A stunning example of the 1856 5c Red Brown has sold at the top of Robert A Siegel's May 22 auction of United States Essays, Proofs and Stamps in New York.
The stamp had been expected to sell for around $30,000, but eager collectors pushed the final sale price up to $37,500 - a 25% increase that acts as testament to its scarcity and condition.
Issued in 1856, the 5c stamp came five years after the 1c, 3c and 12c stamps had been issued, and one year after the 10c.
It was mainly used to pay the 5c shore-to-ship rate for mail sent overseas, but was also employed in multiples for the 10c transcontinental or 15c US-French treaty rates.
Of all the stamps of this issue - with the exception of some 1c and 10c variants - the 5c Red Brown is the hardest to obtain, especially in sound condition.
Most examples are found with their margins cut into, a problem which derived from the spacing between the stamps on the imperforate sheets.
However this example boasts large to huge margins all around, with full original gum and the barest tracing of hinging.
These factors, combined with intense colour and proof-like impression, make this one of the finest examples known.
Another example to rival the present 5c stamp sold in Robert A Siegel's auction of The Scarsdale Collection Part II in 2006, bringing $57,500.
As stamp specialists, Paul Fraser Collectibles can help you source the stamps you need to make your collection complete. Call us now on +44 (0)117 933 9500 or email email@example.com.