First Gross sale brings $10M

Realizations include 18 per cent buyer’s premium.

The first sale of the William H. Gross Collection of U.S. “stamp treasures” realized more than $10 million US (nearly $13 million Cdn.) this October, setting a new record for a single-day philatelic auction.

More than 40 per cent of the 106 lots exceeded their pre-sale high estimates while only 16 per cent failed to reach their low estimates. Only three lots went unsold at the Oct. 3 sale, which was offered by Siegel Auction Galleries and attended by about 120 people at the Lotte New York Palace hotel.


The top-earning lot was a unique block of four inverted centre errors from the 1869 Pictorial Issue that brought $737,500 US (about $956,300 Cdn.).

The next highest result was for the unique unused 1851 two-cent Hawaiian Missionary stamp, which brought $619,500 US.

An 1864 stampless campaign cover – the only known example, which is also autographed by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S. – soared past its pre-sale estimate of $10,000 US-$15,000 US and realized $53,100 US.

The sale was the first in a series of charitable auctions to take place over the next few years with proceeds going towards Doctors Without Borders and The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund.

The next instalment of the Gross Collection will be offered in spring 2019.

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