Follow the adventures of the world's most sought-after postage stamps—from a tropical Indian Ocean island to the hushed atmosphere of the modern auction room—in this dramatic and passionate tale of the first stamp hunters. In September 1847 colored squares of paper were stuck on to envelopes and used to send out admission cards to a fancy-dress ball on the tropical island of Mauritius. No one at the party would have guessed that these stamps would one day be worth more than a million dollars. When a two-pence 'Blue Mauritius' surfaced on the fledgling French stamp-collecting market in 1865 it gained instant celebrity. Soldiers, schoolboys, and the entire German nation became obsessed with finding one of these extremely rare examples. When in 1903 a perfect specimen, discovered in a childhood album, was bought at auction by the Prince of Wales, the Blue Mauritius gained superstar status. Even now, "Post Office Mauritius" stamps are synonymous with fame, wealth and mystery. The most coveted scraps of paper in existence, this is their story, from their birth during days of sail, taking them from Port Louis to Bordeaux, India and Great Britain, Switzerland and Japan, into the hearts and imagination of collectors everywhere.
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Helen Morgan trained as an art historian and archivist. This is her first book.Review:
Will strike a chord with anyone who has ever felt the thrill of buying a little glassine packet of stamps, tipping them out, finding the longed-for Missing One and making the proud, complete set... the stories of these stamps are often extraordinary. -- Ann Wroe Daily Telegraph Fascinating... not just an entertaining and meticulously researched history of Mauritius and its stamps, but also an absorbing look at the early development of one of the world's most widespread hobbies. -- Kieron Wood Sunday Business Post
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Book Description Atlantic Books, London, 2006. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Brand New. Dust Jacket Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 018791