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Following Ferrer's objection, the print run was destroyed. The German government had ordered the stamp to be destroyed! However by that time, the finance ministry had already delivered advance copies to Deutsche Post for approval.
An unknown employee pocketed 30 of the proof copies. He used them to send letters postmarked from Berlin. One of the rare stamps - one of only five surviving copies - is now under the hammer in Berlin, Germany.
Today an anonymous collector today stands to make more than 26,000 pounds with the sale of the stamp! It has a reserve bid set at 27,972 pounds. Auctioneer Andreas Schlegel said: "We can only guess that whoever took the stamps didn't realise their value and used them on normal letters."
Hepburn died in 1993 at the age of 64.