and it wasn’t even clear if the exhibition could happen till the end of the year.
"When the restrictions were lifted, we were happy to be able to finally be able to organize the exhibition, however, the government closed everything again from 18th December. For that reason, we have asked the Ministry for an exception from the restrictions. If we get it, the exhibition run till 3rd January with an option for prolonging to 8th January. If not, it will be available only this Wednesday and Thursday and then in an online form."