In an article on the Wall Street Journal website titled, "Still in Love With Stamps," Margaret Studer writes, "Stamps retain their attraction in an electronic world. Demand is boosted currently by a 'vast' new generation of collectors in China and India, says Sotheby's world-wide philatelic consultant Richard Ashton, adding that young buyers are also very active in South America. In contrast, he notes, growth in Europe is coming from 50-year-olds newly entering the market, often financial-industry retirees. While the U.S. market is huge, stamps from Great Britain and its former empire are the biggest collecting area, notes Mr. Ashton."
Pointing out several important auctions are being held this month and next, Studer pens,"Sotheby's London will auction the British philatelic collection of the late Lord Leonard Steinberg, founder of the Stanley Leisure Group, a chain of betting shops and casinos. More than 2,000 items will come under the hammer."
She goes on to point out, "A special aspect of the collection is that Lord Steinberg concentrated on blocks of four or more stamps. Mr. Ashton explains that blocks, which tend to be rarer, are generally more valuable than the same number of single stamps. For example, a block of four may sell for £50,000, and four of the same single stamps for £20,000."
Shown above, a block of nine 1840 "Penny Blacks" which is expected to bring £150,000-£200,000 at auction.
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