Well this is a very interesting true story that took place at auction, in London, England in the early 2000’s.
As it is a two part version I have used fictional names for the first part. However, I will reveal specific names, times, places etc. in the second script.
Some of you collectors may think MJR’s prices are high, I know, I know, ALL of you do, but an equivalent of $65,000 Canadian for one postcard. Not Likely.
Now, Mr. Collector had the financial means to make that purchase but so much coin, perhaps speculation, an investment maybe? Mr. Collector himself is an interesting story but our focus is the postcard and the attraction?
Who published the postcard, what was the view, who found it, and how did this postcard surface and sell?
This postcard was old, very old around 1840’s and was found by a Philatelic collector thumbing through a vintage stamp album. Stuck between two pages, this little gem was about to find a new home.
Now, please do not leave MJR’s website to look through a rusty old stamp album, at least not at the moment. There’s a lot of items on MJR’s website that need a new home.
Check it out.
Most 1840‘s stuff that I have come across such as stampless covers, documents etc. does not sell for 65K. But there was something very unique about this postcard.
What was so unique? More later.
OK, the mind has to wander to how the postcard came to be, was it a fake or vintage, or the first ever or whatever.
To go back in the 1800’s, England was in a state of chaos when it came to the postal system. A lot of people were grumpy. Letter carriers had to collect the applicable delivery fee from the recipient, resulting in non payment or discarded mail. Frustration all around.
Also, during this time, a gifted scholar, a playwright, and a humorist named Mr. Joker was becoming well known. He and his buddy Mr. Best, were walking down a London street, when Mr. Joker made a bet (1 pence). He bet that he could transform (make a major change), to any house in London, and that within one week ALL persons would know the address. It would be the talk of the bustling City of London.
Bet On!! Said by Mr. Best. One must give thought as to how this might happen, taking into consideration that about 1 million people were living in London at that time.
Social media was not an option.
So, a house was randomly picked, and it ended up being the home of Mrs. Unlucky.
Mr. Joker achieved this amazing transformation by hand writing thousands of letters, factiously signed by the senior Mrs. Unlucky. The letters were requests of deliveries, visitors and assistance of services.
An ink bottle, with a feather as a pen, made for a lot of writing in one week. So what happened?
Well, the scene started very early in the morning, when multiple trades arrived at Mrs. Unlucky’s house to provide deliveries. First, there were wagons of coal, then upholsteries, various goods on horse drawn carts, an organ, piano, linens, jewelry and every piece of describable furniture you could think of. All sorts of items were on the way to the specific address of Mrs. Unlucky. There was chaos on the street, and on the corners, to the extent that every officer in London was called to take control.
Mr. Joker had written letters to the most influential and prominent people in London. Each to deliver services to the now “transformed” house of Mrs. Unlucky.
Well.... the “Bobbies” didn’t think this criminal hoax was so funny, and they issued a warrant for the perpetrators.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself.... how does this Story relates to a $65,000 postcard purchased by Mr. Collector?
Next Week The Final Version.