DALLAS – Proving that it was worth the wait to philatelics, the first auction event held by Heritage/Bennett Rare Stamps – June 2-3 in New York City – since the merger of the two earlier this year realized more than $1.9 million.
“This auction was a real success,” said Harvey Bennett, Director of Philately at Heritage. “The prices realized, along with the Heritage/Bennett combination, confirmed what we already knew: A rare stamps powerhouse is born.”
Leading the way in Manhattan was a used pair of 24c green and violet, center inverted (120b) stamps, which left dropped jaws and a lot of smiles in its wake as it soared to a $167,000 price against a Scott Catalog value of $57,500 and a price tag of just more than $60,000 the last time this pair sold.
“It’s hard to beat this pair for rarity or beauty,” said Bennett. “This horizontal pair, with each stamp canceled by neat rosette fancy cancels, is especially well centered for the issue with rich vibrant colors and proof-like impressions on crisp white paper. For rare stamp collectors, short of a ‘Jenny,’ this would be the centerpiece of any rare stamp collection.”
The pair that sold in NYC is certainly the finer of two recorded pairs and one of only three known multiples of any of the 1869 inverts. Given that the vast majority of the 24c inverts are faulty or heavily cancelled, the existence of this pair, in such great condition, is simply miraculous.
Gem 19th and 20th century stamps also performed exceedingly well at the New York City event:
10c Green, Re-issue (106) 2008 PSE Certificate graded Sup 98:
This stamp, with its huge margins and superb centering wowed the collectors vying to become its next owner. A true condition rarity – only one of two ever obtaining this grade, with none graded higher – was estimated conservatively at $10,000. Exceptionally fresh with a well preserved vibrant color, crisp impression highlighting all of the elements in the stamp’s design, previously hinged, it is easily among the finest – if not the finest example – known. Price realized: $17,925; Scott Catalog value: $4,000.
15c Brown & Blue, Type l (118), 2005 PSE Certificate graded Sup 98 & 2003 PF Certificate Estimate:
An exquisite 1869 pictorial stamp, and the only one with a Sup 98 grade, with only one other of the type graded higher. Due to the extremely light cancel, the vignette remains completely visible and quite charming. Price realized: $10,755; Scott Catalog value: $750.
10c Yellow (381), PSE Certificate graded Sup 98 & 2002 PF Certificate:
Exceptional centering, amazing glowing yellow color and a finely etched impression made this beauty irresistible to a smart collector. This stamp is rarely seen this choice, with this being just one of three graded as high, with only two more of the type graded higher. Price realized: $4,180; Scott Catalog value: $250.
Back of the Book issues proved quite strong with collectors in New York City, with two stamps in particular showing the high level of quality that buyers were competing for:
1875 $12 Blue Green (PR28) ungraded:
Well centered for this issue, with exceptional color, original gum, and choice Very Fine condition – so designated by Heritage’s in-house experts – this stamp is arguably the finest of the fully sound mint examples extant. Price realized: $11,350; Scott Catalog value: $4,500.
War Savings, 1917, $5 Deep Green, Rouletted (WS3), 2006 PF Certificate graded 95:
This particular stamp created quite a buzz with collectors in New York City, as it is an exceedingly rare stamp, and one rarely offered in any condition, let alone so fine.
Price realized: $11,950; Scott Catalog value: $2,500.
“This stamp must surely be the finest of its kind in the world,” said Bennett. “We have seen only a few mint examples of this great rarity, and we believe it to be the highest price ever paid at auction for a War Savings stamp.”
For more information on this auction, to read detailed lot descriptions for these, and all other lots, and to download fully-enlargeable color images, go online to www.HA.com.