Auction preview: Unique cover with rare vending machine coil to highlight APS StampShow sale

A vending machine stamp coil (U.S. Scott #314V) dispensed by Parkhurst Company more than 100 years ago is expected to cross the block for upwards of $19,500 Cdn. ($15,000 USD) at next month’s American Philatelic Society (APS) StampShow.

On Aug. 4-6, Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries, of Petaluma, Calif., is slated to host a three-session sale in Portland, Ore., in conjunction with the APS StampShow, which runs until Aug. 7. Among the sale’s top highlights is Lot 1048, which includes the recently discovered Parkhurst one-cent vending machine coil used on a picture postcard. It’s described by auctioneers as “the only certified Scott 314V and Parkhurst coil on cover.”

In the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers, Scott 314V is listed as a 1908 one-cent blue-green Benjamin Franklin stamp. It’s an imperforate flat plate vertical coil stamp, one of many issued as part of a vending machine competition sponsored by the U.S. postmaster general.

“The stamp on this card is a rare imperforate one-cent coil stamp dispensed by a Parkhurst vending machine and a unique usage of the Scott #314V,” reads the lot’s catalogue listing. “There are a few subsequent Washington-Franklin coils on cover with Parkhurst vending machine marks, but this is the earliest example of a government-issued stamp dispensed by a Parkhurst vending machine.”

The lot’s accompanying expertizing certificate, issued by the Philatelic Foundation in 2015, reads: “It is a genuine usage, with four tiny indentations at the bottom of the stamp made by the ‘pin perforators’ of the Parkhurst vending machine.”

The cover has a pre-sale estimate of $12,000-$15,000 USD and an opening bid of $9,500 USD.

For more information about the upcoming sale, click here.

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