Part 3 of Langs stock in Feb. 16-18 Kelleher sale features U.S., possessions essays and proofs

Jan 27, 2021, 11 AM

By Charles Snee

Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions will present the third part of the diverse and substantial holdings of the late William S. Langs during a three-day sale to be held Feb. 16-18 at the firm’s gallery in Danbury, Conn. All three sessions will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

“The sale includes over 1800 lots of U.S. and Possessions essays, trial colors and proofs, with many rarities, and it is especially rich in revenues, postal stationery and other back-of-the-book essays and proofs,” according to Kelleher.

Among the standout items in the Feb. 16 session is an attractive 1860 90¢ black George Washington trial color large die proof on India paper (Scott 39TC1af), which Kelleher describes as a “gorgeous item” with “crisp, rich color.”

Kelleher notes that this proof is affixed to a card measuring 40 millimeters by 45mm. Engraver’s guidelines can be seen to the left of the proof design. Accompanying the proof is a 1996 expertizing certificate from the Philatelic Foundation.

Against a 2021 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers value of $6,000, Kelleher lists this 90¢ Washington proof with an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000.

Collectors of the 1869 Pictorial issue will want to look over the various essays that will be up for bids. One of the more colorful essays is a 10¢ blue Abraham Lincoln safety paper essay printed on scarlet paper with underprint design 14 (Scott 116-ESP14).

The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog describes safety paper essays as being produced “circa 1868-69, on India paper, underprinted with a stable ink with various engraved safety paper designs in another color.”

Kelleher is offering this Lincoln safety paper essay, which it describes as extremely fine, with an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.

This essay is valued at $5,500 in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog. The value is in italics to indicate an item that can be a challenge to value accurately.

During the Feb. 17 session, a large selection of trial color plate proofs will cross the auction block. Included in the day’s offerings are sets of the so-called Atlanta plate proofs, which the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog describes as “five colors on thin card reprinted in 1881 for display at the International Cotton Exhibition in Atlanta, Ga.”

One highlight is a set of the 1875 2¢ through $60 newspaper trial color plate proofs in green (Scott PR9TC4d-PR32TC4d), which Kelleher describes as “a great-looking set in joyful color on fresh card, all amply to largely margined.”

Kelleher estimates this Atlanta trial color plate proof set at $500 to $750. Scott values the complete set of 24 proofs at $960.

A set of large die proofs of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase issue (Scott 323P1-327P1) is described by Kelleher as having “luxuriant color, cleanly pulled on pristine India” paper. A control number is printed in blue on the back of each proof. The proofs are die sunk on cards measuring 202mm by 152mm.

A complete set of Louisiana Purchase large die proofs is valued at $7,000 in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog. Kelleher is offering this set with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.

The final day of the Langs sale, Feb. 18, focuses on essays and proofs of revenue stamps.

One featured proof is a large die proof in blue on India paper of the 1918 $50 stock transfer stamp mounted on a 149mm-by-197mm card (Scott RD20TC1af).

The proof has an “albino intaglio ‘$50.’ reading up at lower left corner” of the die sinkage on the card, according to Kelleher. This albino impression is very faint in the illustration of the proof shown here.

Handstamped on the back are a control number and the date “JAN 5- 1918.” “Mr. Smillie” is written in pencil on the back. The penciled name likely refers to G.F.C. Smillie, the chief engraver at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing from 1894 to 1924.

Kelleher estimates this handsome large die proof at $1,500 to $2,000.

The $50 stock transfer large die proof also exists in black on India paper (Scott RD20TC1ae). The black and blue large die proofs are the only such stock transfer proofs listed in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog.

Kelleher has prepared a single catalog for the three-day Langs sale. It is available for viewing on the firm’s website, with online bidding options available through Stamp Auction Network.

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

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