3c Playing Cards imperforate leads Bulkley collection at $24,000

A fine example of the 3c Playing Cards imperforate stamp has sold with excellent results as part of the Jonathan Bulkley collection auction on October 24.

3c playing cards imperforate stamp revenue
The imperforate format is much rarer than its perforated counterpart

The San Francisco auction featured Bulkley's collection of US revenue stamps as well as his collection of Match and Medicine private die issues. Both collections had been fastidiously assembled, with each stamp selected for its beauty with an emphasis on marginal examples and hand stamped cancellations.

The 3c Playing Cards imperforate achieved the highest bids of the revenue stamps offered, selling for $24,000. The stamp was part of the first revenue issue of 1862-1871 and, as the name suggests, it was used to indicate the tax payable on playing cards.

The issue was printed in both perforated and imperforate versions, and saw very little use with a comparatively low printing of 386,106. The imperforate version is much rarer than its counterpart, with just 7,000 of the total issue in the imperforate format.

$3.50 Inland Exchange imperforate revenue stamp
This $3.50 is considered one of the finest in existence

Also from the first revenue issue was the $3.50 Inland Exchange imperforate, which sold for $15,000. The stamp featured a bottom margin showing its plate mark, a light manuscript cancel and huge to large margins. According to the auction house, it is "without doubt one of the finest in existence".

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