Spink Shreves have concluded their much-anticipated March 2011 Collector's Series Sale, and as expected a number of investment-grade pieces reached impressive prices as bidders scrambled to make the most of rare opportunities.
The auction opened with the The Estate of Allan S Fox's Specialised 1851-56 One Cent Blue Imperforates - a truly spectacular grouping of US stamps.
Some lots did significantly better than expected. For example, a truly superb used example of the 1c Blue, Type Ib and position 3R1E. Described poetically by the auctioneer as having a "lovely 'robin's egg' blue shade" it tripled its $10,000 listing to sell for $32,500.
All eyes however were on lot 11 an extraordinary used 1c blue pair combining a Type I and Type Ib in horizontal combination. It includes the celebrated Type I, position 7R1E (which shows the most accurate view of the intended design) as the right stamp in the pair, with the left stamp being Type Ib, position 6R1E, the best position displaying the Type Ib.
Of the six confirmed existing pairs, only this pair is completely free of any faults. It also possesses spectacular margins.
A number of bidders obviously viewed this as a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity and the final price was pushed up from the estimate of $150,000 to $180,000.