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Bird stamps worth up to $7,900 up for auction

Here are a few of the stamps up for auction at a London auction house. Photo courtesy Stanley Gibbons

An “exceptional” collection of bird stamps is up for auction from a London-based auction house that specializes in stamp collections.

Edward Barrow of the Stanley Gibbons Auction House says the collection “runs into many, many thousands” of stamps that are kept in 31 albums. They were collected over many decades by a bird-stamp collector and include stamps from nations around the world.

Some of the oldest stamps in the sale feature swans and were printed in Western Australia in the 1850s. The online listing for the collection at Stanley Gibbons estimates the auction will sell for 4,000-6,000 British pounds, which equates to about $5,275-$7,914 U.S. dollars.

“Almost every country of the world is represented,” in the collection, Barrow says, “and some of the countries no longer exist.”

Barrow explains that in the stamp world, groups of stamps with a similar topic are called “thematic collections,” and within this area, one of the most popular themes is birds.

“We do get these sorts of collections from time to time,” he says. “This collection, however, is exceptional with regards to its level of completeness and that it contains many very expensive stamps in their own right.”

The collection includes this page of stamps depicting swans. Photo courtesy Stanley Gibbons

The collection includes a 1929 set from the Falkland Islands, “Duck Stamps” from the United States, as well as notable stamps from New Guinea, China, and the French, British, and Australian Antarctic Territories. The stamps are arranged by species with labels on each page noting which birds are depicted. In total, the stamps depict more than 3,000 bird species from over 350 countries.

The high bidder will also receive a box of related literature with a database listing all the stamps on two CDs.

Anyone with an internet connection can bid online after they register. Bidders can either leave an electronic bid or bid in the live auction, which will take place on Wednesday, March 30 beginning at 10 a.m. London time.

Watch a video on Facebook about the stamp collection

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