An 1851 Franklin 1c Blue Type I stamp is expected to provide the highlight of Regency Superior's October sale at the 69th Annual Stamp Exhibition of Southern California (SESCAL) in Los Angeles.
The $75,000-valued example, which has an opening bid of $57,500, will auction on the second day of the October 3 to 6 sale.
The stamp's estimate can be attributed to its considerable rarity (fewer than 100 are known to still exist) and its "fault free" condition (the auction house states that just a handful of those known are "sound".)
"This example is not only sound, but features fresh paper, sharp impression and all around gorgeous appearance," says Regency Superior of the PSE-graded 75 "fine to very fine" stamp.
It features a good strike of the Mobile, Alabama circular date stamp. Another example sold for $431,250 in October 2007.
Also starring will be an 1869 Declaration of Independence 24c Green and Violet Invert, which the auction house calls a "gorgeous example of a true philatelic rarity".
Just 83 examples of this error are known, with its superb centring adding to its attraction.
Featuring four good margins, its light cancel enables the inverted vignette to show clearly on this piece, graded 70 by PSE.
It has an estimate of $50,000 and a starting bid of $37,500.
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The auction will also feature a number of rare pieces of space memorabilia, including a model of the 1967 Soviet Venera 4 spacecraft, and an Apollo 1 photograph bearing the autographs of all three tragic crewmembers.