A cover displaying a strip of three French 1849 1 franc stamps has realised $85,000 at Robert A Siegel in New York.
It was the highlight of the May 29 sale of the Steven Walske Collection of US-France Transatlantic Mail.
In all, 250,000 of the stamps were issued in December 1848, but around 100,000 were recalled in December the following year.
It was designed specifically for national post, although there was a brief window in August 1849 where it was authorised for international mail.
This is the second largest multiple on a cover and the only recorded multiple on an international cover.
The auction house described the lot as an "extremely fine gem strip of the rare 1849 one-franc vermilion on a transatlantic cover to Philadelphia, paying the double rate via British packet.
"This is the only one-franc vermilion on cover to the United States and the highlight of the Walske collection."
Other highlights included an 1849 1 franc tete-beche pair on an American packet cover that made $50,000.
The lot is one of only two known tete-beche covers of the issue sent from France to the US, the other of which was also offered (it made $10,000).
The sale follows the successful first instalment of the auction of Walske's collection in March.
You can take a look at our incredible selection of stamps for sale here.
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