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Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Heritage New York Rare Stamps Auction Takes Over $1.8 million

Heritage/Bennett’s Signature® New York Stamps Auction, Dec. 10, 2009 – the final philatelic event of the year – emerged before an early winter snow blanketed Manhattan as quite successful, with 93% of the lots selling, and a total realization of $1.8 million with the Rare and Choice examples performing above expectations.

Leading the way was a newly discovered, and exceedingly rare duck stamp color error, a 1946 $1 Redhead Ducks, Bright Rose Pink shade (RW13a) which realized $32,200.

“This is the first time that this beautiful stamp has ever been offered at public auction,” said Harvey Bennett, Director of Philately at Heritage/Bennett Auctions, “and collectors responded with great enthusiasm and strong bidding, as we’d expect for such a piece.”

Another striking rarity caused a stir with collectors when it came up for bid – a used pair of $2 on $1 Violet Brown, Double Overprint (K16a), with a Scott value of $16,000- and promptly rose to $27,600. The pair represents a truly exciting find. It is believed that only one other used pair, and no larger multiple, of this sublime rarity exist.

More than doubling its $10,000 pre-auction estimate, a fresh and bright 1c Green, Perf. 10 at Top (498g), Scott $15,000, realized $21,850.

“As an unusually well centered example of this popular issue, with its barely, if ever, hinged original gum,” said Bennett, “this stamp certainly represents one of the finest Mint singles of this rarest of all compound perforation varieties that I’ve come across”

A newspaper wrapper from Hawaii Circa 1852, Honolulu, Hawaii to New York, N.Y., and postmarked with the very rare red oval “U.S./Postage Paid,” generated a good deal of pre-auction buzz among philatelists before realizing $18,400 in competitive bidding.

This wrapper, from the Ron Cipolla Champion of Champions Collection, which provided a wide array of great results and top highlights of the auction, is one of only five recorded examples of this postmark.

Further highlights of the auction include, but are not limited to:

1869, September 11, Baltimore, Md. to St. Lucia, B.W.I. via St. Thomas: Folded Prices Current franked with a pair of 1869 2¢ Brown (113) tied by neat quartered cork cancels and by partial St. Lucia receiving c.d.s., “1” (penny) postage due in manuscript, backstamped St. Thomas , Sept. 30, Extremely Fine and choice. This circular was carried by American packet at the book rate of 4¢ per four ounces. From the Ron Cipolla Collection. Realized: $11,500.

1840, May 16, Liverpool, England to New York, N.Y.: Folded Liverpool Prices Current dated May 15th with handwritten letter on the facing leaf, postmarked red “Boston, Ms., Ship, Jun 4” c.d.s. on arrival with faint ms. “20¾” rate, Very Fine. Only 10 surviving covers from this sailing are recorded with this being the only Prices Current. The first westward sailing of H.M.S. Unicorn was a “proof of concept” voyage by Britain’s Cunard Line. Unicorn left Liverpool on May 16 and arrived in Boston on June 3, this cover being put into the mails bound for New York a day later. Unicorn’s successful crossing was the start of Cunard’s transatlantic mail service, which lasted more than 100 years. From the Ron Cipolla Collection. Realized: $10,925.

1856, March 16, New Orleans, La. to Liverpool, England: Folded address leaf franked with a pair of 1851 1¢ Type II (7), positions 1-2L2, position 2. A spectacular usage of the 1¢ 1851 “Big Crack” plate flaw from plate 2. From the Ron Cipolla Collection. Realized: $10,925.

1783, January 2 and January 9, Boston, Mass. Earliest Recorded Newspaper Sent by Post During the Confederation Period: Two highly important copies of The Continental Journal and Weekly Advertiser, four pages each, 9¾x15; the Jan. 2 edition bears a manuscript “Post” above masthead and is the earliest recorded Confederation period newspaper to bear a definite postal marking. The Jan. 9 edition is addressed to subscriber “Geo. Thatcher, Esq.,” a lawyer, jurist and politician from the Maine district of Massachusetts, and a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787 and 1788. An entirely new item to philately, courtesy of the Ron Cipolla Collection. Realized: $10,925.

1c Green (397) SMQ $880 for Superb 98: Perfectly centered with huge margins, fresh crisp impression and immaculate, never hinged original gum. A true Gem. Scott $40. Expertization: 2009 PSE Certificate graded 100. One of just two Panama-Pacifics to be awarded a PSE GEM 100. Realized: $4,313.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 475,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit