Nicaragua Essays

Some thirty-five years ago a customer called me from New York about a collection. He was from Nicaragua and had collected the stamps of that country all of his life. The collection was magnificent, in over twenty volumes, with thousands of stamps and covers. We negotiated a price, but any time you put five figure money in a Central America collection, especially in 1975, you worry a bit about who you are going to sell this stuff too. Central America may be scarce, but it is also not all that popular with no domestic market to speak of.  The joke in the business is that there is only one thing scarcer than a great Nicaragua collection-people who want it.

 I knew of one Nicaragua collector, on old Philadelphian named Joe Sousa. I called Joe and he came down to our office. The price was $20,000 and Joe carefully took out the first book, opened the cover to the first page, looked for a moment or two, and closed up the album. He took out his checkbook and said “I’ll take it”. ‘Can I ask why?” I asked. He told me that he had no idea if the collection was cheap or not and didn’t care. When he was a budding Nicaragua specialist, he said, he had bought three Essays of the first issue and the man who sold them to him had told him that there were originally six and that he didn’t know where the other three were. Here on the first page of the collection were the other three. It had been Joe Sousa’s philatelic dream to reunited the family.

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