1870 special printing pairs expected to auction for $100,000

A complete set of 92 1870 1c to $20 special printing pairs is expected to make $75,000-100,000 at Robert A Siegel in New York on March 26.

The lot is drawn from the collection of the Earl of Crawford, one of the largest sets of US stamps in history. The entire collection was sold after his death in 1914.

1875 pair complete
The set of 1875 printing pairs formerly belonged to the Earl of Crawford

Siegel comments: "This is the only extant set of pairs of the imperforate official special printings, which were cut from the original strips of five from the Earl of Crawford collection.

"The other stamps from the Earl of Crawford strips were divided into singles, and it is likely that only five complete imperf-orate sets exist.

The auction house goes on to describe the lot as "one of the most important and spectacular sets of united states special printings, reprints or re-issues."

A 3c Post Office "Sepcimen [sic]" error is likely to prove another highlight, with a valuation of $15,000-20,000.

The lot is the only recorded example of this error. As Siegel explains: "Assuming that one sheet was divided and sold before starting on the next sequential sheet (we do not know if that, in fact, was the practice), then no more than one 3c Post Office "Sepcimen" error (Position 21) was sold."

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