Following his death in 2010, the first parts of John du Pont's legendary stamp collection have now appeared at auction in the UK, led by his unique 1909-1910 Australia 2d postage due.
On March 6, a London auction house offered du Pont's entire collection of postage dues, with the 2d example selling for £9,000 ($13,587).
It is not often that a philatelist achieves notoriety, but John du Pont is a rare example. He was known as the man who bought the most famous stamp in existence, the British Guiana 1c Magenta, as well as being an eccentric multimillionaire and convicted murderer.
John du Pont once had a promising career in ornithology, and is credited with the discovery of 24 different species of bird, as well as being a lifelong champion of amateur sports in the USA. However, in later life he descended into mental illness before killing his friend and Olympic champion wrestler, Dave Schultz, on the driveway of Schultz' home.
During his trial in 1997 he was ruled mentally ill and sentenced with third degree murder, after which he spent the remaining years of his life in prison before passing away in 2010. A film named Foxcatcher is currently being made of his remarkable story, starring Steve Carrell.
The 1909-1910 Perf 11 2d rose and yellow-green is the only unused example of the postage due stamp in existence. Struck from Die II, it was sold without gum in fantastic condition, accompanied by a 1972 BPA certificate.
More exciting sales of du Pont's stamps are being held at the auction house today (March 7), featuring his collection of the Falkland Islands. Be sure to check back with us soon for the results of this sale.
We also have a fantastic selection of stamps for sale, with many rivalling even the finest examples in du Pont's renowned collection.