(Oceanside, N.Y.) – An unused 1869 inverted center 15-cent U.S. stamp, one of only three known to exist, is expected to highlight the sale of The Newport Collection, to be held Saturday, February 9, by Philip Weiss Auctions. The auction will include 23 other coveted “inverts” — including an unused 1869 inverted center 24-cent U.S. stamp; and the highly prized 24-cent “Inverted Jenny.”

24-cent-invert-120b.jpgIn addition to these anticipated headliners, the sale will also feature over 200 additional lots of stamps and coins, many of them exceedingly rare. “I encourage serious philatelists and numismatists everywhere to mark their calendars for this important event,” said Philip Weiss. “This will be a great kickoff for the new year. All the stamps can be viewed on our new website — www.prwauctions.com.”

Actually, the February sale will be the second auction of 2008 for the firm. On Saturday, January 26, the first day of a two-day weekend event will be dedicated to a prominent toy soldier collection, plus toys and trains. The Sunday session, January 27, will include Part 4 of the Ken Schultz Estate; more of the Hugo Zeiter circus collection; and Part 2 of the Dr. Siegel pins and silks collection.

The Sunday session will also include two categories for which Philip Weiss Auctions has become synonymous in recent years: original comic book art and original comic strip drawings by the late cartoonist Charles Schulz, father of the “Peanuts” and “Li’l Folks” strips. Also to be sold will be an impressive turn-of-the-century billiards litho on board. An image of the work may be viewed online.

Following is more information on some of the Newport “inverts” expected to generate intense crowd buzz (and bidding) at the February 9 sale:

1869 15-cent inverted center, #119b, unused, no gum. This example, one of only three known to exist, comes with a Fine Certification and exhibits some faint soiling in the left and right margins. It was last purchased in 1974, as part of the Charles A. Schaefer Collection. Of the other two in existence, one is in private hands; the other is for sale, with a PSE grade of 70 — for $2.5 million.

1869 24-cent inverted center, #120b, unused, no gum. This is the only completely sound- and fault-free example of this stamp. It comes with a Fine Certification. It is also the second best centered such stamp known to exist, and one of only four unused examples overall. The Scott Catalog values the stamp at $325,000, with gum (unlisted no gum). Expected hammer price: $200,000-$300,000.

inverted-jenny.jpgA mint example of the 24-cent “Inverted Jenny,” #C3a, Position 31, unused, one of only three known to exist. When this stamp was sold at auction in 1972, it was described in the catalog as the “star item of the sale.” No wonder — the “Inverted Jenny” is one of the Holy Grails of stamps. This one has gorgeous dark colors. It’s been tucked away for the last 35 years. (est. $200,000-$300,000).

Other stamps that will also create much crowd excitement at the February 9 sale include all three Pan American inverts, in mint condition; and Revenues with inverted centers (including # R104a; R111a; R118a and R144a). Every invert sold will come with a 2007 Philatelic Foundation Certificate. Many other stamps, as well as rare coins, will also be sold. Watch the website for details and images.

Also to be sold February 9 will be rare and important pieces of United States currency, including two examples of dual denomination currency: one is a $10 bill with $20 showing on the back, and the other is a $20 bill with $10 showing on the back. Both were minted in Atlanta in 1882 and have been graded PMG EF 45. Additional paper money, as well as rare and valuable coins, will also be sold.

On Saturday, February 23, another big sale: the estate of Helen Leale Harper, Jr., of Pelham, N.Y. The estate features books from Harper Publishing – the consignor’s namesake – including a complete run of Harper’s Weeklies. Also to be sold will be a fine collection of original illustrative art. The following day, February 24, will be dedicated to general collectibles and additional estate material.
A highlight of the February 24 session is expected to be an original oil-on-canvas portrait, attributed to John Sherburne Blunt (N.H., Mass., 1798-1835). The 24” x 29” work is a portrait of the Maine schoolmaster Isaac D. Dunn, born in Poland, Me., in 1803. His father, William Dunn, was a Colonial and lifelong resident of Maine. Isaac Dunn was recorded as a teacher in the 1850 census.

Philip Weiss Auctions will take a well deserved rest in March, then come back big on April 5-6 with a weekend sale that promises to be strong both days. On Saturday, April 5, a private collection of high-end mechanical banks, coin-operated machines and slot machines will be sold. The group will be led by a beautiful “Girl Skipping Rope” bank. Other consignments were being added at press time.

Then, on Sunday, April 6, Philip Weiss Auctions will present Part 1 of The B. L. “Phil” Phillips Collection, featuring high-end robots and battery-operated space toys, all in original boxes. Mr. Phillips was a dedicated collector and owned many fine pieces. Later in the year, more of the collection will be sold, to include vintage and rare battery-op toys; Franklin Mint pieces; and other type cars.
Philip Weiss has nearly 40 years’ experience in the collectibles trade. He grew up a second-generation book and stamp specialist and went on to build one of the top collectibles auction houses in the country. He has owned Philip Weiss Auctions for over 20 years. He has also worked as a consultant for some of the country’s top auction galleries, and has authored many articles for industry publications.

Philip Weiss Auctions is a full-service auction facility, with a spacious gallery located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside, N.Y. To learn more about the company and the upcoming auction dates, log on to the new website at www.prwauctions.com. The firm is always accepting quality consignments. To consign an item, estate or collection, call (516) 594-0731, or e-mail to [email protected]