Collectors have just enough time to bid on a remarkable sheet of 10 US duck hunting revenue stamps from 1977, which feature an original sketch and signature from the artist behind their design.
The auction will take place tomorrow (January 12) in Missouri, though phone bids can be scheduled. The pane is expected to sell for $3,000, highlighting a brilliant selection of duck hunting stamps.
Since 1934, anyone in the United States who wishes to hunt migratory waterfowl has been required to purchase one of these revenue stamps, which are issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. These are then affixed to hunting licences and are not valid for postage.
98 cents of every dollar spent on the stamps now goes directly to the purchase of wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. So far, over $700m has been raised for the cause.
Pictorial stamps were introduced to the issue in 1971, giving rise to some of the most attractive revenue stamps in US philately. The pane at auction has 10 examples of the 1977 Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Stamp, with artist Larry Hayden adding his signature and date, as well as a fantastic drawing of a duck in flight in the central gutter.
Overall, the sheet is in very fine condition, with the exception of adhesive on the back side from masking tape, which is found on all four edges. It is believed to be a unique example, offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for collectors of this fascinating variety.