A series of auctions of parts of one of the most valuable German stamp collections ends after five years this Saturday in Wiesbaden. Stamps and letters from former German states belonging to the former Tengelmann boss and billionaire Erivan Haub (1932 to 2018) are once again going under the hammer, as the Heinrich Köhler auction house announced.

According to its own information, it is the oldest stamp auction house in Germany, founded in 1913. In the end, there will have been ten auctions of rarities from historic German states with several thousand lots for Haub’s collection. The total value is in the double-digit millions.

The famous “Black One”

Haub, who once ran one of the largest grocery stores in the world, began collecting stamps as a child, according to the auction house. In the 1950s, he bought the “Black One”, Germany’s first postage stamp, at his first auction in Hamburg. Later, the then Tengelmann boss acquired many rarities, such as the first postage stamps from former German states and Zeppelin mail receipts.

According to the information, 340 stamps and letters will go under the hammer at the last Haub auction with stamps from the “Old Germany” collecting area this Saturday in Wiesbaden. These include a letter from collector Theodore Rondel from Mecklenburg-Strelitz from 1864, with a starting price of 100,000 euros, when the then small Grand Duchy introduced its first stamps. Rondel is considered one of the first collectors to obtain new editions of stamps from various countries.

Old hobby with new shine

According to the Köhler auction house, the so-called Erivan auctions with rarities from Erivan Haub made the old hobby of stamp collecting better known again. A Bavarian family, for example, remembered letters from their ancestors and handed them over for auction: “At the auction, a letter from this correspondence brought in 54,000 euros.” According to the auction house’s estimate, there are still around 60,000 serious stamp collectors nationwide – and around three to five million worldwide.

Erivan’s son, Karl-Erivan Haub, one of the richest Germans and also a former Tengelmann boss, made headlines in 2018 because he went on a ski tour alone in the Swiss Alps and never returned. His family assumes it was a fatal accident.