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5c carmine error cover brings 35% increase at US stamp auction

The US Collector's Series auction was highlighted by a cover featuring the 5c carmine error stamp


A superb cover featuring the 5c carmine error stamp from the 1916-1917 Washington-Franklin issue has provided one of the top sales in the US Philatelic Collector's Series auction, held in Dallas yesterday (November 15).


The error stems from a technician transferring 5c images to a problematic 2c plate



The rare colour error stamp sold for $6,750, exceeding the estimated $5,000 sale price by 35%. Other stamps in the 1916-1917 Washington-Franklin issue also sold well, in one of the most successful sections of the auction.

The Washington-Franklin stamp issues were produced in the US between 1908 and 1922, with the distinctive features of the two engraved heads of the presidents used across all denominations.

The 1916-1917 series of the issue saw the end of the use of watermarked paper for the US' definitive stamps, as well as being the only year in which the stamp designs did not change in any way, using the same denominations and colours employed in the 1914-1915 series.

The stamp at auction was one of 20 known cover examples printed in a paler shade of carmine, and one of only a fraction of that number known as single usages. It is affixed to the Maxwell Motor Co. corner card cover by a "Dayton, Ohio/Aug 27 1917" machine cancel, and was sent to Winchedon, Massachusetts.

The cover was sold in excellent condition, with just light staining to the bottom left of the stamp and a small corner crease at the top right, which affects just a single perforation.

1916-1917 $1 violet black washington-frankline mint stamp
The $1 stamp is almost never offered both in gem quality and never hinged
condition



Also selling well was a superbly centred and well margined example of the $1 violet black from the same series. In mint condition, with full original gum (never hinged), it sold for $4,250, bringing a 203% increase on its $1,400 valuation.

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Images: Spink Shreves

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Last updated: 16 November 2012