Irwin Weinberg, former one-cent magenta owner, dies

Following the death of prominent stamp collector and dealer Irwin Weinberg on May 2, the New York Times ran an obituary honouring the famed philatelist’s monumental life.

It begins with a Canadian twist as reporter James Barron details the 1978 Canadian Philatelic Exhibition, held in Toronto.

“While packing for a trip to Toronto in 1978, Irwin Weinberg sent his teenage son Jack to a military surplus store with instructions to buy a pair of handcuffs. On the plane, Mr. Weinberg quietly chained one of his own wrists to his briefcase,” reads the opening lines of the New York Times obituary.

“The handcuffs were a prop, a gimmick to get the attention of news photographers who had been alerted to his arrival — and to the arrival of the tiny item in the briefcase: the world’s most expensive postage stamp, the 1-cent magenta from British Guiana, issued in 1856. It was to be displayed at a stamp show in Toronto.”

Weinberg was 88 when he died at his home in Kingston, Pa.

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