Baden 9 Kreuzer error
- Country of Production = Baden
- Location of Production =
- Date of Production = 1851
- Nature of Rarity = Colour error
- Number in Existence = 4
- Face Value = 9-Kreuzer
- Estimated Value = € 1,314,500
On May 1 of that year, Baden's first postage stamps were issued. The "9 Kreuzer Green" stamp was a color misprint of the 9 Kreuzer denomination that was printed in green instead of pink. The green color was intended for the 6 Kreuzer value, but apparently the paper sheets were mismatched. Only three cancelled copies and one unused copy of this error are known, but more sheets of paper may have been printed. The cancellations recorded have the numbers "4" for Aachern, "41" for Ettenheim, and "106" for Orschweiher. Two of the known copies are on letters.
The error is one of the greatest philatelic rarities in the world. The 9 Kreuzer error was not discovered until 44 years after the stamp was issued. Two letters initially were in the collection of Baron von Türckheim.
- The first copy was cancelled on July 20, 1851 in Orschweiher; von Türckheim sold this letter to the German Reichspostmuseum. Today, it is one of the key items on display in Berlin's Museum of Post and Communication.
- The second copy was cancelled on August 25 1851 in Ettenheim. This letter found its way into the collection of Philipp von Ferrary, whose collection was auctioned off in the 1920s. It was bought by Alfred Maier and afterwards it was sold through Edward Stern of Economist Stamp Company to Alfred Caspary. In 1956, it was bought by John R. Boker, who sold it in 1985 for the enormous price of 2,645,000 DM, which at that time was the highest price ever paid for a single stamp.
- The third copy is on a piece and was cancelled in Aachern. In 1908 it was auctioned by Gilbert & Koch; in 1919 it was sold to Theodore Champion.
- The only unused copy, with nearly full original gum, appeared in 1919 for the first time, when it was sold in Berlin to Trubsbach. After World War II Trubsbach sold it to a German dealer. In 1991 it was first auctioned by David Feldman and in 1997 it was auctioned again and was sold for 603,750 US$. On April 3 2008 it was again auctioned by David Feldman for €1,314,500.
The usual explanation for the occurrence of this error is that the printing plate was used invertedly. However, this theory cannot be correct because the stamp was produced in a single printing. It must be assumed that the printer had unintentionally used the wrong plate for the green paper: instead of a "9" he had read a "6".
- Baden - The Unique Unused 1851 9 Kreuzer Error of Colour
- Williams, N. Encyclopaedeia of Rare Stamps. Vol. 1 pp. 81–83; vol. 2, pp. 83–86. Onex/Genf (1993).