An 1868 15c E-Grill with full original gum was the lead lot in Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries' July 29-30 sale of United States stamps and possessions in New York.
The stamp is a fine example of this classic issue, which is rarely found with original gum. It sold for $12,000.
The 15c E-Grill is so named due to the method of its printing, with an E-shaped grill pressed into the stamp to create indentations and better absorb the cancellation ink - a technique to avoid reuse or forgery.
The US experimented with various shapes for the grills, with the Z-Grill among the rarest and most sought after. This example boasted a strong impression and deep shade, with clear grill points showing the entire grill.
With only seven examples recorded in Robert A Siegel's census as "sound", a fine example of the 3c brown from the 1875 re-issue of the 1861-66 definitives sold for $10,500.
The re-issue came as a result of the American civil war, with the post office granting collectors the chance to regain issues that may not have been available to them at the time.
This resulted in used stamps actually being rarer than unused examples, with enthusiasts preserving examples in mint condition.
At Paul Fraser Collectibles, we specialise in offering the finest stamps for sale, with some of the rarest examples from Great Britain and the Commonwealth.