At the Spink Shreves Galleries in New York, an auction proved that stamp collectors are still willing to spend money. A stamp collection centered on President Abraham Lincoln brought in almost $2 million (including commissions).
The stamps came from a collection by a retired executive from accounting and consulting firm KPMG. William Ainsworth inherited his father's stamp collection more than 40 years ago. Until 1977, he paid it little mind, but a meeting with a former postmaster general changed his thinking. Ainsworth began to build upon the already substantial collection, with a particular focus on Lincoln.
The collection included 19th and 20th century American stamps with the sixteenth president, along with tax stamps, private issues, proofs and test printings. A mint-condition set of 90 cent stamps (issued in 1869) pulled in $149,600, and a 1909 registered letter with a pair of blue 5 cent Lincoln stamps (sans customary perforations) was good for $77,725.