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Ergebnisbericht 2008

42 Even the international business press was visibly surprised and it is little wonder. After all, positive reports regarding economic events and developments are pitifully few and far between these days. As a result, there was talk of an «impressive trend running counter to the financial crisis». Journalists reported that there were at least po- sitive signals from the stamp auction market. The occasion for these comments was the spectacularly successful Peter Rapp AG stamp auction, which took place between 24 and 27 November 2008 in the town of Wil, located within the Canton of St. Gallen in Eastern Switzerland. Although there were only 2805 individual and collective lots on offer during the auction, Peter Rapp and his team succeeded in achieving overall sales (including buyers’ premium and VAT) totalling 17,9 million Swiss Francs. Not only is this sum around 3 million Francs higher than was estimated before the auction, but it means that the overall sales from the two auctions carried out within a period of 18 months comes to an impressive 36 million Francs. It is hardly surprising that this is attracting attention, even far beyond the stamp sector. There must be reasons to explain these figures, which run contrary to all other economic trends. These reasons may be partly, but not exclusively, to be found in the careful selection, good quality, and in some cases also the rarity, of the philatelic items on offer. There is no doubt that the quality of the individual lots on offer from all areas of philately and postal history was often outstanding. The quality of many complete collections was considerably above average, with many having received major awards in exhibitions. Furthermore, many other objects and lots were peppered with rarities and specialities, which interested parties otherwise rarely get the opportunity to view in the context of complete collections. However, the quality of the items and collections alone does not guarantee that they will be sold (as virtually all the lots were), let alone that they will be sold at above-average prices, which exceed even the auctioneer’s own initial calculation by a significant amount. Rapp’s Dedication Makes All the Difference A Report on the 2008 Rapp Auction by Gerd H. Hövelmann