Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 17:39 UK

Rare stamps sold for over 10,000

Penny Black stamp
A rare Penny Black stamp has been sold for 4500

Rare stamps found on a stack of letters hidden in an attic have been sold at an auction for more than £10,000.

The most valuable was a rare Penny Black - among the first postage stamps issued by the UK in 1840 - which fetched £4,500.

The letters and over 400 stamps had been found encrusted in bird droppings in a derelict building in north Wales.

Auctioneer Gordon Morris said: "The owner's very happy, we did as well as we could in the present climate."

The most expensive Penny Black - from a rare issue, plate 11 - has a catalogue value of £15,000.

But Mr Morris said it went for a good price "even with the recession biting hard".

"Just a few days ago I watched an auction but the stamps were not selling," he said.

About 100 people had turned up to the sale at Aqueduct Auctions in Froncysyllte, Denbighshire, with more placing bids via the telephone and internet.

Most of the 27 Penny Black stamps and 400 Penny Reds and Penny Red-Browns, issued between 1841 and 1848, have now been sold for around £200 or less.

One of the Penny Red-Brown stamps, which was postmarked for Wotton-under-Edge, was sold for £2000.

The owner, who does not want to be identified or disclose the exact value of his sales, had attended the auction with his wife.

A woman from Abergavenny, who had read about this recent discovery, brought her old stamp albums to the auction, added Mr Morris, and they went for about £500.

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