Auctions

By Matthew Healey

3¢ Baseball block signed by Babe Ruth shines at Regency sale

July 03, 2015 05:03 PM

  • A block of four United States 3¢ Baseball Centennial stamps of 1939 autographed by Babe Ruth sold for $8,400 at Regency Superior’s sale during the Napex 2015 stamp show in June.
  • A rare full pane of 30 United States 2¢ Washington stamps from booklets made for American Expeditionary Force soldiers in France in World War I brought $30,000 at Regency Superior’s Napex auction.

Regency Superior held a sale June 3-7 in conjunction with the Napex stamp show in McLean, Va. The sale included space memorabilia and autographs, as well as stamps and postal history. In common with other such sales, however, there were some crossover items that covered multiple categories.

One of the more unusual and attractive items was a block of four of the U.S. 3¢ Baseball Centennial stamp of 1939 (Scott 855), with each stamp boldly autographed by Babe Ruth.

Accompanied by a certificate attesting to the signatures’ authenticity, the block sold for $8,400, including the 20 percent buyer’s premium levied by Regency-Superior on all lots. Similar blocks signed by Cy Young and Ty Cobb brought $3,000 apiece.

Among strictly philatelic items was a magnificent example of the full pane of 30 2¢ Washington stamps from the special American Expeditionary Force booklets (Scott 499f), made for U.S. forces serving in France in World War I.

The panes were produced by dividing the 360-subject sheets intended for ordinary booklets into larger panes, leaving a large margin at the top that normally would have been the stapling margin in booklets with six-stamp panes.

The corresponding 1¢ panes are not rare, but the 2¢ panes are very seldom seen. This one went for $30,000.