Two British Commonwealth rarities and a new American first-day cover find are among the many stamps and postal history items offered by Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries in the firm’s Aug. 21-23 public auction.
The sale will take place as part of the American Philatelic Society’s annual Stampshow, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Details of the show can be found in this issue on page 20.
The British Commonwealth collection of David B. Markowitz will be auctioned beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Additional Commonwealth and worldwide material will be offered Friday, and United States and worldwide stamps, postal history and collections will be hammered down Friday evening and Saturday.
The Markowitz collection alone includes 532 single lots in mint condition and collections. A key item is the 1888 surcharged 1 penny on 2½d (without bar) ultramarine Queen Victoria stamp from St. Christopher, the West Indies island known today as St. Kitts.
The stamp (St. Christopher Scott 23) is one of about five mint examples known, according to the auction description, and one of those stamps has been regummed.
Certified by the Royal Philatelic Society London in 1963, this mint stamp is described as having a bright fresh color.
The unused stamp is listed in the Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 with a value of $31,500 (in italics, indicating that valuing information is difficult to come by). It is offered in this sale with an opening bid of $9,500 and an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.
Even fewer mint examples are known of the 1918 surcharged Bechuanaland Protectorate £5 on 1-shilling postal fiscal stamp (Scott AR2), and the example offered in the Harmer-Schau auction is the only one of the three known that is currently available to the public.
The other two examples are held by the government of Botswana and the British Library.
This new discovery was found and identified by longtime Canadian stamp dealer Richard McDonald in a small collection of British Africa stamps he purchased some years earlier.
He arranged with Chris Harmer to have the stamp authenticated by the British Philatelic Association, a process that took about six months, McDonald told Linn’s Stamp News.
“It took longer than usual, as this was the first example of this stamp they had ever certified,” McDonald said.
The wartime provisional was created during the reign of King George V, and while the high value stamps inscribed “Postage & Revenue” were most commonly used for revenue purposes, “it is generally accepted that £5 was the highest denomination actually used for postal purposes,” the auction description notes.
Listed in the 2014 Scott Classic specialized catalog with a value of $18,000 (again, in italics), this particularly rare stamp is offered with an opening bid of $9,500 and an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.
Among the U.S. items scheduled for auction Friday evening is a Jan. 1, 1893, first-day cover of the 2¢ Columbian (Scott 231). The auction description identifies this cover as a new find and the second recorded example.
The 2¢ stamp is affixed to a Post Office Department Official Business envelope and tied with a New York, N.Y., 1 a.m. Jan. 1 duplex postmark.
The cover has been authenticated by PSAG (Philatelic Stamp Authentication and Grading Inc.) and is listed with an opening bid of $7,000 and an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.
The cover is listed among a selection of unused and used Columbian issues in singles and blocks, ranging from the 1¢ to the $5 values.
The U.S. selection also includes a wide range of classic material, airmails, back-of-the-book, Confederate stamps, possessions, rocket mail, other postal history and more.
Individual lots for this sale can be viewed at www.harmerschau.com, where online bidding is also taking place.
For more information, contact Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries, 1333 N. McDowell Blvd., Suite B, Petaluma, CA 94954; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
September 28, 2015 03:30 AMAfter the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, postal workers not only saved the mail, they saved the new post office building. Read More ›
blogWe stamp collectors are an observant bunch. After all, we spend a great deal of time closely scrutinizing small, colorful bits of paper. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses the discovery of the upright Jenny Invert pane received in an order from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., and also reports on the Confederate Stamp Alliance.
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the situation with Canada’s recalled Hoodoo stamp, as well as stamps from the United States and other countries that also depict these rock formations.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.