Exceptional mint U.S. 1934 $1 Mallards plate block in June 3-5 Kelleher Flagship auction

May 16, 2024, 11 AM

By Charles Snee

Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions will present its Flagship sale of United States, British and worldwide stamps and postal history June 3-5 at its gallery in Danbury, Conn. Each day of the Flagship auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

The auction includes more than 1,300 lots and features offerings from the John Birkinbine II collection, the Lady Connoisseur U.S. collection, part 3 of the Luxus collection of U.S. plate blocks, selections from the Harold Goldstein collection of U.S. revenue stamps, the Patterson collection of U.S. stamps, and several other name collections.

Among the numerous high-quality U.S. multiples in the Flagship sale is a mint, never-hinged plate number block of six of the 1934 $1 Mallards federal hunting permit stamp (Scott RW1), the first of its kind to be issued. Collectors commonly call such issues duck stamps.

The plate block, which comes with a clean (no faults noted) 2002 Professional Stamp Experts certificate, possesses fresh color, and all six stamps are well centered.

In the catalog lot description, Kelleher cites noted U.S. duck stamp dealer and specialist Bob Dumaine, who has said that perhaps fewer than 15 1934 $1 Mallards plate blocks comparable to the one in the Flagship sale exist.

According to the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, plate number blocks of six duck stamps have selvage on two sides.

Further guidance is given in the introduction to the Hunting Permit Stamps section of the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog: “Values for plate blocks of Nos. RW1-RW25 are for bottom plate blocks or top plate blocks with narrow selvage. Top margin plate blocks with wide untrimmed selvage sell for approximately 20%-25% more than the values shown.”

A mint, never-hinged plate block of six of Scott RW1 is valued at $14,500 in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog.

Against an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000, Kelleher is offering this attractive 1934 $1 Mallards plate block in exceptional condition with an opening bid of $7,500.

Among the many stamps from the popular Washington-Franklin definitive (regular-issue) series that will cross the Kelleher auction block is a marvelous top margin, plate number single of the 1912 50¢ violet Benjamin Franklin with gauge 12 perforations and double-line USPS watermark (Scott 422) that comes with a 2024 graded superb-98J Professional Stamp Experts certificate. The “J” suffix in the grade denotes a stamp with jumbo margins.

Also accompanying the stamp is a 1985 Philatelic Foundation certificate showing that it originated from a plate number block of six.

A graded superb-98J example of Scott 422 in mint, never-hinged condition is valued at $10,000 in the 2024 edition of the Scott Stamp Values U.S. Specialized by Grade. In the Scott benchmark grade of very fine-80, a mint example of Scott 422 is valued at $550.

Kelleher lists this graded superb-98J 1912 50¢ violet Benjamin Franklin with gauge 12 perforations and double-line USPS watermark with an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000 and an opening bid of $6,000.

Kelleher has prepared a single catalog for the three-day Flagship auction that is available for viewing and download on the firm’s website, with online bidding options available on Stamp Auction Network.

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

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Sign up for our newsletter
Like us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter