US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Goldberg offers Icelandic rarities, Buss collection

October 23, 2014 04:30 PM

  • Described as the only known unused example of Iceland’s 1897 3-eyrir-on-5a green numeral issue with black large “prir” overprint perforated 14 by 13½, this Scandinavian rarity will be auctioned Nov. 14 by Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers in Los Angeles.

The Nov. 14 Philatelic and Space public auction by Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers will offer the estate collection of longtime Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and the Dallingr collection of Iceland and Greenland.

A key item from the Dallingr collection is the unused surcharged 3-eyrir-on-5a green numeral issue from Iceland with black large “prir” overprint, perforated gauge 14 by 13½ (Scott 31a).

The black “prir” (Icelandic for “three”) text overprint was applied to 5a stamp sheets already surcharged with the numeral “3” in red, and to additional stamps without the numeral overprint, for use as provisional stamps during a period when no printed 3a stamps were available.

The rarity of this stamp can be attributed to its gauge 14 by 13½ perforations. The still-pricey perf 13 issue (Scott 31) catalogs at $900 unused.

Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers describes the example in this auction as “the only known unused example,” with original gum with hinge remnant.

The accompanying 1999 Carl Aage Moller BPP (German Federation of Philatelic Experts) certificate adds the description, “A very fresh and well preserved stamp in flawless condition.”

The stamp is also certified with a 1971 Witt certificate.

In the 2014 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940, the unused stamp is listed with a value of $26,500.

It carries an estimate in the Goldberg auction catalog of $30,000 to $35,000, and a starting bid of $15,000.

The stamp was previously included in the renowned Scandinavian collections of international industrialist Holger Crafoord, and minister and religious broadcaster Gene Scott.

Along with being the majority owner of a professional basketball team, Jerry Buss, who died in 2013, was also a stamp collector who once owned the only United States 1¢ Benjamin Franklin Z grill stamp in private hands (Scott 85A).

The Buss estate collection features stamps of Canada and Newfoundland, including an unused example of Canada’s 1851 12-penny black Queen Victoria on laid paper with four full margins (Scott 3).

The stamp has no gum, according to the auction catalog description, and has two small tears — one at lower left and the other at the bottom — and a small corner crease at bottom left.

The unused 12d black without gum is listed in the Scott Classic specialized catalog with a value of $87,500. This example appears in the Goldberg auction catalog with an estimate of $25,000 to $30,000, and a starting bid of $12,500.

The Newfoundland issues on offer include two attractive early airmails: the 3¢ red brown with original gum, overprinted for the April 1919 attempted first trans-Atlantic air post flight (Scott C1); and the surcharged 50¢ on 36¢ olive green Columbia overprint, also with original gum (C7).

Additional items from the Buss estate collection can be found in the auction’s collection section.

The auction also includes additional United States and worldwide stamps and covers.

The auction will take place at the Goldberg firm’s office at 11400 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.; and at invaluable.com.

Bids also can be placed at www.goldbergcoins.com, where the individual lots are pictured and described.