Circus-themed cover collection leads stamp auction with 600% increase


2015-06-26 13:22:35


Circus-themed cover collection leads stamp auction with 600% increase

A collection of circus-themed US covers sold for $7,000 to lead US and CSA postal history

A huge collection of circus-themed US covers has seen some of the highest bids in Robert A Siegel Auctions Galleries' July 23-24 US and CSA Postal History and US Possessions auction in New York.

Southern Menagerie is Coming coverThis example of the 'Southern Menagerie is Coming' cover sold for $3,750 at Siegel in June

The collection is housed in a large album, with more than 60 circus-themed covers, the earliest including four examples franked with 3c 1861, though these are generally faulty.

It was originally expected to sell for between $750 and $1,000, but soared to a 600% increase on estimate,making $7,000.

Also included are many covers bearing stamps from the Bank Note issues, nearly all of them elaborately illustrated. The most interesting groups are those relating to Buffalo Bill andPT Barnum, a legendary showman and founder of the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The highlight of the collection was an unused "Southern Menagerie is Coming" civil war patriotic design, which showsa caricature of Confederate soldiers as circus animals.

A used example of the cover, bearing a 1861 3c Rose, sold for $3,750 at Siegel in June.

However, the top lot of the sale was a fantastic collection of postal history relating to the Mexican-American war (1846-1848), which sold for $17,000 - a 13.3% increase on its pre-sale estimate of $15,000.

The complete history of the Mexican-American war is charted over the course of the collection, complemented by an extensive write-up and transcription.

Included are pre-war letters from military forts in Louisiana, important letters from US officers describing troop movements, and many extremely scarce postal markings.

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