The 12 x 9in (30.5 x 22.5cm) work, in ink and gouache on paper, is signed lower right and dated 23/IV/74 lower left.
This gouache was commissioned from MirÓ in 1974 by the French minister of the PTT (Post, Telegraphs and Telephones) as a design for a stamp and may therefore be a familiar image as over 6m copies were distributed between 1974-75 in stamp form.
It was the first time that a specific work of art had been commissioned for a stamp (as opposed to the use of pre-existing artworks).
MirÓ has taken the blue bird, the famous symbol of the French postal service, and given it his own distinctive interpretation using his favoured palette with the three primary colours plus green and black ink. The artist offered the original gouache to Hubert Germain, minister of the PTT, and it has passed down by descent to the vendors.
The estimate is €180,000-250,000.