A used example of the 1847 Mauritius ‘Post Office’ 2d blue has sold for £900,000.

The stamp is number XIII in the famous Williams index of this legendary stamp, which was last seen in public in 1972, when Sir Cyril Humphrey Cripps bought it for £29,000. It smashes its upper estimate of £500,000 at the auction on June 28.

The late Sir Humphrey's 'Chartwell' collection will be sold by Spink in a series of nine auctions estimated at a total of £20 million, which could make it the most valuable in modern times.

Sir Humphrey built up a fortune in the family metal-production business, and then invested successfully in the 1970s in the new hook-and-loop fastening system marketed as Velcro.

From the 1950s until his death in 2000, he directed a great deal of his time and resources into building up the 80-album Chartwell collection, the disposal of which will offer up an amazing parade of rarities.

See our August edition for more details.