The finest unused example of the 15c invert from the US' 1869 Pictorial Issue has sold at the top of The Beverly Hills Collection of United States Inverts, which was offered by Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries in New York on October 9.
The stamp is the finest of three recorded unused examples, and the only example known with original gum. It made $800,000 to lead the sale though fell short of its $1.2m estimate.
The stamp features intense rich colours and sharp impressions, with the vignette precisely centred with the frame. It was accompanied by a 2013 Philatelic Foundation certificate which states "genuine unused, o.g, previously hinged" with a grade of Fine 70.
The collection features the very finest inverted stamps from across the US, with the second highest bids achieved by a 30c invert from the same issue. Considered the finest of the seven recorded unused examples, and the only example with original gum, it sold for $600,000.
Also starring in the sale was the 1918 Inverted Jenny - one of America's most famous philatelic gems - that made $500,000. It is one of only five examples in mint never hinged condition, graded Very Fine 80.
Siegel also presented its sale of United States Essays and Proofs, which was led by the only example of the 30c Continental J Grill stamp to have been certified as genuine by the Philatelic Foundation. It sold for $15,000.
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