The Austrian Archducal Hat, the symbol of the unity of the Austrian hereditary lands, has been preserved to this day. It is the centerpiece of the collection at Klosterneuburg Monastery, and symbolises the Archduchy of Austria, the heartland of the Hapsburg Empire. Archduke Maximilian III, the Regent of Tyrol and brother of Rudolf II, presented it to the monastery in 1616 as a consecration gift, and it was kept there together with the relic of the skull of Saint Leopold. It was believed that some divine power would thus be transferred to the ruler who was “crowned” with it.
Dogs are amongst the most popular pets in the world, with a long history of providing companionship to humans around the world!
The $2 Trans-Mississippi block of 20 is the second largest multiple of the issue and is offered in mint, never hinged condition. The six stamps in the centre are perhaps the finest specimens on the market.
Eastern Auctions, in Halifax, held a sale Feb. 19-20 of British Commonwealth stamps and postal history that also included one of Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway inverts — in this case, perfectly centered and never hinged. It sold for $6,850, including the firm’s 15 percent buyer’s premium.