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Monday, July 12, 2010

Pony Express jostles for second place in rare stamps auction

The 1860 classic trailed behind a spectacular error stamp: the 1861 3c Rose, a very rare specimen:-

Next week in California, the Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries are offering a 1507 lot two day auction of rare stamps from around the world: the first day including British, Commonwealth, US and Rest of the World Singles whilst the second offers stamps from US and Worldwide Collections.

Two of the most spectacular pieces are from the US singles section:

Firstly a very rare Pony Express, sent eastwards across the United States (one of only 54 known to have done so during the 'second period' of August 15, 1860 to April 14, 1861) on September 22, 1860.

Pony Express
Rare eastbound Pony Express cover

Displaying a 10¢ Nesbitt entire and attractive strike of the Running Pony in blue, the cover was received in North Havenstraw in October (probably October 4), and whilst now wrinkled it remains a desirable piece and carries an estimate of $7,500-10,000.

The only item listed higher than this in the sale is an 1861 3c Rose with printing error. The spectacular error can only be described as the worst centring a philatelist is likely to see, and only 11 used examples are known (some inverted, but not this one).

1861 3c Rose

This very fine used example is expected to sell for $15,000-18,000 in the auction, which takes place on July 10 at San Francisco Airport.