Ten stamps, bearing the face of Audrey Hepburn, were sold at a UN charity auction in Berlin for $606,000.
The stamps bearing a photograph of Audrey Hepburn wearing a wide-rimmed hat, with a cigarette holder between her teeth, were sold for 54-times more than their face value. The proceeds will go to Unicef and the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund
Hepburn became an international style icon having achieved fame in movies such as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Funny Face”. When she retired from her acting career she worked as a UN goodwill ambassador until she died, from cancer, in 1993 at the age of 63.
Her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer said “My mother always told me, ‘I didn’t make a perfume or go sell toilet paper. I did something good with my name’.”
Ferrer is the manager of Hepburn’s estate. Nine years ago he had stopped the production of these commemorative stamps as he believed the image had been digitally altered and would also glamorize smoking.
He owned the rights to the image and had not been consulted. $9.7 million worth of stamped were pulped and reprinted with the cigarette airbrushed out.
Ferrer said “It is simply marvelous that a set of stamps with a face value of 16 marks can be auctioned for €430,000 in the end and will serve a good purpose.
“I feel wonderful that we are able to turn something around that started on the wrong foot that is now going to help a lot of people around the world.”
The person who purchased the stamps requested anonymity.