The lucky buyers who bought a postage stamp with the figure that is supposed to represent the 18th century Dubrovnik composer Luka Sorkočević at post offices and kiosks in Dalmatia, now own a very rare stamp which has reached a price of several thousand euros at recent auctions. In its Prominent Croats series, the Croatian Post mistakenly printed the figure of US President Thomas Jefferson instead of Sorkočević, reports Večernji List on January 26, 2019.
“In the Prominent Croats series, three stamps were issued: Josip Juraj Strossmayer, Ivan Supek and Luka Sorkočević. When it comes to the third stamp, the one with Luka Sorkočević, there was a mistake in the design. Namely, the portrait of Thomas Jefferson was used instead of Sorkočević,” admitted the Croatian Post.
The portrait of the American president, which was used by the designer hired by the Croatian Post thinking it was Sorkočević, was painted by Rembrandt Peale in 1805 and is often misused in various sources as an illustration of the Croatian composer. The error was detected by the Croatian Post before the release date, on April 21, 2015, but 22 stamps had been already sold in Dalmatia. Now, almost four years later, the stamps’ value has increased substantially.
“The rest of the printed stamps have been destroyed, and new stamps with the correct motif, signature and notation were printed. We did not use a portrait because there is no contemporary portrait of Sorkočević from his lifetime,” explained the Croatian Post.
After the incident, the post introduced additional controls before the printing approval, and it is no longer possible to buy stamps before the official release date.
“From a philatelist standpoint, such a stamp is a rarity, and the fact that only 22 stamps were sold adds value to it. We do not know who bought these stamps and whether they ended up on letters or postcards or were bought by lucky philatelists who saw the mistake and kept them in their original condition,” explained the Croatian Post.
The stamp has never been registered with the World Postal Union, so it is not officially recognised as a Croatian Post stamp. Such mistakes are extremely rare, and this is the only case in Croatia where such stamps have reached the sales point.
More news on the Croatian Post can be found in the Business section.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Sandra Veljković).