The most unusual postage stamp sale of 2017. What is “Cottonreel” issue and why is it so special?

January 3rd, 2018

2017 saw many interesting stamps auction but in this piece of news we decided to concentrate on the most unusual stamp sale of 2017. You’ve probably heard of the 1c British Guiana stamp, which set a US$9,400,000 record for a stamp at Sotheby’s in 2014, but only few of stamp enthusiasts are aware of the existence of the 2c Guiana “Cottonreel” stamp.

This special item was named so due to the fact that it resembles the ends on a cotton thread reel.

The first British Guiana stamps were locally produced until the official postage stamps arrived from London in the year 1852. These rare and famous stamps, also known as the Cottonreels. The 2 cents was among four denominations (2c, 4c, 8c and 12c) that formed the first stamps from British Guiana. And only four of 2c Guiana “Cottonreel” stamps exist today. One of these special stamps was sold for US$225,000 this year.

“In terms of “Classic” rarities, this “Number One” example of British Guiana is considered to be amongst the greatest of all philatelic treasures.

This is only the second opportunity for collectors to acquire this iconic stamp at auction over the last 90 years” – commented the auction house.


There are only 2c Guiana “Cottonreel” stamps held in private hands. The other two recorded examples are in the British Library and in the Post and Telecommunications Museum, Bonn.

Sourced by paulfrasercollectibles.com