Four impressive name collections to be sold during Feb. 28-March 2 Siegel auction series

Feb 9, 2023, 12 PM

By Charles Snee

Numerous scarce and rare items from four significant name collections will find new owners during a series of sales to be held Feb. 28-March 2 by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York City.

First to cross the auction block, on Feb. 28, is part 3 of the Melvin Getlan collection of United States vending- and affixing-machine perforations, arguably the finest of its kind ever formed.

One of the major rarities of early 20th-century U.S. philately appears near the end of the sale: a used imperforate 1920 2¢ deep rose type Ia Washington stamp with Schermack type III perforations (Scott 482A).

All known examples of Scott 482A have Schermack type III perforations.

“Scott 482A, like its slightly more famous predecessor, Scott 314A, was issued imperforate by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and sold to the Mailometer Company for use in its patented stamp-affixing machines with the Schermack Type III perforations,” Siegel said.

“The Schermack ‘Sealer and Stamper’ machine typically applied stamps one at a time, and, in most cases, the Type III hyphen-hole perfs would be cut off on one side. Unlike Scott 314A, the release of imperforate sheets printed from the experimental Type Ia plates escaped the notice of contemporary collectors, and, therefore, Scott 482A has a very small survival rate.”

According to a census maintained by Siegel, a total of 47 genuine examples of Scott 482A exist: one used pair, three singles on separate covers, and 42 used singles.

The example of Scott 482A from the Getlan collection bears a neat wavy-line machine cancel and shows the oblong hyphen-hole Schermack type III perfs at right. Accompanying the stamp is a 1960 Philatelic Foundation certificate.

Siegel lists this stamp at $55,000, the value for a used single in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.

On March 1, Siegel will offer the William E. Mooz collection of U.S. Official special printings. Mooz’s collection of U.S. newspaper and periodical stamps will be sold March 2.

Siegel’s catalog for the Official special printings sale contains a useful introduction to these rare stamps and a detailed table that summarizes statistics for the production and sale of these stamps.

Mooz was an expert on the Official special printings, which he had avidly collected for more than 50 years before his death on Aug. 20, 2022.

A highlight of the collection is an 1875 $10 green and black State Department Official stamp with a carmine “SPECIMEN” overprint (Scott O70S), one of just five recorded examples.

Siegel describes the stamp as a “phenomenal example” of this special printing with “an impeccable provenance.”

According to Siegel, the stamp “was part of the set purchased from the third assistant postmaster general’s office by Paul Lietzow of Germany, and was bought by Robert Lewenthal in 1953.”

“Paul Lietzow was a German collector/dealer who displayed his collection in one of the first philatelic exhibitions in Germany,” Siegel said.

“The first was held in April 1870 and featured one person’s collection. Lietzow exhibited his collection in July 1877 in Berlin for the benefit of wounded soldiers. His collection at the time comprised 6,200 stamps housed in six large volumes, quite an achievement for the time.”

The U.S. Post Office Department records state that eight examples of Scott O70S were sold. Of the five recorded examples, three are sound, including the one in Mooz collection.

Siegel lists this stamp at the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog value of $100,000.

The Mooz collection of U.S. newspaper and periodical stamps will be up for bids March 2. In addition to the issued stamps, the collection features a wide selection of essays and proofs.

One of the notable rarities that will tempt bidders is the only recorded used example of the 1894 96¢ pink newspaper stamp (Scott PR99) featuring an allegory of Justice. The stamps in the 1894 series (PR90-PR101) were produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on unwatermarked paper.

A black cancel at left runs vertically alongside the image of Justice.

Siegel notes the stamp’s “bright color” and “choice centering” and mentions the presence of a “small thin spot at upper left” that is not described on the accompanying 1982 certificate from the Philatelic Foundation.

Nonetheless, the stamp is “one of the greatest of all newspaper issue rarities,” Siegel said.

Scott PR99 in used condition is listed but not valued in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog. A dash appears in the used column because not enough market data is available to establish a value. Scott values the stamp at $50,000 in unused condition.

Siegel is offering this used 1894 96¢ pink newspaper stamp with an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.

A key rarity in the March 2 Siegel sale of the Charles Cook collection of U.S. airmail and Official stamped envelopes and postal cards is one of the three confirmed examples of the surcharged 1920 1¢-on-2¢ red Grant postal card on cream paper (Scott UX36), which is known to collectors as the “Library Card.”

The card was postmarked March 21, 1921, in Long Beach, Calif., and mailed locally. The back of the card (not shown) carries a notice from the Long Beach Public Library informing the recipient of a reserved book.

According to Siegel, the card has light creases at top center and bottom left that it describes as “trivial dents.”

Scott UX36 was surcharged to 1¢ to meet the new 1¢ postal card rate that went into effect following World War I.

“Four [Scott UX36] cards have been reported, but only three have been confirmed,” Siegel said.

“Two have notices from the Long Beach Library: the card offered here and the example from the ‘Scarsdale’ collection (faint wrinkles/creasing). One has a notice regarding an Elks Club Christmas party. The fourth unconfirmed example is also supposed to have an Elks Club notice, but has not been seen in 100 years and may be lost to philately.”

The card in the Cook collection was discovered in 1992 by an auction describer and was offered in Siegel’s 2006 Rarities of the World sale, Siegel said. Philatelic Foundation certificates issued in 2006 and 2015 are included with the card.

Siegel lists this 1¢-on-2¢ red Grant postal card on cream paper at the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog value of $95,000.

Siegel has prepared four comprehensive catalogs for the Getlan, Mooz and Cook collections. Full details of the auctions, including downloadable versions of the catalogs and online bidding options, are available on the Siegel website.

For additional information, contact Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, 21 W. 38th St., Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10018.

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