Post Office Mauritius (07), one penny, used (VII) (1847)
- Museum für Post und Kommunikation, Berlin
1d. Used. Completely obliterated with a cancellation of parallel bars.
- Used on a letter to Borchard at Bordeaux.
- Found by Madame Borchard (in 1869 or earlier). The stamp was acquired by the dealer Madame Desbois.
- Madame Desbois sold the stamp to the dealer Jean-Baptiste Moens, along with VIII and IX and some other Mauritian stamps, for Fr.500 (£20). Legrand subsequently purchased VII for Fr.250 (£10).
- Dealer Théophile Lemaire bought Legrand’s collection in July, valuing VI and VII at Fr.30,000 (£1,200). Both VI and VII sold later that year to Jules Bernichon for Fr.46,500 (£1,860).
- The Reichspostmuseum, Berlin, obtained VII through the agency of German dealer Philipp Kosack as an exchange. The stamp, along with seven others (including XXIII, the Bordeaux letter bearing the single two pence ‘Post Office’), was placed in a wall-mounted, glass-fronted, lead display frame.
- The frame was moved to the safety of the Reichsbank’s vaults in Berlin.
- The frame was moved to a mineshaft in Eisleben (situated in what later became East Germany), but was not recovered at the end of the Second World War.
- A former US army soldier offered the frame and its contents to British dealer Robson Lowe at an international stamp exhibition, an offer reported by Lowe to Interpol.
- The former soldier surrendered the frame to the US Customs Service. The frame and its contents were claimed by both East and West Germany.
- Upon the reunification of Germany, the US government handed back the frame and it was placed in the Museumsstiftung Post und Telekommunikation in Bonn.
- A new Museum für Post und Kommunikation opened in Berlin and the stolen stamps, including VII and XXIII, returned to public display.
Prepared by: Helen Morgan
Related Cultural Artefacts
- Williams, L. N., Encyclopaedia of Rare and Famous Stamps, vol. 1 of 2, David Feldman, Geneva, 1993. [ Details... ]
- Williams, L. N., Encyclopaedia of Rare and Famous Stamps, vol. 2 of 2, David Feldman, Geneva, 1997. [ Details... ]
- 'Sonderausstellung Mythos Mauritius', Museumsstiftung Post und Telekommunikation, Bonn, c.2000. [ Details... ]
- 'Mauritius Post Office', Deutsche Briefmarken Zeitung, vol. 15, no. 2, 29 February 1904, pp. 21-25. [ Details... ]
- Moens, Jean-Baptiste, 'Encore les Post-Office de Maurice', Le Timbre-Poste, no. 438, June 1899, pp. 87-93. [ Details... ]
- Plumridge, H. W., 'Philately in Paris. A Paper Read Before the City of London Philatelic Club', Stamp Collectors' Fortnightly, vol. 4, no. 83, 27 November 1897, pp. 39-40. [ Details... ]
- 'The Post Office Mauritius', London Philatelist, vol. 6, no. 71, November 1897, pp. 325-26. [ Details... ]
- 'Two More "Post Office" Mauritius', London Philatelist, vol. 7, no. 82, October 1898, pp. 269-70. [ Details... ]
- Binder, David, 'Rare stamps from Nazi Hoard in Dispute', The Times, 12 November 1977, p. 1, 4. [ Details... ]
- The original case containing two Post Office Mauritius and other rare stamps stolen from the Berlin Postal Museum
Created: 14 March 2006, Last modified: 25 November 2008