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Friday, September 3, 2010

How much? A denomination error leads Regency Superior's rare stamp auction

The inconsistent block leads the way ahead of a colour trial of the sought-after 'Persian Rug'

Regency Superior is holding a fascinating collectibles auction on October 1-3. As we've reported, they've assembled an impressive collection of space memorabilia including a spacesuit, but many collectors will be at least as interested in the rare stamps on offer.

A spectacular Trial Colour Proof is one of the key lots. The Large Persian Rug $500 issue with bright colours is mounted on card, and bears a light strike of the purple 'Bureau of Engraving and Printing Feb. 25, 1891' oval handstamp.

An extremely fine and choice example, it is certainly extremely rare and probably unique, as the colour combination is listed in Scott only on bond paper. Dated to 1891, it is expected to achieve $15,000.

Colour trial $500 Large Persian Rug

Expected to just edge past on the day is an 1867 Washington 'Z' Grill 3¢ Rose. Though it might not be in the league of its cousin, the 1867 Franklin 'Z' Grill, the 3c Rose is one of the country's rarest issues, and this mint example is an extremely fine copy, well worthy of investment.

With fresh colour and its original gum, the 3c piece is lightly hinged with a pre-printing paper crease in the left margin that has been opened leaving some minor light soiling. Overall it is attractive and carries an estimate of $17,500.

The expected top lot, however, is a 1917 Washington Carmine imperforate 12 (3x4) block. Exceptionally attractive even at a glance, with fresh and bright colours, never hinged piece has a remarkable error.

5 cents in 2 cents rare 1917 Washington stamp block

Whilst the outer 10 stamps are of the 2c denomination, the central pair are marked 5c. Suitable to base a collection around, the gem piece is expected to leave the stage for around $35,000 in the online auction which ends in the morning on October 3.