Scarsdale collection beer stamps go down well in New York auction

As we reported, an exceptional collection of beer stamps - stamps attached to beer barrels for their delivery fees - was offered in New York at the end of last month.

It was a section of the Scarsdale collection - but a most unusual one, as the other sections have rarely varied a hair's breadth from perfect condition and such condition does not exist for many beer stamp issues as removing them from the barrel without damage is more or less impossible.

1917 Handstamped Surcharge Red-Brown on Blue beer stamp
The 1917 Handstamped Surcharge Red-Brown on Blue beer stamp

For all that, the examples offered on February 29 were of startling high grades. The top highlights were as follows:

A 1917 Red Brown on Blue (37 1⁄2c)Type A beer stamp with a handstamped surcharge on, good for  1⁄8 of a beer barrel is the only known example of the barrel 1914 surcharged issue with "act of 1917", this is of very fine appearance.

25 barrel beer stamp
The 25 barrel beer stamp

Previously part of Henry Tolman's collection (as were many in this auction) and before that the Joyce collection this easily beat its $17,500 listing to achieve $24,000.

It will be of no surprise that nothing beat the 1951, ($225.00) 25 beer barrel Black on Bright Blue Paper fromthe end of the auction, which beat its $20,000 listing to sell for $25,000. One of just two recorded, it was also from Tolman's hoard.

Double surcharge beer stamp
Double-surcharge beer stamp

However, it was not unmatched, as a double-surcharged example of the 1914 33 1/3c stamp (1/3 barrel) provisional estimated at a relatively modest $10,000 was eagerly fought over by bidders, and likewise achieved $25,000.

Collectors on the look-out for investment grade stamps from around the First World War period will want to take a look at this 1915 Deep Blue British 10 shilling stamp.


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