Collector sells stamp collections for $3.2M to help Smithsonian

The National Postal Museum in Washington opened in 1993. It occupies the former main post office building built in 1914. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The National Postal Museum in Washington opened in 1993. It occupies the former main post office building built in 1914. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A wealthy investor has sold two of his prized stamp collections to help pay for an expansion of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

William H. Gross sold the collections last week at an auction in New York. The collections included stamps from the Confederacy and British Colonies in North America. They fetched $3.2 million.

The proceeds go toward Gross’ $8 million pledge to the museum. He has also donated some of the rarest known stamps from his personal collection.

Gross is the founder of Pacific Investment Management Co., based in Newport Beach, Calif.

The museum’s expansion from a basement space near Washington’s Union Station is scheduled to open in late 2012. A gallery will be named in Gross’ honor.

___

National Postal Museum: http://postalmuseum.si.edu/

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP-CS-11-29-09 1302EST