1880 5-cent special printing realises $80,000 in November 7 sale

An 1880 5-cent special printing was the headline lot of Robert A Siegel's November 7 sale in New York, achieving $80,000.

The stamp is one of only 18 examples of the 5-cent American Banknote Company special printing.

5c special printing
The 5-cent special printing is one of
just 18 in the world

One third of the stamps feature faults, with this example bearing a small toned patch at the top of President Taylor's head.

Variations in the width of the margins are also in evidence (wide at the left and the top, to just in at the right and the bottom).

The special printing was first issued in 1880, following the American Bank Note Company's buyout of the Continental Bank Note Company in 1879.

Following the takeover, the original designs produced by the Continental Bank Note Company were printed on softer paper and featured greater variation in colour.

They quickly became some of the most coveted items in US philately.

A 10-cent perforated Type I example of the 1857-1860 issue sold for $42,500.

Type I characteristics are only found on the 20 stamps from the bottom row of the plate, and are defined by complete plumes at the bottom.

The lot featured the original gum, along with bold colour, and is extremely rare in superior condition.

A 12-cent 1861-issue first design made an identical figure of $42,500.

Just 16 examples of the 1861 12-cent first design are recorded.

The stamp features its original gum, which covers slightly less than half the back, along with a minor surface scrape in the bottom margin.

This week has seen strong sales at Robert A Siegel, which has held auctions of the 1893 Columbian Issue and the 1898 Trans-Mississippi issue.

We have a selection of rare stamps available. 

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