An extremely rare cover featuring a unique combination of 1907 Jamestown stamps is to provide the highlight of a January 11-13 philatelic auction, which will be held in California.
The envelope, which was sent from "Exposition Station Norfolk, Va." on April 26, the very first day of issue, holds the highest estimate in the sale at $20,000-25,000. It features the only known combination of 1c and 2c stamps from the rare 1907 Jamestown issue.
The stamps were originally issued to commemorate the Jamestown Exposition of 1907, another of the US' popular expositions that was held to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in the Virginia Colony.
There were three stamps issued by the US government to mark the event: the 1c depicting Captain John Smith, the 2c showing the founding of Jamestown and the 5c that featured Pocahontas. The cover at auction is one of only two first day 2c covers known and the only combination of both the 1c and 2c stamp ever recorded.
Boasting two stamps of each value, the cover is in fine condition though the right-hand 1c has a small tear and the left-hand 1c has short perforations. Nonetheless, its extreme rarity is expected to carry bids to meet the pre-sale valuation.
The commemorative expositions stamps provide some of the most attractive and sought after rarities in US philately. In November, a $1 stamp from the Trans-Mississipi Exposition issue sold with a 1,614% increase on estimate at $60,000.
Also featuring is the 15c stamp from the 1875 re-issue of the 1861-1867 issue. Featuring a light duplex cancel and one of only 397 issued, it will be sold in very fine condition for $10,000-12,000.