Rare Banknote stamps, Legends of Hollywood error pane highlight Regency-Superior auction

May 2, 2021, 8 PM

By Charles Snee

Regency-Superior will conduct a public auction of stamps and postal history Saturday Oct. 1 at its St. Louis gallery.

Crossing the auction block at the sale, which begins at noon Eastern Time, will be an array of United States classics; British and worldwide singles; covers; and various U.S., British and worldwide collections.

A smattering of U.S. carriers, locals, and postmasters’ provisional stamps will open the sale. 

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Among the more unusual items in this selection is a counterfeit block of four of the Providence, R.I., postmaster’s provisional. The bogus block is described as having no gum and is listed in the auction catalog with an estimate of $110.

Early classics, including the 1847 and 1851 issues, are well-represented, with stamps in a range of conditions to suit any budget.

A particularly attractive selection of large and small Banknote stamps of 1870-90 includes a handsome unused example of the 1870 90¢ large Banknote stamp picturing Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (Scott 144).Two Philatelic Foundation certificates (dated 1973 and 2011) accompany the stamp.

Regency-Superior describes the stamp as having “full, fresh original gum” that has been “lightly hinged.”

The stamp carries an estimate of $20,000, against a 2016 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers value of $25,000 for a sound unused example in very fine condition.

A second unused example of the 90¢ Perry stamp up for bids, with tighter margins, is estimated at $9,000.

Highlights of the early 20th-century issues for sale include three examples of the 1901 1¢ Pan-American with the steamship vignette inverted (Scott 294a).

If your album pages for the Washington-Franklin stamps still have a few holes that need filling, be sure to review the more than 200 lots of this popular and challenging series. Here you will find a number of tough-to-find issues, along with a handful of graded examples.

A standout among the graded Washington-Franklins is a 1909 $1 George Washington (Scott 342) with a 2014 gem 100 graded certificate from Professional Stamp Experts. Regency-Superior estimates this condition rarity at $3,750.

Modern U.S. issues include some scarce plate-number coil and booklet varieties, and a recalled 1994 Legends of the West pane still sealed in its blue-bordered U.S. Postal Service envelope, estimated at $150.

Collectors of modern U.S. errors will have a number of eye-catching items to choose among.

One such error is a complete die-cutting-omitted error pane of 20 of the 2001 34¢ Lucille Ball stamp in the long-running Legends of Hollywood series.

A die-cutting-omitted pair of the Lucille Ball stamp (Scott 3523a) is valued at $800 in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog. This value is italicized, meaning that the Scott editors had limited market data to establish a value for the error.

Regency-Superior estimates the imperforate Lucille Ball pane at $6,000 — $2,000 below the combined Scott catalog value of $8,000 for 10 imperforate pairs.

Desirable postal history to be sold includes an impressive 1875 cover with a three-color franking of large Banknote stamps that was sent from New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Regency-Superior lists this “very fine and attractive cover” with an estimate of $1,500.

A remarkable opportunity for collectors of specimen items presents itself near the end of the auction, in the form of more than 50 lots of postal stationery from the Universal Postal Union archives of Portugal. Estimates for these unusual artifacts range from $200 to $900.

The Oct. 1 Regency-Superior auction in St. Louis is online with complete lot descriptions, estimates, color images, and opening bids.

Each lot is subject to a 20 percent buyer’s premium that is added to the hammer price.

For additional information, contact Regency-Superior at 800-782-0066; or write to Regency-Superior, 229 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108.