Robert E. Lee signature franked cover in Regency-Superior auction at Chicagopex

Oct 29, 2014, 11 AM

Regency-Superior of St. Louis is the official auctioneer for the Chicagopex 2014 stamp show taking place Nov. 21-23 at the Westin Chicago Northwest, 400 Park Blvd., Itasca, Ill.

The Regency-Superior public auction at Chicagopex will consist of two sessions: one beginning at 11 a.m. (Central Time) Saturday, and the second at the same time Sunday. The sale will offer close to 2,700 lots of material with classic U.S. stamps (including plate blocks and full panes) and errors, a strong showing in Confederate States postal history, plus many more U.S. and worldwide stamps, covers, collections and more.

A prize among the Confederate offerings is a stampless cover franked with the signature of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (signed as “R E Lee, Genl”). The envelope is addressed to Gen. Fitz Lee in Richmond, Va.

Identified by Regency-Superior as a field letter from the 1860s addressed in Robert E. Lee’s own hand, the blue cover has a small tear at top left and no back flap, according to the auction catalog description. It is accompanied by certificates from the Philatelic Foundation (dated 2004) and Confederate Stamp Alliance (2010).

The auction catalog places a presale estimate of $5,000 to $7,000 on the cover, noting that Robert E. Lee signatures are in great demand.

The auction also includes a mint never-hinged example of the 4¢ error stamp (Scott 233a) from the 1893 Columbian set, printed in blue ink intended for the 1¢ stamp instead of the correct ultramarine.

Described as a “brilliant sound example of this iconic 19th century error,” the stamp is accompanied by a Philatelic Foundation certificate from 1993 and a 2014 certificate from Philatelic Stamp Experts.

Although the never-hinged error is listed in the 2015 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers with a value of $32,500, it is offered in this sale with a presale estimate of $19,000.

An intriguing selection of modern U.S. errors and varieties offered during this auction includes a mint never-hinged plate block of the 1972 8¢ Tom Sawyer with black and red intaglio ink omitted (Scott 1470b), and a unique ZIP block of the 1975 10¢ Postal Service Bicentennial issue with the red 10¢ inscription omitted (1575b).

Regency-Superior will also offer an upper right mint single with attached selvage of the upright variety of the 2013 $2 Jenny Invert self-adhesive stamp. The variety showing the Jenny biplane flying right side up was intentionally created by the U.S. Postal Service in just 100 panes of six stamps and randomly distributed among Postal Service stock in blind packaging.

One of the 19 panes reported discovered to date by collectors has been broken into four singles and one pair. Regency-Superior auctioned a lower left single from the pane Aug. 23 at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Hartford, Conn., for $14,875 (including the 19 percent buyer’s premium added by Regency-Superior).

The stamp in the upcoming auction is listed with an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.

Full information about the Chicaogpex auction, including details about bidding online or by mail, fax or phone, can be found on the Regency-Superior website at, or contact Regency-Superior, 229 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108.