Stamp pairs that carry high Scott values highlight upcoming Kelleher sale

May 1, 2021, 3 PM

Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions will offer its Flagship sale over the course of three days, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, at the firm’s offices in Danbury, Conn.

The public auction will feature United States and worldwide stamps and postal history, with items from the William Weiss Jr. postal cards collection, classic U.S. stamps and more recent varieties, British Empire including Canada and Indian States, and much more.

One handsome highlight of this sale is a horizontal pair of the United States 1857 1¢ blue perforated issue that includes types III and IIIa (from left to right, Scott 21 and 22).

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Both stamps on their own are sought-after collectibles but the type III left stamp with broken curved frame line at both top and bottom is the more scarce, valued at $17,500 unused in the 2016 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, with the value in italics to signify an item that can be a challenge to value accurately.

The type IIIa (described by Scott as “Similar to III with the outer line broken at top or, rarely, at bottom but not both”) carries a $2,400 unused value in the Scott catalog.

Scott also makes a point to value the horizontal pair that includes a type III with IIIa, like this one, and assigns it a value of $22,500 in italics.

The pair in this auction is accompanied by Philatelic Foundation certificates from 2008 and 2014.

Described by Kelleher as “among the choicest obtainable examples deserving placement in a collection of distinction, Very Fine,” the unused pair is given an estimated value of $15,000 to $20,000, and is listed with an opening bid of $7,500. 

Another pair of U.S. classics, this one used, is described as unique in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog, a fact noted also by Kelleher.

The 1873 10¢ brown Thomas Jefferson from the Continental Bank Note Co. printing is offered as the unique horizontal pair, imperforate between (Scott 161d).

“It is the only known example of a Bank Note issue imperf between, other than the 3¢ Continental and the 2¢ Special Printing of 1883,” Kelleher notes.

The stamps are each struck with a cork cancel and are described as very fine with a negligible corner crease at bottom left.

With a 1986 Philatelic Foundation certificate, the pair is listed with an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000 and an opening bid of $4,000.

One of America’s modern stamp puzzlers is the H-rate Hat postcard rate stamp with yellow background, often referred to simply enough as the Yellow Hat stamp.

The stamp was printed for a 1998 rate change but never officially issued by U.S. Postal Service authorities. Nonetheless, examples began turning up the following year, some clearly used on mail and postmarked, and others in mint condition.

The Kelleher auction offers an unusual example on piece, tied with the 1972 14¢ Fiorello H. LaGuardia definitive (Scott 1397).

The Yellow Hat stamp is not listed in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog, but it is pictured with a note that says the used stamp has a value of $2,250.

This example on piece is tied with part of a slogan cancel, and is estimated by Kelleher at $1,500 to $2,000, opening at $750.

The three-day auction offers 1,569 lots of U.S. stamps, postal history, possessions and other back-of-the-book material, followed by more than 820 lots of foreign material.

Full auction details are available online, including online bidding options.

Additional information is available by contacting Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions LLC, 4 Finance Drive, Suite 100, Danbury, CT 06840.