Regency Superior Auctions holding an auction of rare stamps, coins and sports memorabilia in St Louis, Missouri and online in just over a week's time.
We've already reported on the baseball cards printed for Japan when Matsutara Shoriki decided to see whether the game could catch on there, and invited over players of the calibre of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
However the cards, even a Babe Ruth one signed by 'Beibu Rusu' himself, are not the most coveted items in the sale. Those would by some distance be some rare stamps: two 1880 reprints of 1879 pieces and two 1909 rarities.
The latter are a Washington 4c orange-brown and an 8c olive green (both on bluish paper). Both display excellent, fresh colour and original gum, and the orange-brown is unusually fine considering that the issue is notoriously off-centre
They are estimated at $25,000 (for the orange-brown) and $20,000, and will be the missing pieces from some otherwise very high quality collections.
The older stamps are expected to marginally better them, however. These are reprints of the 1879 issues of the 30c Hamilton green-black and the 90c Perry dull carmine. Neither was issued with gum.
The 30c reprint, one of just 45 known, is an extremely fine, clear and well-centred gem quality piece. It has one un-doctored straight edge on the right side, and is estimated at $25,000.
But top lot status for the whole auction is expected to fall to the 90c stamp. Extremely rare, especially with such vibrant colour, it has been given a guide price of $30,000. The sale takes place on June 19.
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