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The William H. Gross Collection: United States 1847 First Issue continued...

Used Blocks and Multiples
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
91°   ImageThe magnificent Caspary block--the finest recorded used block of the 5¢ 1847 Issue

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Dark Brown (1a), block of four, full margins to clear, dark shade and sharp early impression, each stamp cancelled by neat strike of red grid cancel, completely sound

PROVENANCE

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 1/16-18/1956, lot 86

Edward A. Ring, H. R. Harmer sale, 12/3/1968, lot 2101

Wade E. Saadi (sold privately to William H. Gross)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1991)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine and completely sound

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2020)

The regular Red Brown shade is listed as a used block at $27,500.00. The Dark Brown (1a) is unpriced. The Scott value basis for a used block is probably based on the sales of blocks with faults.

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Finest Used 5¢ 1847 Block in Dark Brown Shade

One day before James K. Polk's inauguration as the nation's eleventh President, Congress passed the Post Office Reform Act of March 3, 1845, which greatly simplified and reduced postal rates, effective July 1, 1845. The Act was signed by President John Tyler on his last day in office, which left the task of implementing the reform measures in the hands of Polk's new postmaster general, Cave Johnson (1793-1866). Johnson, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee since 1829, had been among the opponents of the Cheap Postage movement, arguing that such a drastic reduction in postage rates would financially cripple the postal system and increase the risk of privatization. Now, as postmaster general in President Polk's cabinet, Johnson was responsible for making sure the nation's postal system provided the same level of service, despite the reduction of rates and the significant curtailment of franking privileges and transportation subsidies.

The profound changes in the nation's postal system effected by the 1845 Post Office Reform Act set the stage for the introduction of adhesive stamps to prepay postage. The concept had been successfully implemented by Great Britain in 1840 and proposed in Congress by Senator Daniel Webster in the same year, but authorization to issue stamps was withheld by Congress until March 3, 1847.

The 1847 Issue--the first stamps authorized by Congress for general use--demonstrated the public's acceptance of adhesive stamps on a national scale. They also helped to encourage the prepayment of postage, a practice that brought greater efficiency and economy to the postal system.

This superb block, once part of the renowned collection formed by Alfred H. Caspary, is by far the finest used block of the 5¢ 1847 in any shade. A review of 5¢ 1847 blocks in the Dark Brown shade using Power Search and the records of The Philatelic Foundation located an unused block of eight, three used blocks of four (one repaired with part of design added) and a reconstructed used block of ten made up of five pairs (offered as lot 96 in this sale). (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 1a ]

E. $ 20,000-30,000


Will close during Public Auction
92°   ImageThe only recorded use of an 1847 Issue block to Canada

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Red Brown (1), block of four, large margins to just clear except just touched at bottom right, beautiful strong impression with softness of background lines indicative of cleaned plate--although offered as a Red Brown, we think this shade is Orange Brown from the cleaned plate (it was described as such in the 1977 Rohloff sale)--tied by red square grid cancels, matching "New-York Oct. 27" circular datestamp on blue rebacked cover front to Montreal, Canada, manuscript "9" pence due marking for Canadian double-rate postage for distance under 60 miles

PROVENANCE

Sir Nicholas Waterhouse, Puttick & Simpson sale, 11/18-21/1924, lot 177

Judge Robert S. Emerson, Daniel F. Kelleher sale, 10/19/1937, lot 20

William West, Ward sale, 4/26-30/1943, lot 261

Jack Dick, Siegel Auction Galleries, Sale 204, 10/31/1957, lot 160

Paul C. Rohloff, Siegel Auction Galleries, 5/18-19/1977, lot 138, as Orange Brown, Scott 1b

Dr. Leonard Kapiloff, Siegel Auction Galleries, 6/9/1992, lot 143, to Zoellner

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, lot 14, to Dr. Robertson

Dr. John L. Robertson, Bennett sale, 4/23/2004, lot 10, to Joseph Hackmey

Joseph Hackmey (collection sold privately to William H. Gross, 2010)

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

USPCS census no. 7748 https://www.uspcs.org/resource-center/censuses/1847-cover-census/

Hugh J. and J. David Baker, Bakers' U.S. Classics, p. 140

Featured in Richard B. Graham's "Great Stamps Make Greater Covers" series in The American Philatelist (Oct. 1977)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; left pair slightly affected by vertical file fold, small margin nick at left, scissors-cut in margin at left between stamps

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

One of Three Known 5¢ 1847 Blocks on Cover or Front

Only three blocks of the 5¢ 1847 are recorded on covers or a front. They are: a block of five Dark Brown (1a) on cover to England (Gross Postal History sale, Sale 1211, lot 152); a block of four Brown Orange (1d) on a domestic cover (Gross Postal History sale, Sale 1211, lot 34); and this block of four on a front address panel (without flaps) to Montreal, Canada. This is the only use to Canada. The 5¢ block prepaid 20¢ for the double U.S. 10¢ over-300 miles rate from New York City to the Canadian border. It was rated 9 pence due from the addressee, the Canadian double 4-1/2p rate for under 60 miles from the cross-border exchange point to Montreal.

The 5¢ was printed over four years in a range of shades, including the scarcer Orange Brown and Brown Orange. The printing impression of this block indicates that it was probably made in 1850 from the cleaned plate, a process used by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson to improve the quality of prints made from the well-worn plate after years of use. The block's color has a strong orange hue. In our opinion, it is the Orange Brown (Scott 1b), but we offer it as the Red Brown (Scott 1), since there is unlikely to be a consensus opinion among certificate issuers and the color is secondary to its importance as a block used to Canada.

This First Issue rarity was first sold at public auction in the 1924 sale of the Sir Nicholas Waterhouse collection. It subsequently was featured prominently in the collections formed by Judge Robert S. Emerson, William West, Jack Dick, Paul C. Rohloff, Dr. Leonard Kapiloff, Robert Zoellner, Dr. John L. Robertson and Joseph Hackmey. It was acquired by William H. Gross when he bought the entire Hackmey collection in 2010. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States Collection]

E. 40,000-50,000


Will close during Public Auction
93°   ImageOne of two recorded used blocks of the 10¢ 1847 in private hands--one of the most important items of the issue and of classic United States philately in general

DESCRIPTION

10¢ Black (2), Positions 56-57/66-67L, used block of four with pen cancel expertly removed, Position 57L at top right is "Harelip" plate variety, large margins to just in at bottom including trace of adjoining stamps at top

PROVENANCE

Louis Grunin, H. R. Harmer sale, 12/14-15/1976, lot 2081

Duane B. Garrett ("Elite" collection), Robert G. Kaufmann sale, 10/11/1989, lot 126

Wade E. Saadi (sold privately to William H. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

Repaired along vertical crease and tears in right pair, some other minor faults and a scissors-cut at bottom

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2020)

$75,000.00 for this block with manuscript cancel (per footnote)

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Rarity of Used 10¢ 1847 Blocks

The block offered here is one of two used blocks of the 10¢ 1847 Issue in private hands.

There are five recorded used 10¢ 1847 blocks:

1 Block of 14, Positions 1-10/11-14L, pen "X' cancels, from the Bandholtz find (along with a strip of ten that was on the same cover), unavailable to collectors, ex Hirzel, currently in the Swiss Museum of Communications

2 Block of 4, red cancels (reduced from block of 6 with ink added to disguise identity), unavailable to collectors, ex Miller, now in The New York Public Library collection (at the National Postal Museum)

3 Block of 4, violet/red pen cancel, unavailable to collectors, ex Knight, now in the John Hay Library, Brown University

4 Block of 4, Positions 13-14/23-24R, blue grid cancels, ex Worthington, Eagle, Emerson, "Sierra Madre", Saadi and Gross (Siegel Sale 1200, lot 6, realized $35,000 hammer)

5 Block of 4, Positions 56-57/66-67L, lightened pen cancels, ex Grunin, Garrett and Saadi, the block offered in this sale

This block, with a pen cancellation expertly removed, has unused appearance. It was featured prominently in Louis Grunin's 1847-1869 exhibit, which won the Grand Prix National at INTERPHIL in 1976. Following the sale of Grunin's 1847-1869 off-cover material in 1976, the block was acquired by Duane B. Garrett and later offered in the 1989 sale of the "Elite" collection. It then sold to Wade E. Saadi, whose entire 1847 collection was acquired intact by William H. Gross. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 2 ]

E. $ 15,000-20,000


Will close during Public Auction
94° bl Image5¢ Red Brown (1), block of four, ample to full margins except bottom left corner is missing and repaired with another stamp hinged behind it, attractive bright color and strong intermediate impression, light strikes of blue grid cancel, Very Fine overall appearance, a block with great visual appeal, ex Saadi, Scott value $27,500.00 (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 1 ]

E. $ 3,000-4,000


Will close during Public Auction
95°   Image5¢ Orange Brown (1b), reconstructed block of four consisting of two horizontal pairs reattached with hinge, brilliant color, impression is strong for an Orange Brown from the plate before it was cleaned, large margins to just in at bottom including part of adjoining stamps at top, red grid cancels, manuscript docketing from recipient indicates these came from the same correspondence, top pair received January 5, 1850, bottom pair received January 1, 1850--these predate the 4th Delivery printing, which specialists believe was made from the cleaned plate--top pair faint corner crease at top left, Very Fine appearance, an excellent alternative to a block, ex Stollnitz and Saadi, Scott value as pairs $4,000.00 compares favorably to the block price in the Red Brown shade of $27,500.00 (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 1b ]

E. $ 1,500-2,000


Will close during Public Auction
96°   ImageThe largest reconstructed multiple of the 5¢ 1847 in the Dark Brown shade

5¢ Dark Brown (1a), block of ten reconstructed from five horizontal pairs originating from the right pane of the sheet, generally clear to large margins except in on two stamps at bottom and at top left, intense shade and proof-like early impression, neat black grid cancels, stamps rejoined with hinges, few stamps towards bottom with small indentations

One of the largest known reconstructions of the 5¢ 1847 Issue.

Apparently each pair in this reconstruction came from a separate cover from the same correspondence mailed through the New Orleans post office, which used black ink for its datestamp and cancels during the 1847 period. It is the largest reconstruction of the Dark Brown shade. Another pair with right sheet margin is from the same group, but is not contiguous with this reconstruction.

Ex Saadi, who acquired this in a 1993 Christie's sale. Scott value as pairs $10,750.00. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 1a ]

E. $ 4,000-5,000


Will close during Public Auction
97°   Image5¢ Dark Brown (1a), block of three, top left stamp Dot in "S" variety from the ninth column on the plate, dark grayish shade and sharp early impression, large margins to full including part of right sheet margin, bold strikes of red grid cancel, showing trace of plate layout line at right, showing the impressions on the plate are slightly rotated in relation to the layout line, top right stamp small corner crease at top right, bottom stamp light horizontal crease, Very Fine appearance, very unusual showing the plate layout line, ex Stollnitz and Saadi (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 1a ]

E. $ 1,000-1,500


Will close during Public Auction
98°   Image5¢ Red Brown, Crack in "T" Variety (1 var), Positions 68-70R, horizontal strip of three, center stamp (69R) the variety with plate crack in "T" of "Post" to top of design, deep shade and intermediate impression show the crack clearly, large margins on three sides including right sheet margin, just in at top, tied by red grid cancels and by red "COLONIES/&c. ART. 13" Anglo-French accountancy handstamp on blue piece, red Boulogne Oct. 25, 1848 arrival datestamp also ties stamps, Zurich double-circle datestamp at top, right two stamps pre-printing paperfold, faint horizontal crease at top, Very Fine appearance, a rare example of the Crack in "T" variety, which was first reported by Wade E. Saadi in the May 1994 Chronicle, where he identifies eleven copies (this is an addition to his census--see lots 64-68), especially desirable in a strip of three with sheet margin which helps identify the position, it's a shame this is no longer a full cover as only three with the 1847 Issue are known to Switzerland, ex Ring, Stollnitz and Saadi, Scott value for the Crack in "T" as a single is $3,000.00 (a normal strip of three valued at $1,750.00) (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 1 ]

E. $ 1,500-2,000


Will close during Public Auction
99°   ImageA magnificent and rare horizontal strip of four and single with Mobile "paint red" grid

10¢ Black (2), horizontal strip of four and single at right, the strip Positions 57-60R, single is Position 15L, Position 59R with dot in top margin over "O" of "Office", strip with large margins except where just touched at top left and including 9mm right sheet margin, single with large margins to clear, each with clear strike of "paint red" grid of Mobile, Alabama, the strip and single used together on cover as shown, light vertical crease in second stamp of strip, small gum soak in right margin of single not mentioned on certificate

Very Fine-Extremely Fine. Any multiple of the 10c 1847 larger than a pair is a great rarity--this strip of four, together with a sheet-margin single from the same original cover--is one of the most outstanding off-cover multiples of the issue.

J. C. Morgenthau & Co. sale, 12/10-11/1912, lot 25. Ex Henry C. Gibson, Sr. (exhibited at The Collectors Club of New York 2/24/1926), Judge Robert S. Emerson and Wade E. Saadi.

With 1989 P.F. certificate. The Scott Catalogue does not price a strip of four, but a block of four is valued at $75,000.00. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 2 ]

E. $ 7,500-10,000


Will close during Public Auction
100°   ImageAn extremely rare strip of three 10¢ 1847s with vivid red grid cancels and short transfer plate variety

10¢ Black (2), horizontal strip of three, large margins to clear including left sheet margin, the left stamp with especially large margins all around, bright shade, right two stamps short transfer at top, light strikes of vivid red grid cancel (possibly Mobile, Alabama)

Lefthand stamp Extremely Fine; others Fine--a beautiful sheet-margin strip with two stamps showing short transfer at top.

Ex Rust (Siegel Sale 681), Stollnitz and Saadi. With 1987 P.F. certificate. Scott value $10,000.00 without premium for the short transfers. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 2 ]

E. $ 4,000-5,000


Will close during Public Auction
101°   ImageA superb and stunning 10¢ 1847 pair with Mobile "paint red" grid cancels

10¢ Black (2), Positions 93-94R, horizontal pair, large to huge margins including significant portion of adjoining stamp at right, incredibly intense shade and impression on deeply blued paper, vivid "paint red" grid cancels of Mobile

Extremely Fine Gem. One of the most beautiful pairs of the 10¢ 1847 Issue.

This pair is not only a superb condition rarity with a premium cancel, it is also striking example of the unevenly spaced plate layout, with the right subject markedly lower than the left. The right frameline on the right stamp also shows a continuation far into the top margin.

Ex Haas and Wall. With 2000 P.F. certificate. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 2 ]

E. $ 4,000-5,000


Will close during Public Auction

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