'Radiant and vivid' Scarlet Vermillion stamp could deliver $35,000

As we've reported Spink Shreves of New York is holding three major auctions at the end of this month:  The Joseph M Mahfood Collection of Jamaica and two relating to fine pieces from British North America.

The more spectacular of the two we've already described in detail: The single-stamp auction to find a new home for the Black Empress of Canada - a spectacular example of a classic rarity: the 1851 12d black Canadian stamp which is undamaged, well-margined, never-hinged and fresh after nearly 160 years.

However, given that that stamp is listed at $400,000-500,000 it will be out of reach of even many serious stamp investors who specialise in BNA stamps.

Fortunately the Trillium collection will offer a broad range of interesting and downright beautiful stamps from British North America and the British Empire at large. These generally make it strong investments.

The BNA section contains some nice mint and used classics, multiples, proofs, early airmails and collection balances from Canada, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The British Empire has a wonderful selection from Commonwealth countries from A to Z. Interesting rarities, specimens, multiples and collection balances round out this section.

Silver Jubilee Prussian Blue stamp
Silver Jubilee Prussian Blue stamp

Highlights of the 500 stamp sale include:

A set of 1898-1902 1c-20c "Numerals" in the form of plate proofs on card in blocks of four. A striking well-matched collection, each features large margins all around as well as fresh colours. Blocks of this proof set are rarely seen, and these are very fine and handsome.

They carry a listing of CAN$ 16,000 (around US16,100). From Britain itself, there is a 2 ½ d Prussian Blue Silver Jubilee stamp.

This is an extraordinary mint example of this popular and rare error of colour, brilliantly fresh and crisp, with gorgeous intense rich colour, full clean original gum that is never hinged, very fine and choice; only four sheets of this colour error were ever discovered , and this example is catalogued at £15,000 ($23,400).

The likely top lot is an 1857 1/- Scarlet vermilion stamp - a very desirable example of this very rare mint stamp, featuring a marvellous overall brilliance, with Spink Shreves referring to its "radiant colour and a vivid impression on fresh paper".

1857 shilling scarlet vermillion stamp
1857 shilling scarlet vermillion stamp

Showing four margins ranging from close at left to large at right, with a large part of its original gum, it is very fine; one of the few completely sound original gum examples of the 1857 One Shilling Scarlet vermilion in existence.

For these reasons it is expected to sell for $35,000 in Spink Shreves's auction which is to take place on January 27, immediately following the Black Empress auction.


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