$1 Trans-Mississippi stamp excels with 1,614% increase in Merlin auction

$1 Trans-Mississippi stamp excels with 1,614% increase in Merlin auction

A magnificent example of the $1 Trans-Mississippi stamp led the Merlin collection in New York

A stunning mint example of the $1 Trans-Mississippi has brought outstanding results to the New York auction of the Merlin Collection of superb quality US stamps.

Held on November 28-29, the collection offered used stamps from the 1847 issue through to the 1890-1893 Small Bank Note issue,as well as original gum examples from the 1893 Columbian issue through to modern rarities.

$1 trans-mississippi stamp auction Now a popular issue, the $1 Trans-Mississippi stamp caused a furore at the time due to its late release - after the show had opened

The 1898 $1 Trans-Mississippi stamp was initially valued at just $3,500, but brought the most dramatic increase of the sale, selling for an impressive $60,000. The price represents a 1,614% increase on the original estimate.

The Trans-Mississippi issue was first released as a set of nine commemorative stamps to mark the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition,held in Omaha, Nebraska. With vignettes showing classic scenes from the West, they were originally intended to be printed in two colours but -due to the Spanish-American war -were eventually issued using only single colours.

Considered one of the most beautiful designs in US philately, the $1 stamp shows "Western Cattle in Storm" and is based on a painting by Scottish artist JA MacWhirter. The example at auction is a spectacular specimen, in mint never hinged condition and graded Superb 98 by PSE.

Superb 98 is the highest grading ever awarded to a mint example of the stamp, and it has certainly earned it. It boasts crisp paper, unusually wide and balanced margins, with long and full perforations.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has an extraordinary collection of the finest stamps for sale. For more of the latest news and investment advice from across the philatelic community, sign up to our free weekly newsletter.

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