1851 12d Canada black expected to hammer for $140,000 in New York

An 1851 12d Canada black is the top lot of a sale at Spink in New York on January 30, with an estimate of $140,000.

The Drs Joanne and Edward Dauer Collection features a selection of rare 19th century stamps from Canada and the British colonies of North America.

12d Canada black stamp
The 1851 12d Canada black is one of the world's rarest stamps

The stamp features a portrait of a young Queen Victoria and is exceptionally rare in any condition.

Only 1,451 of the stamps were bought over the three and a half years they were on sale, with the remaining 49,550 destroyed.

The high value of the stamp partly explains the lack of public interest, although the cheap paper that it was printed on was another factor.

Just 130 examples are known to have survived to the present day, with mint examples extremely scarce. The specimen in the sale features bold colour and a clear impression with a six-ring target cancel.

A slightly hinged example sold for $225,000 at an auction in Canada in 2013.

We are offering the finest example of the 1851 12d black in existence. Known as The Black Empress, the mint stamp has never been hinged and features a superb impression along with well balanced margins and the original gum.

It was graded Superb 98 by the Philatelic Foundation of New York in 2010.

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