Siegel's final auction of the year, an eleven hundred lot-strong extravaganza of US stamps was completed on December 15. There was no question as to the leader of the sale.
Whilst there were several sales which achieved five figures, it seemed that everyone had zeroed-in on lot 59, which we highlighted ahead of the sale: a classic 1847 10c Black displaying George Washington - a true conditional rarity with wonderful eye-appeal.
You almost wish it could get together with The Black Empress of Canada and have beautiful stamp-babies…
To be precise, it is an extremely fine gem 10c Black with its original gum, light hinging at the top and huge to large margins. The detailed impression clearly shows every detail of the engraving on the fresh deeply blued paper.
It is easily one of the finest original-gum examples of the 10-cent 1847 issue in existence with four large margins. The 10 cent is notoriously difficult to obtain in completely sound condition.
This superb stamp is a true condition rarity and a marvellous example of the first United States general issue. It was expected to sell for $35,000, but in the event collectors were in a fighting mood.
The beautiful black stamp easily sped away to a stunning final price of $120,000.
Early stamps in good condition are always coveted by collectors. We've recently acquired a piece of philatelic history which goes on stage further: an extremely rare Great Britain 1840 Rainbow Trial presentation sheet - trials which would result in the Penny Black.