The US Post Office in China error, allowed to sell by a retiring postmaster, heads a New York sale
Following their sale of the The Louis Grunin Collection of Illustrated Covers today, Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries will be having another sale of rare stamps immediately.
Their 173 lot sale of valuable United States Post Offices in China takes place tomorrow, and will feature the collection of John Thomas.
The expected top lots of the sale are two highly desirable examples of the famous $2.00 on $1.00 Offices in China Double Surcharge.
These stamps were the victims of an error which occurred during the overprinting of stamps for use at the US Postal Agency in Shanghai. In the run-up to New Year's Eve 1922 - when the office was scheduled to close - a double surcharge of $2 was applied.
It is believed that the Deputy Postal Agent, Mr E H Murray, knew of the error but allowed it to be put on sale, as he was retiring and the Agency was closing.
The two examples on offer here are singles, though one has been cancelled with a U.S. Pos. Service, Shanghai, China December 23 datestamp (covers are much rarer - only six are known).
The uncancelled example has the fresher paper and better margins (not so slim on the left), and is offered with an estimate of $8,500 whilst the other is expected to sell for $8,000.
The sale takes place tomorrow in New York, though bids can be placed online. With Chinese stamps proving to be an especially strong market this year (with records broken at InterAsia) the auction will be well worth watching, especially for those considering rare stamps as an investment.