Unique Jamestown Exposition cover brings $19,000 at US stamp auction

An extremely rare cover that features a unique combination of stamps from the 1907 Jamestown Exposition was one of the star lots in a US auction held January 11-13 in California.

1907 Jamestown Issue combination cover
The exposition issues provide some of the most attractive stamps in US philately

The envelope was sent from "Exposition Station Norfolk, Va" on April 26, the very first day of issue for the commemorative stamps. It sold for $18,975, as the only known combination of the 1c and 2c stamps.

The stamps were issued to commemorate the Jamestown Exposition that was held to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Virginia Colony. Three such stamps marked the event: the 1c depicting Captain John Smith, the 2c showing the founding of Jamestown and the 5c featuring Pochahontas.

As well as sporting the only known combination, it is also one of just two first-day covers from this issue. It sold in fair condition, though the right-hand 1c stamp has a small tear and the left-hand example has short perforations.

Commemorative exposition stamps serve as 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.

1875 reissue 15c black stamp
The 1875 reissue was sold in low numbers only through the Third Assistant Postmaster General's Office

Also starring was the 15c black from the 1875 re-issue of the 1861-1867 issue, which achieved an 82% increase on its $12,000 high estimate to realised $21,850. Only 397 examples of this striking stamp were ever issued, with the copy at auction boasting a nice duplex cancel.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic selection of stamps for sale, including a spectacular mint block of 12 from plate three of the famous Penny Black issue.

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