The finest-known example of the 1901 U.S. two-cent Pan-American invert stamp (Scott #295a) has topped its pre-sale estimate at a recent auction hosted by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York.
The famed stamp (Lot 1508) sold for $170,000 USD (about $225,000 Cdn.), blowing passed its $55,000 USD estimate at Siegel Sale No. 1138, the Hanover Collection of Superb-Quality United States Stamps sale on Oct. 6. With its full original gum, the stamp is one of only 64 surviving error singles with a grade of Superb 98.
The Pan-American issue was the first set of U.S. stamps issued in the 20th century.
The six-stamp set was unveiled at the Pan-American Exposition, held in Buffalo, N.Y., from May 1-Nov. 2, 1901, to promote “commercial well being and good understanding among the American Republics.”
On Sept. 6, 1901, then-U.S. President William McKinley was shot while he greeted the public inside the Temple of Music. The assassin was Leon Czolgosz, who was disgruntled about losing his job. McKinley appeared to be recovering, but an internal abdominal wound had turned gangrenous, and he died on Sept. 14, 1901. Czolgosz was tried and executed only six weeks later, on Oct. 29.