1977 13 cent butterflies error block to make $15,000 in US sale

A highly desirable error block of four 13 cent butterflies will highlight a US stamps and world rarities auction to be held between August 23-25.

1977 Butterflies Block of Four
The block is one of just two issued with only a horizontal perforation

On June 6, 1977, the United States Postal Service issued four 13 cent stamps featuring butterflies commonly found across America. Designed by Stanley Galli, the stamps depict the swallowtail, checkerspot, dogface and orangetip, with the auction featuring a highly-desirable complete set.

The group of four at auction is said to be the nicer of the two blocks issued with just the horizontal imperforation, and is in excellent condition. Boasting original gum and having never been hinged, the margin block also displays the plate numbers 37830 and 37831. It is expected to sell for $10,000-15,000.

This estimate appears to be a fitting one as the Scott Catalogue lists a mint block of four at $15,000, matching the high estimate given by the auction house.

Also featuring in the errors section of the sale is a 1901 one cent Pan-American centre invert, which is expected to bring $6,000-8,000. The stamp was originally issued in a set of three to commemorate the Pan-American Exposition of the same year in Buffalo, New York, and stands as the more common of the inverts issued.

In April 2009, a mint one cent centre-inverted example sold for $19,000 at auction, with a complete set of all three stamps bringing a combined $199,000. The two cent and three cent stamps each achieved $90,000. The example at auction is in poorer condition, graded very fine with slightly disturbed original gum, hence its lowered value.

See our full range of investment-grade stamps here, which features a superb unmounted example of the King George V Seahorse in a highly desirable shade.

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