Lincoln Ice House Cover Stamp
A torn but unique envelope bearing a 90-cent stamp portraying Abraham Lincoln, which turned up 40 years after it was stolen in 1967, fetch more than $400,000 when it is offered at auction on June 13 by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York City.
Known to stamp collectors as the "Ice House Cover", the 3¾ by 9-inch envelope was mailed in 1873 from a Boston ice exporter to its icehouse in Calcutta, India. It is prized by philatelists because it is the only authenticated example of the 90-cent Lincoln stamp still affixed to its original envelope.
The stamp comes from the 1869 issue of pictorial stamps, which included the first United States postage stamps printed in two colors. The portrait of Lincoln is printed in black, while the surrounding frame with the 90-cent denomination is printed in red.
Although numerous examples of the 1869 90-cent Lincoln stamp are available to collectors, only this one is still attached to its original envelope. It was discovered in 1914 by a collector touring India and passed from collector to collector until its theft.
The Ice House Cover was one of 250 envelopes stolen on December 9, 1967, from the home of an Indianapolis stamp collector named J. David Baker, now deceased. The crime was part of an organized burglary operation that targeted stamp collectors whose names and addresses were listed geographically in the member directory of The American Philatelic Society... http://ephemera.typepad.com/ephemera/2009/06/lincoln-ice-house-stamp.html