A US 1847 10c black large die essay on proof paper has starred at a New York stamp auction.
The rare item sold for $19,000 at Robert A Siegel on September 30, far above its $15,000 high estimate.
"This is the only recorded essay incorporating both the vignette and frame for the 10-cent 1847 issue in private hands," the auction house said, explaining its strong showing.
"An important and historic artifact of the first United States general stamp issue."
The auction also featured the $9,500 sale of a rare 1847 5 cent vertical pair bearing a superb "STEAM" handstamp - indicating its use on the Mississippi steamboat mail.
Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about postage stamp auctions.