George Washington free frank sees 275% increase in New York
July 19 saw stunning success for the free frank, as George Washington excels again
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Friday 10 July 2012
The continuing popularity of George Washington signed items at auction was demonstrated once again yesterday (July 19), when a free frank signed by the president sold 275% above its high estimate in New York.
Free franks were introduced in the days before postage stamps, to show that postage payment was not required.
The free frank was signed "G. Washington" as commanding general of the continental army and was sent to Declaration of Independence signer James Wilson. Dated January 23, 1778, the folded cover is noted as one of the finest George Washington free franks in existence, with its value boosted by a second Washington signature on the receipt docketing.
With only a minor flap repair, it sold for $37,500 against an estimate of $7,500-10,000. The price represents a 275% increase on estimate.
Items relating to the first president have been met with excellent results at auction of late, buoyed by the record-breaking sale of George Washington's personal copy of Acts of Congress. Paul Fraser Collectibles invites our customers to join this buoyant market, with our George Washington autographed lottery ticket - a fantastic example of the president's expressive penmanship.
Also selling well in the free frank section of the sale was a fine example from Abraham Lincoln, in which "Honest Abe" demonstrates an illegal usage by paying for his acquaintance's postage. Addressed in the president's own hand on April 14, 1863, the frank was accompanied by the original four page letter written by AG Henry. It sold 13.3% above its $7,500 high estimate for $8,500.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb selection of investment-grade stamps currently on offer. For Abraham Lincoln collectors we also have this unique item - a rare keepsake from the only home he ever owned.
Recent and related articles
· MonacoPhil 2009 stamp exhibition | 8 June 2012
· Investing in rare stamps | 7 June 2012
Guides and analysis
Images: Spink Shreves Galleries