On 17 March 2014, the Expert Committee at the Royal Philatelic Society London the oldest and most distinguished society of stamp scholars in the world convened a special meeting with the singular purpose of re-authenticating the unique British Guiana One-Cent Magenta. Sothebys
will offer the stamp in a dedicated auction in New York on 17 June, with a pre-sale estimate of $10/20 million.
After close examination by each of the Committees six noted experts, including spectrometer analysis, the Committee has once again certified the British Guiana as genuine. The last time the Royal examined and certified the worlds most famous stamp was in 1935, marking a new generation of experts that have confirmed its place at the apex of the philatelic world.
David Redden, Vice Chairman of Sothebys, commented: We deeply appreciate the Expert Committee at the Royal Philatelic Society convening a special meeting to review this extraordinary stamp. In the philatelic world, certification is considered best practice, as is modern day recertification using up-to-date connoisseurship and scientific techniques a fascinating process that was an honor to witness with The British Guiana.
Christopher Harman, past President of the Royal Philatelic Society and Chairman of the Expert Committee, said: It was a privilege to see in the flesh one of the great icons that every collector has heard about, returning nearly 80 years since the British Guiana's last visit with us. With more experience and advanced technology, the Expert Committee undertook a thorough examination and I am very pleased to say that the patient passed with flying colors. We thank Sotheby's for bringing back to us this celebrated piece of philatelic history.
The British Guiana has not been on view publicly since 1987, when it was exhibited at Cupex 87 in Perth, Australia. Sothebys shares its public exhibition dates for The British Guiana this spring across the globe:
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
3 7 April
1 5 June
Sothebys New York
7 17 June