The auction of the rare Post Office Mauritius stamp is part of the sale of Sir Cyril Humphrey Cripps collection, which is routinely described as "stunning" and "breathtaking" and thought to be the most valuable collection seen in modern times.
Known as The Chartwell Collection, its sales by the Spink auction firm will continue over a series of nine sessions held in the next year and a half. The collection has been estimated at at least £20,000,000. It is housed in over 80 albums.
The collection may well go quite a bit over its estimate as the Post Office Mauritius rarity that sold had a pre-sale estimate of only £400,000 to £500,000. Its final realization makes it the highest priced stamp ever sold in Britain.