Upcoming H.R. Harmer sale: What are the top lots?

Apr 30, 2021, 7 AM

By Michael Baadke

The 3,012th sale by the California auction firm H.R. Harmer will take place Oct. 13-15 with a notably diverse selection of United States and worldwide individual lots and collections.

The material encompasses single stamps and blocks, a broad range of proofs and essays, all manner of postal history, and much more.

The first session on Thursday begins with more than 50 lots from the Van Ingen First Bureau Issues collection, which includes a number of proofs complementing the stamps and postal history offerings.

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A set of 1894 1¢ to $5 unwatermarked Roosevelt small die proofs — 17 proofs neatly arranged on a full sized 1903 gray card page (as issued) — is described as “clearly the best of only a handful [of] intact pages, only 85 sets issued” (Scott 246P2-284P2). H.R. Harmer notes a Scott catalog value of $5,075, with an opening bid of $1,800.

A later selection of proofs includes one lot of 1881 Atlanta trial color proofs on thin card for the 1869 stamp designs (Scott 123TC4-132TC4), missing only the rare 90¢ Lincoln with green frame and black vignette.

Created in limited numbers for the 1881 International Cotton Exposition in Atlanta, the proofs from this handsome group are described as sound, bright, and fresh, a small minority with small thins. Against a Scott catalog of $19,460, this lot opens with a $13,000 bid.

The auction offers 33 lots of the first two U.S. stamps, including a very nice unused 1847 10¢ black (Scott 2) with neatly trimmed close margins and “exceptional rich color, crisp impression.” The stamp is accompanied by a 1958 certificate from the British Philatelic Association attesting to its authenticity.

Citing the $15,000 Scott catalog value, the stamp opens at $4,500.

The U.S. postal history material features a few appealing bisects, including an 1869 2¢ brown bisect (Scott 113c) with a single (113) paying the 3¢ rate on a small cover to Pennsylvania.

Another bisect use from 1898 divides the 1895 4¢ dark brown Lincoln (Scott 269); a pen notation notes the lack of 1¢ and 2¢ stamps.

The Thursday session also includes some 60 lots from the Robert Markovits postal history collection. 

Collectors will find 90 covers franked with stamps of the Presidential series, approximately 300 covers of the Overrun Countries issue, groupings of various special delivery issues, and much more.

The second auction session on Friday offers more worldwide material, starting with British Commonwealth stamps and covers, and moving into general worldwide material. Boer War postal history is represented in this session with 145 lots. 

The Saturday session consists primarily of collections and accumulations, again with both United States and worldwide material.

Auction lots for this sale can be viewed online, and online bidding options are available.

Additional information about this auction is also available from H.R. Harmer, 2680 Walnut Ave., Suite AB, Tustin, CA 92780.