First NYC Heritage/Bennett stamp auction earns $1.9M

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 & 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:

 A10c Green, Re-issue (106) with 2008 PSE Certificate graded Sup 98, having 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. This gem realized $17,925 against a Scott Catalog value of $4,000.

A 15c Brown & Blue, Type l (118), with 2005 PSE Certificate graded Sup 98 and 2003 PF Certificate, an exquisite 1869 Pictorial stamp with an extremely light cancel, leaving the vignette completely visible, realized $10,755 against a Scott Catalog value of $750.

A 1917 $5 deep green War Savings 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. It realized $11,950 against a Scott Catalog value of $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/1109 or contact Harvey Bennett at 800-872-6467, extension 1156, or via e-mail at JessicaB@HA.com. You can also contact Steven Crippe at 800-872-6467, extension 1777, e-mail StevenC@HA.com.

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