Love may be priceless, but this valentine sure is expensive.
Just eight lines long, and 157 years old, a love letter sent by a St. Louis man named Samuel Eager Jr. to his young love, Clara Dwight Marsh, is getting special notice. Not only because of Valentine's Day, but because the missive — which has a rare 2-cent stamp on its envelope — will be on display and for sale Friday through Sunday at The American Stamp Dealers Association convention, which kicks off a national tour at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.
The going price: $50,000.
"This is one of the more valuable carrier stamps out there,'' said Stanley Piller, a San Francisco collector and the association's vice president.
The 2-cent St. Louis Carrier is thought to be one of six original stamps from its time still around, he said, adding that the letter was mailed "in what we call a lady's envelope. The stamp is upside-down [to say] that he was heartbroken, or that he was in love with her."
The 1857 letter reads:
I am dead in love, I'll flee with thee
By night or day, by land or sea
Then come along, but just to prove the matter
Tie a white ribbon, to your window shutter
Which shall by me be that fair warning
As I pass by, tomorrow morning
It must have worked: They wed three months later according to their marriage certificate, which is also part of the sale along with a portrait of Marsh.
— Johnny Diaz