A 1fr stamp from France's Ceres series, the first issued in the country, is the highlight of Robert A Siegel Auction Galleries' sale of the Porter W Venn Collection of Exceptional Quality France.
The collection is one of the finest of its type ever assembled, with particular emphasis on stamps with exceptional eye-appeal. The 1 franc stamp is a perfect example of this, valued at $90,000 ahead of the November 13 auction in New York.
The Ceres series was the first stamp issue of France, which arrived in 1849 under the French Republic. Each of the stamps in the series bears the head of Ceres, the goddess of agriculture in Roman mythology.
The 1 franc stamp comes in two basic shades, vermilion and carmine, with each colour having several sub-shades. The example at auction is a dull orange red from the vermilion group, which is far rarer than the carmine and is one of the key rarities for any collector attempting to establish a France collection in original gum condition.