Bill Gross sells two $1.5m stamp collections

We recently reported on one of two parts of William H Gross's North American collection up for auction - and two sets of stamps are set to go under the hammer at $1.5m each.

Firstly, his collection of British North American stamps comprises 133 rare stamps, dominated by two 1851 black Canadian 12d lots.

Secondly, and smaller in number, is his $1.5m collection of 81 Confederate stamps. Most are Confederate state 'provisionals' - stamps issued by local postmasters from 1845 before the Postmaster General started in 1847.

The most spectacular pieces include the world famous Mount Lebanon Louisiana 5 cent provisional cover, thought to be the only stamp in the world printed with an accidental mirror image of the intended design. Pale brick-red and torn roughly at both sides, it is estimated at $385,000.

Postmarked 1863 and containing a letter about goods coming from Mexico, a Victoria Texas 10 cent red-brown on green provisional cover is one of two known covers of this stamp, and clearly the one in better condition. It is listed here at $125,000.

Victoria Texas 10c Red Brown on Green
Victoria Texas 10c Red Brown on Green

Many of the other stamps in the sale are valued at around $50,000-60,000. One particularly attractive example is a cover with the Livingston, Alabama 5 cent provisional. There are 11 in existence of which eight are on covers.

This, however, is an exceptionally fresh example which shows off the pale blue design, and is unmarred by the postmark.

Philatelists around the world will have the sale marked in their diaries as one of the unmissable events of the year.

The auction will take place on 57th street New York City November 19 at 10.30am EST, or bidders can register with the Stamp Auction Network and bid online.



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