Following on from their sale of Floyd E Risvold's collection, (which we described in a recent newsletter) leading philatelic auction house Spink Shreves is holding an auction of rare stamps next week.
As is often the case with Spink Shreves, the sale involves the collections of particular individuals rather than just lots of anonymous provenance. This case is unusual in that it involves the collections of several named people, covering a wide range of countries.
The collections involved include: The F. Christian Killien, M.D. Collection of Premium Quality United States Plate Blocks, The Conrad Stieber Collection of Worldwide Stamps and indeed more offering from Floyd E Risvold which didn't make the $7m (hammer price) January sale.
One stamp type which is well represented is the 1851-56 1c Blue. Whilst not exceptionally valuable in general, the 1c Blue is a conditional rarity. It is also highly prized one the rare occasions when an unused example is on offer, or there are particular variations to be had.
A Type Ia, 'curl on shoulder' variant is on offer unused. So rare is it for this variation to be on offer unused that there is no Scott catalogue price for such an example but the guide price for this auction for the fresh, very slightly stained well-margined example is given at $20,000.
Rarer still, however, is a pair of the stamps, of which one is the curl on shoulder variety. Very fresh, with rich colour and a deeply etched impression (though with perforation flaws on the lower edge of the right stamp), the block is estimated at $26,000.
Watch this space for more news on this exciting sale, which concludes with a live auction on March 10-12, 2010 in New York.