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The William H. Gross Collection: United States Multiples continued...

1861-66 Issue (Scott 56-77) continued...
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
63° ogbl ImageThe only recorded plate block of the 10¢ 1861 Type II, including the grilled issues, without a Specimen overprint

DESCRIPTION

10¢ Green (68), block of twelve with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 15 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, centered to right, but fresh and bright

PROVENANCE

Richard Wolffers sale, 10/28/1981, lot 558

Sotheby Parke Bernet sale, 11/22/1982, lot 421

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 247

CONDITION NOTES

Average-Fine centering, sound and intact

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$15,100.00 as plate block of eight and pair

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Original-gum and unused blocks of the ungrilled 10¢ 1861 Issue are extremely rare. This is the only recorded 10¢ 1861 plate block, except for the Type I plate block of four (sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale) and a plate block of eight of Scott 68 with "Specimen" overprint. One imprint and plate number strip of four of the 10¢ F Grill is recorded and offered in this sale as lot 88. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 68 ]

E. $ 10,000-15,000

SOLD for $15,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
64° ogbl Image12¢ 1861 Issue block in choice original-gum condition

DESCRIPTION

12¢ Black (69), block of four, original gum, intense shade and proof-like impression, centered left

PROVENANCE

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lot 105

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 416

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1993)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine; bottom right stamp has faintest trace of a corner crease noted on certificate

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$10,000.00 (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 69 ]

E. $ 4,000-5,000

SOLD for $4,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
65° ogbl ImageThis original-gum block of six is one of four recorded plate number multiples of the 24¢ 1861 in any shade, with or without grill

DESCRIPTION

24¢ Grayish Lilac (78a), vertical block of six from bottom of Plate 6 with half of "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK (NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK)" imprint and "No. 6 (Plate.)" plate number in selvage, original gum, crisp shade and sharp impression in the later 1863-66 shade and on thick paper of the later printings with characteristic "half-moon" perforations

PROVENANCE

T. Charlton Henry, Harmer, Rooke sale, 12/14-16/1960, lot 279 (as Scott 78), to Weill (for Phillips, listed in inventory as 78a)

Benjamin D. Phillips (collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1975 Rarities of the World, 3/25/1975, Sale 468, lot 77 (as Scott 78a)

"An Important Collection," Siegel Auction Galleries, 1/11/1979, Sale 286, lot 138 (as Scott 78a)

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

John C. Chapin, A Census of United States Classic Plate Blocks 1851-1882, census no. 252 as Scott 70a (illustrated on page 13)

Lester G. Brookman, United States Postage Stamps of the 19th Century, Vol. II, fig. 85, page 56

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1981) as Scott 70a, which it is not

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine and choice; small hinge reinforcements, slight crease in selvage and top right stamp with trace of discoloration (not noted on certificate)

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$24,000.00 as ordinary block of four and pair of Scott 78

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Many Shades of the 24¢ 1861-68 Issue

The color chosen for the 24¢ stamp issued from 1861 through 1868 proved to be a challenge for the National Bank Note Company's plate printers and ink mixers. The early shades of Violet and Steel Blue gave way to Deep Red Lilac and the brighter tints of Brownish Lilac and Lilac. As printings continued in 1863, the shade turned grayer, until it reached Grayish Lilac and Gray. The stamps that were grilled in 1868 and 1869 (F Grill, Scott 99) are only known in these two shades of gray.

Due to the subjectiveness in assigning colors, this remarkable imprint and plate number block has been misidentified in the past. In the three auctions cited here, it was identified as Scott 78 (Lilac) or Gray Lilac (Scott 78a)--we agree with the latter classification. In 1981 the block was certified by The Philatelic Foundation as Brown Lilac, Scott 70a, which is in error. The Chapin census based the entry for this block (no. 252) on this incorrect certificate, but correctly listed the other two imprint and plate number multiples as Scott 78 (nos. 276, strip of four, and 276A, block of four).

Only one plate was used to print the 24¢ (Plate 6). If all 24¢ shades and the F Grill stamps are considered (excluding proofs and "Specimen" overprints), there are just four unused plate number multiples extant: the 24¢ F Grill (Scott 99) plate block sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale, this block of 6 (Scott 78a), a strip of four and a block of four in Grayish Lilac/Gray shades (Scott 78/78a). (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 78a ]

E. $ 10,000-15,000

SOLD for $18,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
66° og ImageOne of two known plate number multiples of the 30¢ 1861 without a Specimen overprint

DESCRIPTION

30¢ Orange (71), horizontal strip of four with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 7 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, centered to left

PROVENANCE

Col. Edward H. R. Green, Part 25, Costales sale, 2/18-21/1946, lot 153 (as a strip of eight)

H. R. Harmer sale, 10/13/1958, lot 289

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 253

CONDITION NOTES

Average appearance; creases and slight gum staining

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Original-gum and unused blocks of the 30¢ 1861-68 Issue are extremely rare. We record two unused plate number strips of four: the strip offered here and another that emerged in 2012 with the sale of the Frelinghuysen collection (Siegel Sale 1021, lot 220). There is also a plate block of eight with "Specimen" oveprint. This strip was reduced from eight to four stamps. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 71 ]

E. $ 3,000-4,000

SOLD for $2,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
67° ogbl ImageThis original-gum block of nine is the largest recorded 30¢ 1861 Issue unused multiple

DESCRIPTION

30¢ Orange (71), block of nine, original gum with hinge remnants, light shade, centered to right

PROVENANCE

Henry B. Close, Eugene Costales sale, 6/23-26/1952, lot 182

CERTIFICATION

Friedl Expert Committee (1971) issued by Herbert J. Bloch

CONDITION NOTES

Fine; some trivial gum toned spots

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$31,100.00 as block, two pairs and single (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 71 ]

E. $ 7,500-10,000

SOLD for $4,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
68° ng ImageThis is the only recorded plate number multiple of the 90¢ 1861-68 Issue, grilled or ungrilled, without Specimen overprint--a classic piece of outstanding importance and beauty

DESCRIPTION

90¢ Blue (72), horizontal strip of four (no gum) with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 18 Plate." plate number at bottom, dark shade and intense impression, bright and fresh, centered to left

PROVENANCE

Henry G. Lapham (noted in article on display at The Collectors Club of New York, 10/6/1937, Collectors Club Philatelist)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1975 Rarities of the World, 3/25/1975, Sale 468, lot 72

"Country Gentleman," Siegel Auction Galleries, 11/29-30/1972, Sale 422, lot 190

Daniel F. Kelleher sale, 1/30/1976, lot 271

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

John C. Chapin, A Census of United States Classic Plate Blocks 1851-1882, census no. 255 (illustrated on page 13)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1975)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine; few slightly short perfs at left

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$25,000.00 for this strip, which is the only one recorded, but it has not sold publicly for 43 years

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The First and Second Designs of the 1861 Issue

When the National Bank Note Company won the contract to print stamps, they had already designed the 1861 Issue, engraved the dies and made eight plates for each denomination, and printed sheets of "sample labels" to submit as part of the competitive bidding process.

The First Designs (1¢, 3¢, 5¢, 10¢, 12¢ and 90¢) and First Colors (24¢ and 30¢) were followed by a second set of stamps made from modified dies and plates. The differences between the first and second designs are very noticeable on the 3¢ and 12¢, but more subtle for the other four denominations. The 24¢ Dark Violet and 30¢ Red Orange colors are unlike any of the issued stamps. All were printed on a thin semitransparent stamp paper--some were gummed with a dark brownish gum and perforated. These stamps and the associated trial printings are listed in the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue in a separate section (pages 913-915 in the 2019 edition).

Only the 10¢ First Design (Type I) was issued through post offices. The others from the trial printing were distributed through other channels. The 3¢ exists in a much larger number than the others, and comes in various shades, which indicates that a cache was released from the printer's files. The 1¢, 5¢, 12¢, 24¢, 30¢ and 90¢ are great rarities, and the discoveries of examples in other countries suggests they were released through government Post Office notices of the new issue. For example, one complete set was discovered in Europe and sold in a 3/15/1906 Morgenthau auction of the Scholle collection.

The design of the 90¢ 1861 adopted the previous issue's Trumbull portrait of a youthful General Washington in uniform, but added "90" numerals to make the denomination more obvious. The same deep blue color was chosen for the top value, but the perforation gauge was changed from 15 to 12, and the holes were enlarged. It is believed that the new plates were made to widen the spaces between stamps to accommodate the larger perforation holes.

Two 90¢ plates were made: Plate 8 from the First Design die, and Plate 18 from the modified die. To the best of our knowledge, not a single example of the Plate 8 imprint exists in any form (proof, specimen or stamp). Only two Plate 18 stamp multiples are known: the strip of Scott 72 offered here and a plate block of eight with the "Specimen" overprint. Plate proofs on card with the imprint and plate number 18 are also known. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 72 ]

E. $ 30,000-40,000

SOLD for $42,500.00
Will close during Public Auction
69° ogbl ImageThe finest known original-gum block of the 90¢ 1861 Issue

DESCRIPTION

90¢ Blue (72), block of four, original gum, lightly hinged, remarkably choice centering, beautiful bright shade on fresh paper, well-formed perforations all around

PROVENANCE

Private sale to Zoellner

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 192, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

ANPHILEX 1996 Invited Exhibits (Zoellner)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1977)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine; reinforced vertical perf separations

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$32,500.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Exception to the Rule

There are approximately ten blocks of the 90¢ 1861 with original gum that are centered strongly to upper left, have similar dark color, and have malformed perforation holes, the result of the pins failing to fully punch through the thick paper on which these stamps are printed. These 90¢ blocks undoubtedly came from the same sheet.

This block is unlike that group of off-center blocks. Its distinctive bright shade, precise centering and fully formed perforations are desirable characteristics not found among the other known multiples, except for one that no longer exists as a block. It is found in the Henry B. Close sale (Eugene Costales, 6/23-26/1952, lot 185), and was offered later in the 1969 Rarities of the World sale (Sale 350, lot 76). It has identical centering and color, and we are confident it joined the block offered here in the original sheet. It was divided into singles after its 1969 Rarities sale appearance.

The block in this sale was acquired by Robert Zoellner from our firm in a private transaction. When the Zoellner collection was offered in 1998, Mr. Gross was the buyer. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 72 ]

E. $ 20,000-30,000

SOLD for $26,000.00
Will close during Public Auction
70° ogbl ImageA remarkably well-centered and attractive plate block of the 1863 2¢ Black Jack issue

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Black (73), block of eight with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 30 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, deep shade, exceptionally choice centering for this issue

PROVENANCE

Arthur Hind, Phillips-Kennett sale, 11/20-24/1933, lot 284

Dr. J. Paul Wampler, Shreves sale, 4/24-25/1998, lot 18, to Mr. Gross

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 263

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; tiny hinge reinforcements, small thin in top right stamp

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$15,000.00 (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 73 ]

E. $ 4,000-5,000

SOLD for $5,750.00
Will close during Public Auction
71° og ImageOne of two recorded plate number multiples of the 1863 5¢ Brown without "Specimen"

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Brown (76), horizontal strip of three (left stamp rejoined) with "(ENGRAVED BY) THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" part imprint and "No. 17 Plate." plate number at bottom, part original gum, centered to left

PROVENANCE

Siegel Auction Galleries, 5/26-27/1977, Sale 513, lot 243

John W. Kaufmann sale, 1/21/1978, lot 207

Bought privately from Larry Bustillo (Suburban Stamp Co.)

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 274

CONDITION NOTES

Average centering; left stamp rejoined, small faults

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$15,000.00 for a full plate strip of four

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Unused blocks of the 5¢ 1861-68 Jefferson stamps, in any shade and grilled or ungrilled, are rare. The only plate number multiples are a plate block of eight of Scott 76 with "Specimen" overprint, a Scott 76 plate strip of four (Siegel Sale 422, lot 204), and the strip offered here. The only other recorded plate number multiple is the 5¢ F Grill (Scott 95) block of six offered in this sale as lot 86. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 76 ]

E. $ 3,000-4,000

SOLD for $1,600.00
Will close during Public Auction
72° ogbl ImageThe finest original-gum block of the 5¢ Brown 1863 Issue known to us

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Brown (76), block of four, original gum, by far the best centering found among the blocks known with original gum, crisp shade and impression

PROVENANCE

Possibly George H. Worthington, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 8/21-23/1917, lot 309, as a block of six with straight edge at right

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lot 210, to Cole (for Lilly)

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 68, to Cole

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1978 Rarities of the World, 4/11/1978, Sale 528, lot 96

Bought privately from Larry Bustillo (Suburban Stamp Co.)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1985)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine and choice

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$8,250.00 (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 76 ]

E. $ 5,000-7,500

SOLD for $6,250.00
Will close during Public Auction
73° ogbl ImageThe finest known original-gum block of the 1866 15¢ Lincoln Memorial Issue

DESCRIPTION

15¢ Black (77), block of six from right pane with interpane margin at left, original gum, lightly hinged, wonderfully choice centering with bottom row superb, intense shade and proof-like impression on bright paper

PROVENANCE

George H. Worthington, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 8/21-23/1917, lot 317

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lot 220, to Cole (for Lilly)

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/2/1967, Sale 312, lot 157

Arthur Hetherington, "Quality" collection, H. R. Harmer sale, 6/5/1980, lot 579

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 475, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1993)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine; top right stamp has one short perf (not noted on certificate)

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$42,500.00 as a block and pair

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The 1866 Lincoln Memorial Issue

The national year of mourning for Abraham Lincoln came to an end on April 14, 1866. During that period, many appeals were made to postal officials to issue a stamp with Lincoln's likeness. In October 1865 the first stamp to portray the martyred president was issued--the 25¢ Newspapers and Periodicals (PR3)--but that stamp was intended for use on bundles of newspapers distributed by publishers, not on ordinary letter mail. The first regular postage stamp honoring Lincoln is the 15¢ Black (Scott 77), issued on April 14, 1866. This date has been established through analysis of contemporary sources, but was not a "first day of issue" in the philatelic sense.

The Lincoln stamp was designed by James Macdonough of the National Bank Note Company. The vignette, adapted from photographic portraits taken by C. S. German in 1861 and Matthew Brady in 1862, was engraved by Joseph P. Ourdan (1828-1881). Ourdan was a highly-skilled engraver who later became chief of the Engraving Division of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The frame was engraved by William D. Nichols. The stamps were printed from Plate 41 in sheets of 200 (two panes of 100). A total of 2,139,000 of the 1866 stamps were issued.

Today, the largest known unused multiple of Scott 77 (the ungrilled stamp) is a block of 12 without gum. The largest known multiple with original gum is a block of six, represented by two recorded blocks. The block offered here is by far the better centered of the two, and, in fact, is superior to the few surviving blocks of four. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 77 ]

E. $ 15,000-20,000

SOLD for $20,000.00
Will close during Public Auction

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