Prager duck stamp collection in June 14 Siegel auction

May 30, 2022, 8 AM

By Charles Snee

In March, United States duck stamp collector and enthusiast Richie Prager donated 68 original artworks associated with the U.S. federal duck stamp program to the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Conn.

(Linn’s Stamp News reported this significant contribution to the museum in the April 25 issue.)

Prager’s legacy as a champion and devotee of duck stamps will be further cemented when Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York City offers his outstanding collection of U.S. federal and state hunting permit stamps in a single sale to be held June 14 at 1:30 p.m.

The 218-lot auction includes duck stamp prints from winning artists, artist remarques (scenes applied to the stamp and/or selvage that complement the design) and signed stamps, essays and proofs, complete panes and souvenir sheets, graded stamps, errors and varieties, licenses and covers, junior duck stamps and state duck stamps, according to Siegel.

In the introduction to the auction catalog, Siegel traces Prager’s love of duck stamps back to the beginning, when he “was born into a household of conservationists well before the current social awareness.”

It also helped that Prager’s mother was a stamp collector who ignited his passion for stamps when he was a young boy. “Her best advice was to focus on a stamp series that interested him,” Siegel said.

Prager bought his first duck stamp, a 1976 $3 Canada Geese (Scott RW43), so he could hunt waterfowl in southern Rhode Island, according to Siegel.

Among the myriad highlights of the collection that Prager carefully built during the past 45 years is a gorgeous assemblage of 82 corner margin singles of the federal duck stamps issued from 1934 to 2015 (Scott RW1-RW82) with remarques that will be offered as a single lot.

Each stamp features a remarque drawn by Ron Jenkins, the artist of the 1965 $3 Canvasback Drakes stamp (Scott RW32). Each stamp is protected in a mount affixed to a page featuring additional artwork and inscriptions by Jenkins. All 82 stamps and their accompanying pages are signed by Jenkins.

The collection is protected in two deluxe leather Godden albums with accompanying slipcases, according to Siegel.

“There is also a frontispiece with a name and ‘I hope you enjoy the remarques on your pages. It was fun for me when I have the chance to work on so many different subjects. Thanks for the opportunity, I truly enjoyed it.’ and signed ‘Ron Jenkins, Artist RW32,’” Siegel said.

Siegel is offering this collection of 82 federal duck stamp remarques with an estimate of $7,500 to $10,000.

Collectors seeking top-graded federal duck stamps in mint, never-hinged condition will have 11 lots to choose from. Eight of these lots are single stamps with grades ranging from extra fine-superb 95 to gem 100. The remaining three lots consist of five stamps graded extra fine-superb 95 or extra fine-superb 95 jumbo (for extra large margins), 29 stamps graded superb 98 or superb 98 jumbo, and 19 stamps graded gem 100, respectively.

One of the gem 100 stamps offered as a single lot is a 1971 $3 Cinnamon Teal that Siegel describes as having “mathematically perfect margins” and “brilliant colors.”

Included with the stamp is a 2005 Professional Stamp Experts certificate attesting to the stamp’s impressive grade.

Federal duck stamps in the grade of gem 100 are not valued in the Scott Stamp Values U.S. Specialized by Grade, but the catalog does value a superb 98 example of Scott RW38 in mint, never-hinged condition at $195.

Siegel lists this gem 100 1971 $3 Cinnamon Teal at $42. A mint, never-hinged example in the grade of very fine 80 is valued at $42.50 in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

Although Prager is selling his collection, his advocacy for wildlife conservation and awareness will continue.

“The proceeds of the auction are partially earmarked to help with the education mission as well as Richie’s determination to treasure hunt for original winning artwork not yet with the Bruce Museum,” Siegel said.

Full details of the auction, including a downloadable version of the catalog and online bidding options, are available on the Siegel website.

For additional information, contact Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, 6 W. 48th St., Ninth Floor, New York, NY 10036.

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