STOCKHOLMIA 2019 Private Treaty Sale

Lot 80


Mexico, 1913-62, Sunburst Registry Seals, the finest collection ever formed. An exhibition-quality holding, created through the amalgamation of the three best collections ever formed, those of Nick Follansbee, Richard Saillant and Shel Beigel. Neatly arranged and annotated on stockpages in two 3-inch binders—one binder dedicated to the Full Eagle Types, the second to the Profile Eagles—the collection consists of individual seals off-cover, plus a wealth of covers displaying a wide range of usages (e.g., advertising, commercial and mourning), markings (e.g., "AR", censored, officially sealed), frankings (including dual Swiss and Mexican stamps) and destinations both domestic and foreign.

The seals are present in all three issued colors (blue, green and red), with a wide array of shades present. They display 24 different Types, with a number of sub-types noted throughout. Given the astute eyes of the three original collectors, their combined collections here include all the known rarities and a number of Earliest Known Dates.

The holding comprises 507 seals and 353 covers, a number of which bear the rare combination of two Types. Numerous constant varieties—some not previously recorded—are found, both on- and off-cover. Printing errors, including double prints and end-of-paper splices, are scattered throughout.

There are too many highlights and items of interest to note them all here, but key items include:

•     All four sub-types of the red Type 3, three on covers.
•     Likely unique mint Type 3 and Type 6.
•     A Type 1 cover with double impression.
•     Type 1 and Type 4 seals postmarked in October 1913-most likely the earliest known usage.
•     Several difficult Type 4 and Type 5 color varieties.
•     Type 7 covers showing difficult-to-find die varieties.
•     A rare Type 9 on enameled paper.
•     An excessively rare Type 12.
•     The unique Type 13.
•     The late "Servicio Postal Mexicano" (Type 23) both on- and off-cover.

If all this weren't enough, there is also a box of duplicates and registry cancels from both small towns and from Mexico City.

Also included are a number of reference works: photocopies of Charles W. Brock's 1962 articles from Mexicana, which served as the foundation for the serious study of these seals; and Follansbee's "Sunburst" Registry Seals of Mexico, The Stamps of the Mexican Revolution 1913-1916, and the bilingual History of the Austrian and Belgian Legions during the Second Empire/Gems of the Mexican Revolution—all of which are indispensable to the Mexico collector.

Mexican postal authorities decreed in 1899 that Registered (or Certified) mail would receive a wax seal across the backflap as a security device. As Registry volume increased, though, the Post Office realized the time-consuming wax seal was no longer practical and, on August 28, 1913, officially authorized the use of the die-cut adhesive labels, called "marbetes especiales".

The seals, originally printed in blue (and later in green or red), were produced much as embossed envelopes are: from the master die a transfer hub die is made, which is then transferred to working dies for the actual printing and embossing. Some of the minor varieties are most likely due to recuttings before the working dies were hardened, but some differences are so great that it is likely numerous master dies were created over the years or in different locations.

The varieties—not just among dies, but of paper color, texture and thickness—can be attributed in part to these seals being introduced just as the country was beginning its revolution. It makes sense in such surroundings that various printers, using locally produced dies on various presses, would create finished products of varying designs and quality.

The collection at hand serves as a remarkable introduction to this specialized field, simultaneously opening the door to further study and expansion.

Price: $14,000; £10,980; €11,925; 140,000 SEK; HK$109,200.

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