1871 $500 Persian Rug stamp may see $15,000 at Kelleher Auctions

A magnificent example of the 1871 $500 Persian Rug stamp will lead Daniel F Kelleher Auctions' April 11-14 auction in Connecticut, entitled The Flagship Series Sale.

Large Persian Rug stamp
The Large Persian Rug would have been used to pay tax on a transaction over $5m, which explains the low numbers produced

The Large Persian Rug will sell with a $10,000-15,000 estimate. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful designs among US revenue stamps, and even in all of US postal history.

The $500 stamp and its counterpart, the $200 Small Persian Rug, were introduced in 1871 as part of a replacement issue for the 1862 first issue revenues, which had been blighted with counterfeiting.

This new issue was the first to feature three colours, a move intended as an additional security measure.

There were only 204 examples of the Large Persian Rug ever sold due to the fact that, with a $500 value, it could only be used to pay the tax on a $5m transaction, which was a huge sum of money at the time.

Only 67 of the 204 sold are known to have survived.

The example at auction bears a manuscript "P P M July 8 1872" cancel and is well centred with strong colours. However, it has a large filled-in thin patch at the centre, as well as other lesser flaws that have been repaired. That said, it retains a fine appearance and most examples of this rarity have faults.

Paul Fraser Collectibles brings you all the latest news on stamp collecting, as well as offering a superb selection of rarities in our online store.

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