Vermont “scarab” cancel is selling at Robert A Siegel! It is to be sold for US$20,000!

September 8th, 2016 is glad to inform our readers about the upcoming Robert A Siegel auction, in which an 1848 cover displaying a rare St Johnsbury, Vermont "scarab" cancel is selling at. It's valued at US$15,000-20,000, making it one of the headline lots of the Peter Sharrer Collection of United States Postal Markings sale in New York on October 5.

The St Johnsbury scarab cancel is known as a "killer" cancel, as it was designed to completely obscure the stamp. The practice did not take off until the 1850s, making this an early outlier.

Fancy "killer" cancels are extremely rare in the 1847-51 period. The term "killer" to describe the cancel was actually used by New York Postmaster Robert H. Morris. Although fancy rate markings from the pre-stamp era were used to cancel 1847 stamps, fancy cancels created for the specific purpose of "killing" stamps did not become popular until the 1850's. The more distinctive designs are the St. Johnsbury Vt. Scarab, Trenton N.J. Star and Binghamton N.Y. Herringbone. The Alexander book lists eight genuine uses of the 5c on cover with this cancel.

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