Blue-omitted error of U.S. 1998 Hat coil in Feb. 21-23 Kelleher Flagship sale

Feb 1, 2023, 2 PM

By Charles Snee

Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions will present its Flagship sale of United States and worldwide stamps and postal history Feb. 21-23 at its gallery in Danbury, Conn. The auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time each day.

The auction includes more than 1,400 lots and features material from the William F. Csolkovits collection of Argentina, the George J. Poulos and John P. Chinkel collections of quality U.S. issues, the Alan Leighton collection of first-day covers, the Kemp C. Fairbanks II collection of Great Britain and British Commonwealth, and final selections from the James J. Phair and Alfred S. Lippman collections.

One of the most eye-catching U.S. items up for bids is a blue-omitted error strip of six of the 1998 H-rate Hat coil stamp (Scott 3265f) issued in rolls of 100.

Linn’s reported the discovery of this spectacular error on the front page of the Jan. 7, 2013, issue.

In addition to the missing blue ink of the top hat, the red ink of the hat is dramatically shifted to the right by 10 and one-half stamps, and the gray is misregistered by approximately 3 millimeters.

These color misregistrations resulted in the displacement of the four digits of the 1111 plate number. A normal plate number stamp shows the numbers in the order they were printed: red, blue, gray and black.

On the error strip pictured here, the third stamp from the left shows a red “1” immediately to the left of the “1998” year date in the bottom left corner of the stamp. The digit’s misplacement is the result of the substantial shift of the red ink.

The error was discovered in a partial roll of 46 stamps that was brought to the attention of a stamp dealer in New Orleans in early September 2012, Linn’s reported. The error strip of six in the Kelleher sale is from that partial roll.

The error strip is accompanied by a 2012 Professional Stamp Authentication and Grading certificate that states the partial roll is “genuine unused, self-adhesive strip of 46, BLUE OMITTED and MISREGISTRATION of RED to right by 10½ stamps and Gray by 3mm.”

Although it is listed in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, Scott 3265f is not valued because of insufficient market data.

Kelleher is offering this blue-omitted error strip of six of the H-rate Hat coil stamp with an estimate of $7,500 to $10,000.

One of the more desirable British items to cross the auction block is a bottom right margin block of four of the Great Britain 1929 £1 black stamp (Scott 209) issued for the ninth congress of the Universal Postal Union, which opened May 10, 1929, in London.

The issue, which features a dramatic image of St. George slaying a dragon, is often called the Postal Union Congress (PUC) stamp.

Each stamp in the block bears an indistinct circular datestamp. Kelleher notes the presence of “hinge reinforcements in the selvage,” and describes the block as being “Very Fine and a remarkable multiple.”

The Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values a very fine used single of Scott 209 at $600.

Kelleher lists this bottom right margin block of four of the 1929 £1 Postal Union Congress stamp with an estimate of $2,000 to $2,500.

Kelleher has prepared a single catalog for the three-day Flagship auction that is available for viewing and download on the firm’s website, with online bidding options available on Stamp Auction Network.

For additional information, contact Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, 22 Shelter Rock Lane, Unit 53, Danbury, CT 06810.

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