Part Two of the Natalee Grace Collection of used US stamps will be highlighted by a stunning 1869 30c ultramarine and carmine invert next month.
The Natalee Grace collection is widely considered the greatest amassment of used US stamps ever formed and boasts the finest examples of every 19th and 20th century stamp in the Scott Catalogue. The first instalment of Grace's huge collection sold in June, when an 1868 10c Z-Grill achieved $260,000 to top the sale.
The second instalment will be sold through the same auction house in New York on September 19, and will begin with the 1869 Pictorial Issue and run through to the Pan-American Exposition Issue of 1901.
Starring in the sale will be the finest set of used 1869 inverts ever seen, which will be led by the magnificent 30c centre invert. An extremely fine gem and one of the finest used examples of the 30c 1869 pictorial invert in existence, the stamp stands as one of three of the 40 recorded used copies that is well centred and remains in sound condition. Its Scott Catalogue value is $110,000.
Another of the three well-centred and good condition stamps sold in 2010 for $95,000, which suggests that, with the 9.5% pa returns top-end world stamps have shown in the last 50 years, the stamp could well reach its catalogue figure.
Also appearing in the 1869 inverts section will be an extraordinary example of the 15c brown and black, which features a double impression, one of which is inverted. It is the finest of three recorded examples of the error stamp and also the highest graded of all 15c 1869 pictorial inverts. With excellent centring and a light strike of the "circle of wedges" cancel, it will sell with an $80,000 valuation.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we have our own remarkable selection of investment-grade rarities for sale. Our Canadian 1851 12d black is a unique example of the stamp, which is so rare it warrants its own name within the philatelic community - The Black Empress.