Rare stamp of Hepburn smoking to go under the hammer in Berlin

May 26th, 2009 - 3:45 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 26 (ANI): A rare stamp portraying film star Audrey Hepburn smoking is set to go on sale on Germany.

Eight years ago, the German government had ordered the stamp to be destroyed after Hepburn’s son, Sean Ferrer, objected to the cigarette holder dangling from her mouth and refused to grant copyright.

However, an anonymous collector today stands to make more than 26,000 pounds with the sale of the stamp, reports The Scotsman.

In 2001, the country’s government had printed 14 million of the stamps as part of a series featuring movie stars including Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo. Following Ferrer’s objection, the print run was destroyed.

However, the finance ministry had already delivered advance copies to Deutsche Post for approval, and 30 of the proof copies escaped destruction when an unknown employee pocketed them and used them to send letters postmarked from Berlin.

One of the rare stamps - one of only five surviving copies - is now set to go under the hammer in Berlin, Germany.

It has a reserve bid set at 27,972 pounds.

Hepburn died in 1993 at the age of 64.

Auctioneer Andreas Schlegel said: “We can only guess that whoever took the stamps didn’t realise their value and used them on normal letters.” (ANI)

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