$1 Trans-Mississippi stamp excels with 1,614% increase in Merlin auction
A magnificent example of the $1 Trans-Mississippi stamp led the Merlin collection in New York
A stunning mint example of the $1 Trans-Mississippi has brought outstanding results to the New York auction of the Merlin Collection of superb quality US stamps.
Held on November 28-29, the collection offered used stamps from the 1847 issue through to the 1890-1893 Small Bank Note issue,as well as original gum examples from the 1893 Columbian issue through to modern rarities.
The 1898 $1 Trans-Mississippi stamp was initially valued at just $3,500, but brought the most dramatic increase of the sale, selling for an impressive $60,000. The price represents a 1,614% increase on the original estimate.
The Trans-Mississippi issue was first released as a set of nine commemorative stamps to mark the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition,held in Omaha, Nebraska. With vignettes showing classic scenes from the West, they were originally intended to be printed in two colours but -due to the Spanish-American war -were eventually issued using only single colours.
Considered one of the most beautiful designs in US philately, the $1 stamp shows "Western Cattle in Storm" and is based on a painting by Scottish artist JA MacWhirter. The example at auction is a spectacular specimen, in mint never hinged condition and graded Superb 98 by PSE.
Superb 98 is the highest grading ever awarded to a mint example of the stamp, and it has certainly earned it. It boasts crisp paper, unusually wide and balanced margins, with long and full perforations.
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