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Rare Hungarian stamp brings big money

December 6, 1997

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) _ A rare Hungarian stamp dating to 1867 was auctioned for $190,000 Saturday.

The year 1867 marked a thaw in the tense relations between Austria and Hungary after the brutal crushing of Hungary’s war of independence in 1848-49. The two countries were joined in the Hapsburg Empire.

Imperial Austria allowed the Hungarians education in their mother tongue, independent home rule ministries, and their own postage stamps.

The stamps were printed in Austria and carried the portrait of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef, but were exclusively for use in Hungary.

The one sold Saturday was on a letter sent in 1867 from Hungary to Austria. It was one of just six known stamps on which the colors had been botched.

The name of the buyer was not disclosed.

Istvan Talas, owner of the stamp auction and trading firm Hungarofila, said it was the most valuable stamp ever sold at auction in Hungary.

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