Schuyler Rumsey presenting Sescal auction Oct. 13-15 near Los Angeles

May 2, 2021, 8 PM

By Michael Baadke

San Francisco-based Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions will travel to the Los Angeles region to present a three-day auction at the upcoming Sescal stamp show and exhibition.

The show and the auction are both taking place Oct. 13-15 at the Ontario Convention Center, 2000 E. Convention Center Way, in Ontario, Calif., east of Los Angeles.

Along with classic United States and worldwide stamps and postal history, the auction will feature the Wolf Hess collection of Cuban maritime mail, more than 440 lots of Mexico from the collections of Edward Nissen and Ernst Sielaff, plus California and Western postal history, military mail and much more.

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The auction will launch at 10 a.m. (Pacific Time) Friday with a huge selection of U.S. postal history in a dozen different categories that include foreign mail with trans-Atlantics, railroad covers, advertising and exposition covers.

Among the U.S. regular issues is an 1857 folded letter mailed from New Orleans to Paris, France, franked with a vertical strip of the 1856 5¢ red brown Thomas Jefferson stamp (Scott 12). The stamps are described as having margins that are “clear to mostly large, showing portions of adjacent stamps at right.”

The strip is tied by June 30, 1857, New Orleans circular datestamps in black, and a red French transit marking. The front is also struck with a red July 8 New York exchange circular datestamp

The cover accumulated “numerous transit backstamps” on its journey to Paris, according to the auction catalog description.

The attractive cover is accompanied by a 2016 Philatelic Foundation certificate and is listed by Rumsey with an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500.

The offerings of U.S. stamps begin later in the Friday session, beginning with postmasters’ provisionals and continuing through the 1898 Trans-Mississippi issue.

One lot from this group offers a horizontal pair of the 1857 1¢ blue Benjamin Franklin stamp identified by collectors as two different stamps from plate 4.

At left in the pair is a type III stamp (Scott 21) with breaks in the frameline at top and bottom clearly visible, according to the Rumsey catalog description. Next to it is a type IIIa stamp (22).

The stamps are described as well centered and having original gum, rich vibrant color and exceptional freshness. They have 2008 and 2014 certification from the Philatelic Foundation.

The value of the scarce type III stamp is more than seven times that of the type IIIa, but an additional premium applies to the joined pair in the 2017 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

The catalog listing for such a combination pair reports a value of $22,500 in italics, the italics indicating an item that can be difficult to value accurately.

The Saturday auction session begins by continuing the U.S. stamp offerings into the 20th century, and presents the first of the general foreign offerings as well.

On Sunday, bidding will begin on the Mexico material from the Nissen and Sielaff collections, and continue through additional worldwide material plus U.S. and foreign collections.

Two featured collections in the Rumsey auction comprise the exhibit of “the Life and Fate of the American Natives” by Wolf Hess, which won a large gold medal at World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and was nominated for the grand prix international; and what Rumsey describes as “a stunning collection of classic Uruguay … with many rare and desirable items throughout, many items ex-Hoffmann.”

The Hess exhibit is offered as the first lot in the auction as it opens Friday morning, and is estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.

The Uruguay collection will be presented later on Sunday as part of the auction firm’s worldwide collection offerings, with an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.

The Schuyler Rumsey public auction will take place live at Sescal during the stamp show in Ontario.

Collectors unable to attend the show can also participate by viewing the auction lots online, where online bidding options are also available.

For additional information, contact Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions, 47 Kearny St., Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94108.