Auctions

By Michael Baadke

Rasdale auction includes U.S. classics, Slania material

April 28, 2015 05:01 PM

  • The May 16-17 Rasdale auction includes this rare original gum United States 1857 5¢ red brown type I Thomas Jefferson stamp, which is listed in the 2015 Scott catalog with a value of $60,000.

  • A sheet of 50 Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) labels engraved by Czes­law Slania, believed to be the only full sheet in existence, will be offered as part of a multisheet lot in the upcoming Rasdale sale.

In its next public auction, May 16-17, Rasdale Stamp Co. is offering United States and worldwide stamps and covers, plus a large number of collections, accumulations, stocks and additional material.

The auction includes more than 1,700 lots that will be offered during the two-day sale at the firm’s auction gallery in the Chicago suburb of Westmont, Ill.

Collectors can also view auction lots and place bids at www.rasdalestamps.com.

A key item in the sale is a rare United States 1857 5¢ red brown type I Thomas Jefferson stamp with original gum. The listing for an unused Scott 28 in the 2015 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers comes with a value of $60,000 in italics, indicating that the stamp is difficult to value accurately because it trades very seldom.

Kim E. Kellerman of Rasdale told Linn’s that through his research he found that examples of this stamp have been offered at auction fewer than 10 times in the past 30 years.

This particular stamp is from the estate of stamp dealer Jim Linker, of Ohio, who had made arrangements with Rasdale to offer the material prior to his death on March 21.

The stamp is accompanied by an expertizing certificate from the Philatelic Foundation of New York, dated Jan. 7, 2015. Describing the stamp as unused with original gum, the certificate also notes that “it is genuine, previously hinged, with a small diagonal crease and a tiny corner perforation crease at top left.”

Kellerman adds that the stamp is centered to top left with perfs clear on two sides, cut in at left and near touching at top.

The stamp has an intense reddish shade and fine impression, as described by the auction catalog.

The U.S. items in the current auction range from postmasters’ provisionals and examples of the 1847 5¢ and 10¢ stamps (Scott 1 and 2) to a recalled Legends of the West pane from 1994 (Scott 2870) in U.S. Postal Service packaging, plus back-of-the-book material and much more.

The auction also offers a broadly international selection of stamps in single lots and sets.

Admirers of the master stamp engraver Czeslaw Slania (1921-2005) will find a wealth of eclectic material to consider.

The Rasdale auction features stamps, proofs, prints, miscellaneous engravings and more by the longtime court engraver for Sweden.

The items were consigned from the estate of a prominent Slania collector in Wisconsin, Kellerman told Linn’s. Early in the auction are framed items, blocks of stamps and souvenir sheets (many hand-signed in the margins by Slania), and other Slania-related material.

Among the cinderella items are sheets and singles of the well-known World Champion Boxers series of 23 perforated stamplike labels designed and engraved by Slania. Each shows a portrait of a world heavyweight champion from John L. Sullivan in 1889 to Cassius Clay (now Muhammad Ali) in 1964.

One lot offers all 23 labels in full sheets (most sheets include multiple designs). This lot has five sheets of 80 and two sheets of 50, including the only known sheet of 50 Cassius Clay labels.

“Minor edge faults from being handled over the years along with a couple of minor perf separations,” according to the auction catalog. “The rarest of the RARE Slania engraved cinderellas. Stunning showpiece.”

The lot is offered with an estimate of $5,000.

Additional Slania vignette engravings are offered among the final auction lots as well.

For additional information about the auction, visit Rasdale's website or contact Rasdale Stamp Co., 35 Chestnut Ave., Westmont, IL 60559-1127.