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Private Treaty - Tierra del Fuego 1891


The most important collection ever formed!

Tierra de Fuego is an archipelago that lies at the tip of the South American continent. The ownership of the area was was settled by a treaty between Argentina and Chile in June 1881 giving the eastern part of the main island to Argentina and and the western part to Chile. 
News of a fabulous discovery of gold at the southern tip of Patagonia in 1885 led to a small gold rush. Julio Popper, who was born in Romania and who had studied in Paris as a mining engineer, was in charge as the technical director of the 'Compania Lavaderos de Oro del Sud'  to establish gold mining plants in Tierra del Fuego.     
The output of Popper's first mining venture was around half a kilo of gold per day. in the following years Popper obtained mining and prospecting concessions for all Argentine territory. By 1891 he had 66 men working, producing around 1 kilo of gold per day.
In 1890 the Argentine Post Office opened up an agency in Tierra del Fuego, but failed to follow this up with an organised mail boat service. Julio Popper privately arranged a ferryboat service to carry mail and other goods to and from Tierra del Fuego to the Chilean Port of Punta Arenas. He also issued his own 10 centavos postage stamp used for mail carried by horseback between the gold mining camps. The stamp also covered the carriage of mail by ships to connect the local Tierra del Fuego postal system with the regular postal systems of Chile and Argentine.
The entire Brian Moorhouse collection Tierra del Fuego 1891 - a wonderful and fascinating time travel into gold rush times! - can be viewed on appointment in Zurich.
Download the collection here.
CHF / US Dollar  195'000.- (no additional buyer's premium. Subject to Swiss VAT in case the collection will not be exported from Switzerland).