US 1857 stamp cover commands $18,000 at Harmers International

Harmer's International's April 14 philatelic auction in New York pulled in collectors from across the world, but it was a cover bearing a unique franking of 1857 US stamps that saw the highest bids.

1857 Stamp Cover
The US 1857 Classic Issue was the nation's first to feature perforations

The sale spanned world stamps and postal history, though was strongest in its US section which featured The Burlington Collection of US Stamps and The Department Collection of US Officials. The 1857 cover sold for $18,000, nearing the top of its $15,000-20,000 estimate.

The cover bore the 1c Blue type V, 3c Dull Red type III, 5c Brick Red and 10C Green type III, all of which originate from the 1857 issue, which was America's first to feature perforations. Each of the stamps was tied by red grids on a neat yellow envelope with a red "NEW YORK APR 10 BR. PKT" transit.

1856 5c Red Brown cover
The 1856 5c Red Brown cover bears a manuscript 'by the Prussian Closed Mail' and German receiver on the reverse

Selling at $5,000 was a cover sporting six examples of the 1856 5c Red Brown, which was sent to Germany from New York. Five stamps had margins all around, with just one example where the top was added and painted in. Unfortunately, the right-hand stamp had been replaced.  

Outside of US stamps, a New Zealand 1862 Queen Victoria "Chalon Head" 1 shilling Deep Green on perlure paper sold for $9,500. One of the rarest of all New Zealand stamps, the auction house estimates that there are perhaps two other examples in existence and that this is the finest.

We have a fantastic selection of rare stamps for sale, with some of the finest examples of Great Britain available on the current market. Also featuring is Canada's most iconic gem - The Black Empress - a unique example of the famous 1851 12d Black.

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