Monday, August 11, 2008

Stamps of Wild Approval: Helen Morgan's BLUE MAURITIUS in The Wall Street Journal

Helen Morgan's study of the famous 1847 Blue Penny stamp of Mauritius, Blue Mauritius, was featured in The Wall Street Journal Weekend Journal. "As Helen Morgan writes in her enticing history of the little square of paper and the people who have pursued it, the Blue Mauritius was issued in 1847 by the then British-ruled island nation in the southwest Indian Ocean. Ms. Morgan notes that the stamp, of which 13 are known to exist, is a thousand times rarer than the famed Penny Black, the world's first adhesive stamp, issued in Britain in 1840. Stamp collecting began in earnest soon after the issuing of the Penny Black. By the end of the 19th century the pastime had spread around the world -- and the Blue Mauritius was already much coveted. George V's stamp, which remains in the British royal collection, is "considered the finest known example," according to a note in the Blue Mauritius appendix, which gives a brief description of who bought and sold each stamp and for how much money. But by the appendix stage the reader knows that Ms. Morgan's book is actually dealing with not one type of Mauritius stamp but two -- and with one of the most romantic stories in the whole of philately." - Simon Garfield.

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