A fine example of the 1858 5c brick red Jefferson stamp will lead a US philatelic auction on October 5-7, with an estimate of $40,000.
Bids will open at $30,000 for the stamp, the brick red variety of which is a rarity at auction. It originates from the 1857-1861 classics issue, which were the first US stamps to feature perforations.
The 5c Jefferson was originally issued in 1857 in a dark red brown colour. Following the addition of perforations, its tone changed to a brick red colour, 135,000 examples of which were printed.
The 5c stamp saw its greatest usage as prepayment for the 5c open mail rate. It was also used to make up greater rates, making single usages on a cover even rarer.
The example at auction is unused, though its condition is marred by the removal of a hinge, which has caused a slight buckling. It will be accompanied by a Philatelic Foundation certificate that states its fine to very fine condition.
Mint condition examples of the stamp are worth up to $80,0000, according to the respected Scott Catalogue.
Also starring in the sale will be an extremely fine example of the notoriously poorly centred 1923 1c coil waste Perf 11. The stamp takes its name from the fact that it was salvaged from the waste produced by discontinued rotary plates - used for printing 500-stamp coils - and its 11 perforations.
One of the rarest US stamps, it features a partial "Register or Insure Your Valuable Mail" machine cancel and will auction with a $20,000 estimate. Buyers will have the chance to bid on one of the finest known examples of this incredibly scarce stamp on September 20, when it appears as part of the Natalee Grace Collection of used US stamps.
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