Harmer-Schau presents four-day auction at APS Stampshow in Richmond, Va.

May 2, 2021, 3 PM
The Aug. 3-6 Harmer-Schau auction at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow will include this rare plate block of the 1898 $2 orange-brown stamp from the United States Trans-Mississippi set.

By Michael Baadke

Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries will present a four-day public auction series in Richmond, Va., during the 2017 American Philatelic Society Stampshow. The auction will take place at the show in the Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. Third St.

Admission to the show is free. Full show details were published in the Linn’s Stamp News July monthly magazine (July 17, page 54).

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The auction features United States and worldwide material, including stamps, postal history and essays, specialized Canal Zone and Scandinavia, Great Britain and British Commonwealth, the “Lynn Cooper” zeppelin cover collection, ephemera, collections, and large lots.

Among the hundreds of U.S. stamp and postal history items is a rare top imprint plate block of four of the 1898 $2 orange-brown Mississippi River Bridge stamp from the Trans-Mississippi commemorative issue (Scott 293).

The block shows the Bureau of Engraving and Printing imprint in the upper-left selvage and plate No. 613 in the upper-right selvage.

Harmer-Schau describes the block as having a large top, very lightly hinged at top, with the right two stamps with perforations reinforced at the right, and the bottom-left stamp never hinged, “very well centered for the $2 and lovely color.”

Harmer-Schau reports no record of this plate block being offered in any auction in many decades, calling it extremely rare.

The plate block is accompanied by a 2017 certificate from Professional Stamp Experts.

It is offered with an opening bid set at $32,500, and an estimate of $50,000 to $60,000. The plate block of four is listed in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers with a value of $100,000 unused, with the value listed in italics to signify an item that can be difficult to value accurately.

Among the highlights of the worldwide material is a 1910 Rhodesia £1 scarlet and reddish mauve color error Double Heads stamp, described as a “gorgeous copy with excellent color, well centered for this” (Scott 118d). The auction estimate is $7,000 to $9,000, with bidding opening at $5,750.

For additional information about the Harmer-Schau auction, visit online at their website, to view lots and learn about online and other bidding opportunities.

Information also is available from Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries, 1333 N. McDowell Blvd., Suite B, Petaluma, CA 94954.