US Stamps

By Matthew Healey, New York Correspondent

Top U.S. classics sold by Bennett

June 12, 2014 07:00 AM

  • The only example of the United States 1847 5¢ Franklin certified by the Philatelic Foundation as mint, never-hinged, was sold by Matthew Bennett International for $20,700 as the first lot in its May 12-13 sale.

Matthew Bennett International offered U.S. and Canadian stamps May 12-13 in New York. The sale, filled with superlative items, was previewed in Linn’s May 12 issue.

As expected, the high realization of the sale went to an unusually well-centered example of the Jenny Invert, the 1918 24¢ airmail stamp with the biplane in the center printed upside down in error (Scott C3a).

Like many of its kind, the example in the Bennett sale shows some wear and tear: a “small thin spot and light crease,” as well as a slight disturbance of the gum.

The stamp, position 89 from the original sheet, went for $264,500 including the 15 percent buyer’s premium Bennett adds to all lots.

To date, the Philatelic Foundation has certified just one example of America’s first stamp, the 1847 5¢ Franklin (Scott 1), as being in mint, never-hinged condition.

That stamp also boasts full margins, a pretty red brown color and no faults. It was offered as the first lot in the Bennett sale, going for $20,700. That’s about triple the value for a hinged example quoted in the Scott Standard Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

A corner sheet-margin example of the $5 Columbian stamp of 1893 (Scott 245), graded 98-superb and described as “spectacular,” went for $14,950, while a 1911 3¢ Orangeburg coil (389) with a light diagonal crease sold for $3,450.