A stunning 1869 30c centre invert is to provide the main draw for collectors in the forthcoming sale of the Nick Kirke Collection of Gem-Quality Used US Stamps, which will be held between October 23-24 in New York.
Kirke has amassed an impressive collection of the finest used US stamps, which the auction house describes as "the culmination of determined acquisitiveness and careful grading of each stamp". An early exponent of the PSE grading system, he has managed to attain an impressive record of PSE Set Registry accolades, with his collection maintaining an average grade of 99.33.
The apex of the collection is Kirke's selection of 1869 pictorial inverts, with the 30c centre inverted carmine and blue standing as the most highly valued. The stamp boasts unusually bright colours with fine impressions of the flags and central design. It features a bold red leaf cancellation, which perfectly complements its colouration.
Only five of the 40 recorded used inverts are cancelled in red, and this example is said to be the finest. A spectacular offering, it is expected to see bids in the region of $110,000. Another brilliant example of the 30c invert sold for $90,000 in September, as part of the Natalee Grace collection.
Also starring from the 1869 pictorial inverts is the 24c green and violet centre invert. One of 89 recorded used examples, the stamp is graded F 70 by PSE and there is just one graded higher. It will sell with a $32,500 estimate.
The collection goes on to chart the course of US philately from the postmaster's provisionals through to the 1919-1921 rotary waste issue.
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