Rare Audrey Hepburn stamp goes on auction
BERLIN – A collector stands to make a tidy profit after discovering a rare stamp portraying movie star Audrey Hepburn smoking — one of a series that should have been incinerated by the German government.
In 2001, the government printed 14 million Audrey Hepburn stamps as part of a series featuring movie stars including Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo. The print run was destroyed after Hepburn’s son, Sean Ferrer, objected to the cigarette holder dangling from the actress’ mouth and refused to grant copyright.
But the Finance Ministry had already delivered advance copies of the Hepburn stamps to Deutsche Post for approval. Thirty of these proof copies escaped destruction when an unknown employee pocketed them and used them to send letters postmarked from Berlin.
A minimum bid of $41,959 () has been set for the stamp — of which only five copies are known to exist — at its auction Tuesday at Berlin’s Kempinski Hotel Bristol.