Dr Alexander Schauss Collection of US revenue stamps

October 4 will see the outstanding stamp collection of Dr Alexander Schauss offered in New York, headlined by a stunning example of the 3c "Playing Cards" imperforate.

3c playing cards imperforate US revenue stamps
The 3c imperforate is rarely seen in any condition at auction

Dr Alexander Schauss is a prominent US scientist who is currently working as the senior director of natural and medicinal products research at AIMBR Life Sciences in Washington. His collection contains an outstanding array of the finest US revenue stamps, tracking their early history.

A revenue stamp is one that is used by the government to collect taxes or fees on a range of products including tobacco, alcohol, medicine or drugs. They are usually purchased by a business and then attached to their products as part of the retail price.

In some countries, the history of the revenue stamp goes back even further than those used for postage, with England's first known occurrence being "stamp duty" on documents, which was introduced in 1694.

Schauss' collection will star the 3c "Playing Cards" imperforate as its top lot, which originates from the first ever US stamp issue. As the name suggests, the stamp was used to pay tax on playing cards, and this example boasts a particularly fine appearance with large margins and deep colouration.

An incredible rarity, an example in any condition is almost never seen at auction. The present lot will sell with a $32,500 estimate.

Following this will be an attractive example of the $500 "Large Persian Rug", which is considered one of the most beautiful stamps in US philately. One of just 204 ever issued, this example features a neat "The Cayuga Lake Railroad Company Sept. 15, 1871" cancellation and will sell for $16,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a brilliant collection of investment-grade British stamps currently available. For more of the latest on stamp collecting and some exclusive investment advice, sign up to our free weekly newsletter.

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