Unique 1875 90c stamp brings $25,000 to US auction

The auction of the Cloudrest Collection of United States Stamps was led on October 25 by the sale of a unique example of the 90c carmine.

90c Plate number stamp Continental Bank Note
Less than half of the recorded copies have perforations on all four sides

The 90c stamp originates from the Continental Bank Note Company special printing, which was issued following the company acquiring the contract and plates that were first used by the National Bank Note Company in 1869. Continental was later acquired by the American Bank Note Company, who redesigned the stamps and reduced their size by 10%.

The Continental Bank Note Company issue can be distinguished from the other bank note stamps by tiny marks that were added to the plates of the lower values.

The stamp at auction is the only recorded plate number example from the 1875 special printing, with "No. 23" printed in the selvedge. It boasts full perforations on all four sides, which is a rarity for this issue as the majority were separated by scissors, with the perforations often trimmed away. Of the 46 90c special printing copies recorded, less than half have perforations on all sides.

The stamp sold for $25,000, falling just short of the $26,000 estimated value. Another example of the 90c stamp, this time from the National Bank Note issue of 1870-71, sold for $10,000 on October 24 as part of the renowned Nick Kirke collection.

More strong results in the auction were seen by coil stamps, with a scarce mint example of the 10c horizontal coil selling 266.6% above its $3,000 estimate for $11,000.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a superb collection of investment-grade stamps currently available. For more of the latest news and investment advice from across the philatelic community, sign up to our free weekly newsletter.

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