Outstanding United States and Hawaiian mixed cover delivers $50,000 at stamp sale

The first section o Raymond Vogel's collection of rare stamp covers from US and Samoan postal history has been sold at Siegel with impressive results all across the board. Many of items offered were returning to the market for the first time since the 1958 Krug sale, the 1969 Matthies sale, and auctions of a similar calibre.

Just to re-capitulate: the collection comprises 180 lots of 12c and 15c 1861-68 Issues and 120 lots spanning Covers to Famous Americans, French Colonies Eagles Issue Covers and Samoan philately. The top lots were not exactly as expected.

One particularly strong performer was a very fine, unique mixed-issue franking cover, specifically a 15c Black, F. Grill (98) used with 3c Ultramarine (114) and 10c Yellow. The colours are vibrant, and the stamps tied by 'circle of diamonds' cork cancels.

One of only three covers bearing the 10-cent 1869 pictorial issue used to South Africa, the piece was once part of the Krug collection and used to illustrate Michael Laurence's recent 10c 1869 book. Bidders hurried past the $10,000-15,000 to catch it, and it finally achieved $26,000.

Bissell correspondence India Cover
Bissell correspondence Indian Cover
(Click to enlarge)

The expected top lot in the sale was the only recorded use of the 90-cent 1861 issue on a cover to India, which is the first known cover from the famous Bissell correspondence of Reverend Lemuel Bissell - a missionary who arrived in India in 1851.

Featuring a 90c Blue stamp with bright colour, used with 10c Yellow Green and 12c Black, E. Grill tied together by quartered cork cancels, the cover was expected to sell for $30,000-40,000 and this proved remarkably accurate as it achieved $35,000.

The top slot however went to a 12c Black stamp with F Grill on a cover, together with a horizontal pair of 2c Browns and a Hawaii 1866, 5c Blue. The cover originated in Hawaii and is addressed to London, England.

Hawaii To London Cover
Hawaii To London Cover
(Click to enlarge)

This too was in very fine condition (that was true of almost all of the Vogel collection), and is the only recorded example of this particular mixed-issue and mixed country franking from Hawaii.

One of the most outstanding United States and Hawaiian mixed-franking covers in existence, it carried an estimate of $15,000-20,000. Collectors saw it as an ever better investment than that, however, and when the hammer came down it had achieved a stunning $50,000.


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