Top 10: Rare stamp sales in 2012
10) A block of four United States 1847 10 cent stamps - $450,000
This impressive block sold in New York at Robert A. Seigel Auction Galleries in April. The 10 cent Black block of four 1847 first issues with original gum went under the hammer with an estimate of $200,000 They sold for 125% above that figure.
9) A rare Type I Alexandria VA Postmaster Provisional - $460,000
This stamp, which is believed to be only one of three Alexandria Postmaster Provisionals mounted on a complete cover, and one of only six still in existence, is considered an unusually rare and important specimen by US collectors. It sold at Rober A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc. in December.
8) A 1916 envelope, insured from Ulyasutai to Peking - $540,000
The only known insurance label from Ulyasutai, this specimen is also thought to be the only franked Romanov from Ulyasutai, and just one of seven franked Romanovs in existence. It sold at David Feldman in April.
7) Another rare Type I Alexandria VA Postmaster Provisional - $550,000
This circular-shaped Alexandria, District of Columbia 5c Black postmaster provisional was the joint-top lot on the first day of the Frelinghuysen Collection stamp auction in New York on March 28. The auction, which was overseen by Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries Inc. boasted several important lots, however, it was this postmaster provisional that really took collector's breath away.
6) A very rare "Inverted Jenny" - $625,000
The error stamp, which is considered to be one of the rarest United States postage stamps, is known as the "Inverted Jenny" due to the inverted centre illustration of a Curtiss JN-4H bi-plane. Printed as a mistake in 1918, only one pane of these stamps was ever sold. This example sold in April at Robert A. Seigel Auction Galleries Inc.
5) A 1841 Two Pence Blue stamp block - $660,000
One of just 22 removed from the imprimatur which sported the sage marginal inscription "ove the Cement", (perhaps it's supposed to be 'love the cement'), the seldom offered block sold in February at Spink.
4) An extremely rare pairing of the $2 Dr Sun Yat Sen invert - $707,000
The Dr Sun Yat Sen invert is one of the rarest stamps in all of Chinese philately, with just one sheet of 50 stamps ever issued featuring the inverted centre error. The pair in the present auction is one of only two vertical pairs known to exist, originating from the collection of the renowned philatelist Huang Ming Fang. The exceptional pair sold at Zurich Asia in October.
3) A 1879 Sinkiang cover - $791,260
The cover shows the earliest known cancellation from the city of Kuldja and is the earliest item of mail from the Russian post in Sinkiang. It is also the only known example from the Russian occupation of Kuldja and is therefore considered one of the greatest rarities from the Russian offices in the Chinese Empire. It sold at David Feldman in December.
2) A block of four stamps from the renowned Chinese Whole Country is Red issue - $816,123
The error for which the stamps are known was discovered within the first half day of issue in 1968, when the editor of the China Atlas Press discovered inaccuracies in the map featured within the design. The archipelagos of Xisha and Nanshi had been omitted and Taiwan was coloured white, rather than red. The block of four stamps sold at InterAsia Auctions in December.
1) A mint condition 1968 The Whole Country is Red - $1.15m
This mint condition 1968 The Whole Country is Red set a new record for a single Chinese stamp at auction in May at China Guardian. The unissued error stamp, which unabashedly celebrates the "success" of the cultural revolution, sold for $1.15m - making it the most expensive single Chinese stamp ever sold at auction.
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