H.R. Harmer auction Oct. 26-28 offers a world of stamps, postal history, collections

Oct 8, 2017, 11 AM

By Michael Baadke

In a series of sessions taking place Oct. 26-28, the H.R. Harmer auction firm of Tustin, Calif., will offer United States, British Commonwealth and worldwide stamps, covers and collections, along with a specialized sale of Spanish Philippines and U.S. territories and possessions.

The auctions will be held at the Hilton Costa Mesa, 3050 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, Calif., just southeast of Los Angeles.

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The auction catalogs can be viewed online, with online bidding available. Bids also can be placed by phone, fax or mail, and live bidding is conducted during the sale through Stamp Auction Network.

One stamp from Falkland Islands is found in the extensive British Commonwealth selection, but the 1964 issue is a notorious error.

It comes from a set of four engraved bicolors, each with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II at upper right, and a different black vignette for each of the four denominations.

The 6-penny blue and black stamp normally shows the armored cruiser HMS Kent, but this example is printed in error with the HMS Glasgow, which normally appears in black on the 2½d stamp from the same set.

While one sheet of 60 stamps presumably received the incorrect vignette, only 17 to 25 examples of the error are known to have survived, according to current estimates.

Listed as Falkland Islands Scott 151a in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue, the error carries a value of $32,500 in italics, denoting an item that can be difficult to value accurately.

H.R. Harmer offers this mint example, described as post office fresh, never hinged and “choice very fine,” with a starting price of $20,000.

The Friday session offers hundreds of lots of classic United States stamps and covers, proofs and essays, postmaster’s provisionals, Confederate States, back-of-the-book and more.

One special early 20th-century item up for auction is a full set of the six Pan-American Exposition commemoratives artfully arranged on a first-day registered mail cover, addressed to Finland and clearly postmarked May 1, 1901.

“Only fifteen covers are known bearing a complete set of the Pan-American issue, this being the only cover recorded to Finland and just recently discovered in Europe,” H.R. Harmer notes in the auction description.

In its first-day cover listings, the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers sets a value of $30,000 for a complete set of six on a May 1 cover; this one has a starting price of $15,000.

Visit the H.R. Harmer website for additional information, or contact H.R. Harmer, 2680 Walnut Ave., Suite AB, Tustin, CA 92780-7052.