Postal officials said the eBay partnership will help them expand their reach to new markets interested in rare stamp collectibles. Calling eBay “the
premier collectible marketplace,” U.S. Postal Service’s chief marketing executive Nagisa Manabe said the online auction company based in San Jose, California, is “a natural fit to launch one of the world’s largest online Postal Stores."
“International stamp collectors will now have a new convenient way to purchase U.S. stamps and philatelic products,” Manabe said.
Among the items currently available for bidding are a First Space Achievement and Exploration Hologram Stamp Press Sheet (currently bidding is $76), a
22-cent 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty stamp proof (stamp issued in 1986) and a 1971 Antarctic Treaty 8-cent stamp proof that includes the approval
of then Postmaster General Winton Blount. It is one of only two proofs in the Postmaster General’s collection.
The postal service will maintain the Postmaster General’s Collection by auctioning only duplicate items, Manabe said.
The current auction ends Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. EDT. More philatelic items from the Postmaster General’s collection will be available at a later date.
The government has some 30,000 items that fit into two collecting categories: stamps and original stamp artwork, includes many pre-production items, proofs,
black and white models and uncut press sheets . There are also rare items, including early high denomination stamps, experimental paper issues, and mail
postmarked on the moon. Very few of these items have been seen by the public, postal officials said.
The stamp art collection, which originated in 1942, features original artwork by Norman Rockwell and hundreds of other artists who volunteered to make
art that would be used in miniature form on U.S. stamps. The collection includes thousands of concept designs as well as many preliminary sketches. For the Elvis
Presley stamp, for example, more than 50 original designs were submitted by various artists to the Postal Service for consideration.