New York, NY (PRWEB) April 16, 2008
Renowned Wall Street bond manager, Bill Gross, will offer the Scandinavia portion of his extensive, international stamp collection in a public auction conservatively estimated to bring over $1 million. All proceeds from the collection's sale will be donated by Sue and Bill Gross to the Millennium Villages Project at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, according to Charles Shreve, President of Spink Shreves Galleries of New York City and Dallas (http://www.SpinkShreves.com), the auction house that will conduct the sale in New York City on May 16, 2008.
The collection has 110 rare and even several one-of-a-kind 19th and early 20th century Scandinavian stamps. It includes an unusual printing 152 years ago of Finland's first postage stamps with adjoining images that are upside down to each other, a peculiar placement known as tête-bêche.
"It's one of the most famous philatelic rarities of the world," said Shreve. "It's a mint condition block of four stamps containing two pair of 10 kopek denomination stamps, the first stamps of Finland from 1856. One pair within the block is inverted to other pair. This impressive tête-bêche block is the finest of only three known, and has graced many of the world's most famous collections."
The pre-sale estimate is $100,000 to $150,000; however, Shreve expects the winning bid will be even higher.
Gross, of Laguna Beach, California, is Founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer of PIMCO of Newport Beach, California, one of the world's largest bond managers with over $750 billion of fixed-income securities under management. The Great Britain portion of his stamp collection was sold through Spink Shreves Galleries in June 2007, and he and his wife, Sue, generously donated the entire $9.1 million auction proceeds to charity.
The pre-sale estimate for the Scandinavia Collection is $1 million to $1.5 million, with proceeds to be donated by the Gross' to the Millennium Villages Project.
"We selected the Millennium Villages Project because they are developing unique health, education, agriculture and infrastructure programs to help some of the poorest people throughout the African continent escape from extreme poverty," said Sue and Bill Gross.
"While relatively small in the number of stamps being offered, the Gross Collection of Scandinavia will be regarded as an important auction event in worldwide philately. Several of the most recognizable and valuable rarities from Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden as well as classic first issues of Finland are in this outstanding collection," said Shreve.
"We expect that the bidding activity to be quite intense, not only for the rarity of the items, but also for the fact that all of the proceeds generated from the sale will be donated to such a worthwhile charity," stated Tracy Shreve, Chief Operating Officer of Spink Shreves Galleries and the auctioneer who will call the sale.
"For example, the rarest single mint stamp of Iceland, of which there is only one recorded example, is being sold as part of Mr. Gross' collection. It is a stamp from 1897 with a special "3 prir" surcharge printed over the stamp in large type. We would expect this stamp to realize $20,000 to $30,000, however given that the funds raised through the auction will benefit the Millennium Villages Project, it would not surprise us to see the stamp sell for considerably more," she said.
"The Millennium Villages Project," said Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, "provides things like bed nets to fight malaria, seeds and fertilizer to increase food production, the building of schools and clinics, and safe water to the poorest places in Africa. The generous donation by Sue and Bill Gross will help empower nearly half a million people to fight poverty and transform their own lives. Through critical and creative ways, their support will go to expanding the project through the continent."
The stamps will be displayed for potential bidders at the Spink Galleries in London, England, May 5 - 7, and at the New York City offices of the auction house, May 9 - 12 and May 15.
For additional information, contact Spink Shreves Galleries, 145 W. 57th St., 18th floor, New York, NY 10019. Phone: (212) 262-8400. Online: http://www.SpinkShreves.com.