The One-Cent Magenta

Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World
by James Barron

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An inside look at the obsessive, secretive, and often bizarre world of high-profile stamp collecting, told through the journey of the world’s most sought-after stamp.
When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper sold at Sotheby’s for...
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Published By Algonquin Books

Format Hardback


Number Of Pages 224

Publication Date 03/07/2017

ISBN 9781616205188

Dimensions 5.4 inches x 7.4 inches

“(An) absorbing tale of the rarefied world of high-stakes philately.”
— Library Journal
—The Washington Post
“Quirky and informative.”
—Publishers Weekly
“A scintillating foray into ‘what makes something collectible, valuable, and enduring.’”
Kirkus Reviews
“This delightful short book is a good bet for readers of nonfiction, especially those who enjoy microhistories.”
Seattle Book Review
“Interesting…Even without an interest in stamps and their collection, one should find this book worthy of reading as it winds its way through the years and the various intrigues and machinations which characterize this singular and valuable item.”
—New York Journal of Books

“The voyage into Stamp World is like the world itself: detailed, ruminative and filled with arcane detours ultimately leading to a destination whose rewards are subtle yet satisfying.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Barron’s layered, complex genealogy-of-motivations for the stamp’s suitors becomes the narrative’s yeasty and compelling attraction.”
—Washington Independent Review of Books

—The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH)