The 1fr, the rarest stamp of France's Ceres Issue, the nation's first, has led bids in Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries' sale of the Porter W Venn Collection of Exceptional Quality France.
The stamp sold for $75,000 at the November 13 auction in New York. The Venn Collection is one of the finest of its type ever assembled, with particular emphasis placed on obtaining stamps with exceptional eye-appeal.
The Ceres Issue was France's first, arriving in 1849 under the French Republic. Designed by Jacques-Jean Barre, each of the stamps in the series bears the head of Ceres, Roman goddess of growing plants, symbolising the rise of the newly formed republic.
The 1 franc stamp was printed in two basic shades, vermillion and carmine, though each separate colour has several sub-shades. The example as auction is the rarer of the two colours, a dull-orange red from the vermillion group, which is a key rarity in original gum condition for any collector of France.
In comparison, another example of the stamp in dark carmine, boasting original gum and full balanced margins, made just $9,500.
Early stamps took precedence in the sale, with a 15 centime green from the Ceres Issue scoring the second highest bids at $15,500. With nearly full original gum, full margins and a sharp impression, it is a fine example of one of the most desirable stamps of the issue.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has an exceptional collection of rare stamps for sale.