By Matthew Healey, New York Correspondent
A large, used U.S. 1¢ stamp of 1851, type Ib with unclear scrollwork details at bottom (Scott 5A), was identified as coming from position 6R1E, from the early state of plate 1 of this classic issue. With both a black circular-grid “PAID” cancel and red Boston circular datestamp, the stamp presented a colorful example of this very scarce variety. It fetched $7,073, including the 15 percent buyer’s premium charged by Sam Houston on all lots.
Among the German-area varieties that did well was a set of stamps of Germany overprinted in 1899 for use in the Caroline Islands, which Germany had secured from Spain in that year through papal mediation.
The 3-pfennig-to-50pf set exists with the name “Karolinen” placed either at a 56-degree angle (Scott 1-6) or at a 48-degree angle (1a-6a). The latter set, though issued first, is the scarcer of the two by far.
All but the 20pf denomination in the set in the Houston sale are never hinged, and all are accompanied by some form of expert certification. The set sold for $3,220.
The Caroline Islands, in the western Pacific, were captured by Japan in 1914 and held until World War II, after which they became trust territories of the United States. They are now divided between the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.
A “very fresh, pristine” never-hinged short set of high denominations from Israel’s first issue in 1948, the 250-mil, 500m and 1000m stamps depicting ancient coins (Scott 7-9), with tabs at bottom bearing additional text in Hebrew, sold for $3,795.