Neil Armstrong stars in sale of stamps from around the world, and the skies

Stamp collectors and investors are now looking ahead to next year for more high quality sales. Fortunately, they won't have to look very far with Earl P Apfelbaum's first auction of the new year taking place in the first week of January.

Their latest Public Auction offering of 5,537 lots will be scheduled for 2 sessions. The first session, held Tuesday, January 4th, consists of 2,600 lots of United States singles & collections including Back-of-the-Book and Possessions.

The second session will be on Wednesday, January 5th. This session offers all Great Britain & British Commonwealth singles & collections and General Foreign complete including collections & accumulations. This session has 2,937 lots.

Apollo 10 signed cover
Apollo 10 signed cover

As is sometimes the case, the auction contains some lots which are likely to appeal at least as much to collectors from other fields as from stamp collecting. Three commemorative covers in particular might interest many fans of early aviation and space exploration in the early stages of the auction:

Firstly, there is a commemorative cover for the 25th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight cancelled at Kitty Hawk signed by Orville Wright. In extremely fine condition, it is likely to sell for $1,000.

Space collectors will be more excited to see a triple-signed Apollo 10 cacheted cover, autographed by Thomas Stafford, John Young and Gene Cernan. That might achieve $1,400.

There is even a set of three Apollo 11 Crew Space City cacheted covers, one for each and autographed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

Whilst some of the individual stamp lots are certainly worthy of a good collection, such as an 1845-46 5c Black New York with its original gum, which might bring $1,500, the most interesting lot might be a collection of stamps from the People's Republic of China.

This offers a huge stock of material, going from 1980 to 2008 in nine cartons. Included are mint singles, multiples, souvenir sheets, unexploded booklets and First Day Covers (cacheted and unaddressed), maximum cards, Post Office packs, Year Sets and much more.

The lot is expected to bring around $10,000-12,000. Buying large collections of slightly lower-grade stamps is not always as good an investment as one or two in perfect condition, but it does allow for lucky finds, or expert finds if you fancy yourself to be an expert philatelist.

In any case, the market for Chinese stamps, especially from the People's Republic, is so strong that there is a good chance that the lot will sell and be re-sold for considerably more than that estimate - already bids have reach $8,500. Watch this space for results of the sale, which takes place online until January 4-5.


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