Part one of the Natalee Grace Collection of used stamps of the United States is to come to auction on June 7 in New York.
The dedicated collector has secured the finest examples of every 19th and 20th century stamp in the Scott Catalogue, specialising in rarities and defects.
Used stamp collections are notoriously hard to compile; cancels can either accelerate the worth of a stamp through its placement, colour and rarity, or destroy it completely.
This is perfectly demonstrated by one of the lead lots in the auction, a one cent 1851-1856 issue imperforate, whose Richmond, VA date stamp leaves every aspect of the design complete and visible.
In some cases, used stamps are actually rarer than unused examples.
In 1875 the National Bank Note Co. was authorised to reprint the 1861-1866 issue, with exact records kept of how many were sold by the Third Asst. Postmaster General's Department. Most of the sold examples went unused, with only philatelists and stamp dealers using them on registered mail.
The Natalee Grace Collection features an unrivalled selection of the sought-after used variety. A 90c blue re-issue, featuring a New York date stamp cancel is one of only three in sound condition, warranting an estimate of $225,000.
Among the numerous error stamps will be a complete collection of the renowned 1869 pictorial inverts. These stamps are noted not only as the first bi-colour stamps issued in the United States, but also the first errors classed as such by the Post Office Department. The finest of all the inverts in the collection is a 15 cent 1869 invert, which is the best of just three extant examples.
Also featuring a selection of 20th century rarities and stamps printed on both sides, the auction will see the Natalee Grace Collection shine as one of the most important of its kind.
You can read more of Paul Fraser Collectibles' coverage from the sale, here. We will, of course, be bringing you more from the sale, including the results in the coming weeks.
Paul Fraser Collectibles is passionate about philately, for more exciting news stories visit our dedicated Stamps section.
PFC Auctions, our sister company, has a superb range of investment grade British postal stamps in its current auction, offering great value to collectors.