Selling mail from crashed aircraft


ENVELOPES recovered from the wreckage of planes which have crashed in this country are among the more unusual items featured at next Saturday's stamp and postal history auction at Whyte's of Marlborough Street, Dublin.

Expected to sell for £150, a 1954 envelope, for example, carries a post office stamp reading "salvaged from KLM crash at Shannon". The same price should be made by another envelope which was on board an Alitalia plane that crashed a few seconds after take off from Shannon in 1960. Other airmail lots include a 1939 envelope carried on a survey flight of a flying boat from Newfoundland to Foynes before the regular Clipper transatlantic service began. This item should sell for more than £300.

Amid around 950 lots, Whyte's is offering a large number of stamp collections, ranging in value from around £50 for "an accumulation of hundreds in a small box" to £2,000 for an almost complete post war collection from Germany. Then there are single stamps, such as a Falklands Islands £1 from 1933 (estimate £650), an unused Penny Black of 1840 (£300), an unused Irish 10 shilling stamp of 1922 with a scarce overprint (£600) and a half penny Irish overprinted stamp with a `missing accent' error (£500).