CRIME Lost & Found … (No. 59)

Posted by on 29. Februar 2012

Hawaii

The stamp for which a collector had to die ...

A murder for a rare stamp? It has happened. In Paris. The motive: a 2c Hawaiian „Missionary“ of 1851 (see photo). Of the 15 surviving stamps only one has ever been found in unused condition and in 1892 this one was in the collection of the Parisian philatelist, Gaston Leroux. When he was found murdered in his apartment, neither money nor valuables were taken. But a detective who had some knowledge of philately, discovered Leroux’s collection – and that the 2c stamp was absent. Suspicion fell on Hector Giroux, an ardent philatelist and close friend of the murdered. The detective posed as a collector, made Giroux’s acquaintance, and eventually tricked him into boasting of owning a 2c ‘Missionary’. Giroux was arrested and confessed to the murder. And now, if you visit the Museum of Communication in Berlin, Philately Department, you will see a 2 c Hawaiian „Missionary“ in the Leipziger Str. 16,exibited in the „Treasure Vault“ (Schatzkammer) in the basement, included in the so called „Mauritius Tablaux“. Go there, have a close look and shiver a bit: This small piece of paper was once worth a human life …

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