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

1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101)
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
74° ngbl ImageA beautifully centered unused block of the 3¢ Rose A Grill with part imprint in selvage

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Rose, A. Grill (79), unused block of four (no gum) from the right pane with "NOTE CO. NEW YORK" portion of side imprint at right, unusually well-centered and perforations much more intact than usual for this experimental grilled issue, pale shade as often

PROVENANCE

Discovered in NYC circa 1948 as part of a block of 20 and described in 11/15/1948 Mekeel's article by Philip H. Ward, Jr.; divided into four blocks of four and four singles; this block acquired by Ward

Philip H. Ward, Jr. (bought in 1948, estate sold to Weills in 1963; this block is not listed in B. D. Phillips inventory, probably sold to Lilly)

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 74, to Weill

Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8/1974, Sale 459, lot 236

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1979 Rarities of the World, 4/4/1979, Sale 544, lot 80

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 496, to Hagendorf/Columbian; sold privately to Mr. Gross, 2004

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1979)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine for the issue; faint stains mostly on back

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$55,000.00 for a block of four with gum; catalogue notes "Values for No. 79 are for Fine-Very Fine examples with minor perf faults"

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Grilled All Over--The 1867 Experiment

The August 1867 3¢ experimental A Grill was the first grilled issue, using a machine patented by Charles F. Steel. It was soon learned that the all-over female grill weakened the paper and interfered with perforating and separating, resulting in rough perforations and pieces torn out of the margins when split apart. Within two months of A Grill production the apparatus was modified by dividing the embossed area into small rectangular units within each stamp (C Grill). Eventually the female A/C grill device was replaced by male grilling rollers that had grills sized well within the dimensions of the stamp. All stamps produced during the regular grilling period, starting January 1, 1868, were grilled on the machines using the male rollers.

Multiples of Scott 79 are extremely rare. This block was part of a block of 20 described as a new find in an article by Philip H. Ward, Jr., published in Mekeel's 11/15/1948. Ward wrote, "The new find which was located in New York City consisted of a block of twenty, five horizontal by four vertical... There is a right sheet margin with part of imprint on margin of upper stamp. Until this large block was located, possibly two and certainly not more than three blocks were known. Fortunately, the new block is very well centered and fresh, although is without gum. The piece has been broken into four blocks of four and four singles.... We are pleased to announce that one block goes into our collection as it was one of about half dozen of known blocks of main varieties missing in our own collection." A digital reconstruction of four blocks is shown below--at least one block has been broken up.

The Weills purchased the Ward estate in 1963, but apparently did not sell this block to their principal client, Benjamin D. Phillips, because it does not appear in his inventory. The earliest auction offering of this block was in our 1968 sale of the Lilly collection. It was offered again by our firm in 1974 and in the 1979 Rarities sale, where it was bought by Ryohei Ishikawa for his Grand Prix 1847-69 exhibit. Mr. Gross purchased it after the 1993 Ishikawa auction. (Image)

Reconstruction of 16 of the 20 stamps in the discovery block—the block at bottom right has definitely been divided into singles (shade variation does not reflect actual stamp colors)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 79 ]

E. $ 15,000-20,000


Will close during Public Auction
75° Pbl ImageExtremely rare imprint and plate number block of the imperforate 3¢ All-Over "Biscuit Grill" essay

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Rose, Imperforate, All-Over "Biscuit Grill" Essay, Points Up (79-E15c), block of eight with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 52 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, bottom row Mint N.H., top row has two small hinge remnants, large margins, bright color

PROVENANCE

Probably Col. Edward H. R. Green, Part 25, Costales sale, 2/18-21/1946, as a plate block of 12 (later reduced to 8)

H. R. Harmer sale, 6/15/1953, lot 84

John A. Fox sale, 3/26/1957, lot 320

"The Brothers Collection," Siegel Auction Galleries, 6/13-14/1961, Sale 241, lot 213

"Ambassador" collection, 4/27-28/1966, Sale 300, lot 113, to Weill (for Phillips)

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

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1975 Rarities of the World, 3/25/1975, Sale 468, lot 79, to Chapin

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

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

Chapin census no. 277 as Scott 79a

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1954) as 3¢ Rose A Grill Imperforate (formerly Scott 79a)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 79-E15c ]

E. $ 4,000-5,000


Will close during Public Auction
76° ogbl ImageThis superb original-gum block is the finer of two recorded imprint blocks of the 1867 3¢ Rose C Grill-- a rare and gem-quality classic multiple from the Caspary, Phillips, Bechtel and Zoellner collections

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Rose, C. Grill (83), block of four from the top of the sheet with "NATIONAL BANK NOTE CO. NEW YORK" imprint at top, original gum, beautiful rich color in the distinctive Rose shade, exceptionally fresh, remarkably choice centering, especially for this grilled issue

PROVENANCE

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lot 243, to Weill (for Phillips)

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

Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr., purchased from Weills, March 1970 (collection sold privately in 1993; block sold privately to Zoellner)

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 218, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

ANPHILEX 1996 Invited Exhibits (Zoellner)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1969)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine; neat pencil "Tiffany" on back, John K. Tiffany (1842-1897) was a pioneering 19th century philatelist

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$30,000.00 for an ordinary block of four

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The C Grill Experiment

The August 1867 3¢ experimental A Grill was the first grilled issue, using a machine patented by Charles F. Steel. It was soon learned that the all-over female grill weakened the paper and interfered with perforating and separating, resulting in rough perforations and pieces torn out of the margins when split apart. Within two months of A Grill production the apparatus was modified by dividing the embossed area into small rectangular units within each stamp (C Grill). Eventually the female A/C grill device was replaced by male grilling rollers that had grills sized well within the dimensions of the stamp. All stamps produced during the regular grilling period, starting January 1, 1868, were grilled on the machines using the male rollers.

Multiples of the 3¢ C Grill, Scott 83, are extremely rare. This block has a notation indicating the possibility it was owned or handled by John K. Tiffany, which would date its discovery to sometime prior to his death in 1897. Its earliest auction appearance was in the 1956 Caspary sale, where it sold to the Weills, on behalf of their closely-guarded client, Benjamin D. Phillips. After the Weills purchased the Phillips collection in 1968 for $4.07 million, they sold the block to another major client, Stephen D. Bechtel, whose notation "Weill March '70" appears on the accompanying Philatelic Foundation certificate issued to Raymond H. Weill Co. on October 6, 1969. When the Bechtel collection was sold privately in 1993, the block was purchased by Robert Zoellner. Mr. Gross acquired it in the Zoellner sale held by our firm in 1998.

There is only one other imprint block of the 3¢ C Grill, a left margin block of four that was part of the Lozier and Sinkler collections, then reappeared in our 2012 sale of the Frelinghuysen collection (Sale 1021, lot 240). The block offered here is the better centered of the two. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 83 ]

E. $ 20,000-30,000


Will close during Public Auction
77° ogbl ImageThis original-gum block of the 12¢ Z Grill is the only recorded unused multiple of this rare grilled issue

DESCRIPTION

12¢ Intense Black, Z. Grill (85E), block of four, original gum, deep shade characteristic of all 12¢ Z Grill stamps, strong grills

PROVENANCE

As block of 9: Joseph T. Lozier (sold privately by Ward)

Wharton Sinkler, Eugene Klein sale, 5/17/1940, Sale 117, lots 111-114, divided after sale (Ward acquired block of four)

As block of 4: Philip H. Ward, Jr. (estate sold to Weills in 1963)

Benjamin D. Phillips (bought from Weills out of Ward estate, 1964; Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1970 Rarities of the World, 3/24/1970, Sale 371, lot 68

Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions, 5/7-9/2004, lot 639, to Mr. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (2004)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine appearance; small hinge reinforcements, right vertical pair has very slight crease

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

The block of four is listed, but unpriced; $100,000.00 is the total value for four singles, but an original-gum single realized $42,500 hammer in our 2018 Wingate sale (Sale 1180, lot 136)

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Unique (Shrinking) 12¢ Z Grill Block

The Z Grill is significant in the study of grill production for several reasons. First, the grill itself is unlike all other grills used on United States stamps. The top of each pyramidal point in a grill has a ridge that runs across the grill point. Some collectors call this the "rooftop." Only on the Z Grill is the rooftop line horizontal--all others have either an X-shaped point or a vertical ridge. The Z and E Grills are the same size, but the distinctive horizontal ridge on each Z Grill point is its identifying feature. The Z Grill was labelled "Z" because William L. Stevenson, who classified the grills in the early part of the 20th century, could not place this type in the scheme of grill production. Today, much of the Z Grill's history still remains a mystery. There are no contemporary grill-production logs, and philatelic classification (Z, D, E) was never applied to Stamp Agent delivery records, so those dates and figures do not establish beginning and ending dates for the different types of grills. Educated guesswork, based on earliest recorded uses, Stamp Agent records, relative scarcity and observations made of the material itself, is the only way to answer questions about grill production.

The Z Grill was the first grill put into regular production after the experiments with the A and C Grills. We know the Z Grill was an early creation, because it is found on essays and experimental papers from 1867. When grilling entered the contract phase on January 1, 1868, it most certainly was Charles F. Steel--the grill's inventor and the National Bank Note Company employee responsible for grilling--who chose the Z as the grill for the job. The Z Grill probably went into production during the first week of January 1868 and was used exclusively until the D Grill machine was added to the process two weeks later. Soon after, the Z and D grilling rollers were replaced with the E and F grills.

Based on the earliest documented use of the 12¢ Z Grill (2/12/1868), E Grill (3/3/1868), and F Grill (5/27/1868), our theory is that the first 12¢ sheets were grilled in January 1868, using the Z Grill machine. They probably come from less than a day's production, which coincided with high-volume 2¢ and 3¢ grilling, and with the few sheets of 1¢, 10¢ and 15¢ stamps put through the Z Grill machine. The 12¢ stamps were finished with perforations and distributed in time to be used no later than February 12, 1868. All of the 12¢ Z Grill stamps are a consistent shade of Intense Black.

Additional 12¢ stamps were produced in late February, after one of the two grilling machines was refitted with the E Grill roller. These were available by March 3, 1868 (EDU). No more 12¢ stamps were grilled until May, when the second machine was refitted with the F Grill roller. These 12¢ F Grill stamps were available by May 27, 1868 (EDU).

Unused or original-gum examples of the 12¢ Z Grill are rare. Only one block survives--the block of four offered here--but prior to 1940 this block was part of a block of nine, which was owned by Joseph T. Lozier and Wharton Sinkler. According to Ward, it was broken into a block of four (bought by Ward), strip of three and pair at the time of the 1940 Sinkler sale. The top strip of three was still intact in 1962 when it was certified by The Philatelic Foundation (PFC 15569). Singles from that strip and the lower left pair have appeared in the market, confirming that they no longer survive as multiples. (Image)

Photo of the intact block of 9 from 5/17/1940 Eugene Klein sale of the Wharton Sinkler collection--the block was divided after this sale

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 85E ]

E. $ 75,000-100,000


Will close during Public Auction
78° ng ImageAn outstanding 2¢ E Grill imprint and plate number multiple with the major double transfer-- no plate blocks are known

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Black, E. Grill (87), unused horizontal strip of four (no gum) with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 29 Plate." plate number at bottom, right stamp has major double transfer of top left corner, including numeral "2", circle around it, acanthus leaf below the circle and the scroll above it, and in the letters "US", well-centered for this issue

PROVENANCE

"Country Gentleman," Siegel Auction Galleries, 11/29-30/1972, Sale 422, lot 221

Steven Metzger, Matthew Bennett Inc., 3/23/2002, lot 195

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 281

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$9,750.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Chapin census records more than 30 plate number multiples for Scott 73, 87 and 93. However, only seven come from Plate 29, and of those, only four are plate blocks. More significantly, only three plate number multiples of the E Grill (Scott 87) are recorded, and none are blocks. This strip includes the major double transfer position, which is present on the imprint positions of only one side of Plate 29. (Image)

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Get Market Data for [United States 87 ]

E. $ 3,000-4,000


Will close during Public Auction
79° ogbl ImageOne of two recorded plate number blocks of the 1868 3¢ E Grill

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Rose, E. Grill, Thin Paper (88), block of eight from the bottom of left pane of Plate 36 with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 36 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, centered to right

PROVENANCE

As pane of 100: Siegel Auction Galleries, 12/13/1999, Sale 818, lot 604

As plate block: John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 286 as full pane of 100

CONDITION NOTES

Very Good; tiny tears at edge of selvage, slight crease at bottom right

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$13,000.00--only $1,000.00 more than value of two ordinary blocks

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Boiling down the 8 Chapin census listings of Scott 88 to just plate blocks, there are just two (both Plate 36). The pane listed as no. 286 was sold in Siegel Sale 818 (lot 604) and then divided into smaller units, including this block. The only other full plate block of eight was part of the pane listed as no. 287, which was in the Col. Green collection (Costales 2/19/1945, lot 15, no photo). (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 88 ]

E. $ 5,000-7,500


Will close during Public Auction
80° ogbl ImageA beautiful original-gum block of the 10¢ E Grill-- this might be the largest block to survive

DESCRIPTION

10¢ Green, E. Grill (89), vertical block of six, original gum, remarkably choice centering, rich color, sharp impression, strong grills

PROVENANCE

As block of 18:

George H. Worthington, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 8/21-23/1917, lots 352-354

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lot 254, to Weill (for Phillips)

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

As block of 6 (righthand block):

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1981 Rarities, 4/29/1981, Sale 579, lot 139, to Ishikawa

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 546, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1993)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine-Extremely Fine; bottom left vertical pair with light gum staining

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$36,500.00 as a block and pair (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 89 ]

E. $ 20,000-30,000


Will close during Public Auction
81° ogbl ImageThis beautifully centered original-gum block of six is the largest recorded unused multiple of the 12¢ E Grill

DESCRIPTION

12¢ Black, E. Grill (90), horizontal block of six with interpane margin at left, original gum, remarkably choice centering, deep shade, sharp impression, strong grills

PROVENANCE

Possibly Benjamin D. Phillips (inventory lists a block of six with straight edge, but at right, not left--perhaps in error)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1983 Rarities of the World, 4/23/1981, Sale 618, lot 112

Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions, 5/7-9/2004, lot 643, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (2004)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; certificate notes trivial gum adherences

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$47,500.00 as a block and pair

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Blocks of the 12¢ E Grill are much rarer than multiples of the 10¢ or 15¢ E Grill, or the F Grills up through the 15¢. Not one block of the 12¢ E Grill was included in the massive classic collections formed by Caspary, Crocker, Eno, Lilly, Moody, West or Ishikawa. The Green collection had two off-center blocks, and the Klein collection had one off-center block (all with original gum). (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 90 ]

E. $ 40,000-50,000


Will close during Public Auction
82° ogbl ImageA choice original-gum block of four of the 15¢ E Grill, which is the largest unused multiple extant

DESCRIPTION

15¢ Black, E. Grill (91), block of four, original gum, deep shade and impression, strong grills, well-centered for this issue and very fresh

PROVENANCE

T. Charlton Henry, Harmer, Rooke sale, 12/14-16/1960, lot 296

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1981, 1985, 1989 and 1991 Rarities of the World sales

President's Sale, Ivy, Shreve & Mader, 12/4/1993, lot 286, to William H. Gross

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Our records contain only three or four other unused blocks of four of the 15¢ E Grill, and no larger multiples. The Zoellner block of four was broken into singles after the sale. This block is not from the Caspary block of eight, which went into the Phillips collection and was later divided into two blocks of four (and possibly further divided). The similarity in centering among the known blocks suggests they originated from one sheet. #

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1994)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$75,000.00 (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 91 ]

E. $ 15,000-20,000


Will close during Public Auction
83° ngbl ImageThis is the only recorded imprint and plate number multiple of the 1¢ F Grill

DESCRIPTION

1¢ Blue, F. Grill (92), unused block of six (no gum) with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY (OF NEW YORK)" part imprint and "No. 27 Plate." plate number at bottom, beautiful bright shade, well-centered, strong grills

PROVENANCE

Philip H. Ward, Jr. (estate sold to Weills in 1963)

Benjamin D. Phillips (bought from Weills out of Ward estate, 1964; Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1980 Rarities of the World, 4/5/1980, Sale 560, lot 120, to Ishikawa

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 560, to Mr. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

Chapin census no. 289; Evans U.S. 1¢ 1861-68, fig. 3-20, p. 51

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; pulled perf in bottom left stamp, light selvage creases (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 92 ]

E. $ 10,000-15,000


Will close during Public Auction
84° og ImageProbably the finest of the few 2¢ F Grill imprint and plate number multiples with original gum

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Black, F. Grill (87), horizontal strip of four with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 30 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, exceptionally well-centered for this issue

PROVENANCE

T. Charlton Henry, Harmer, Rooke sale, 12/14-16/1960, lot 299

Dr. Joseph F. Rorke, Christie's Robson Lowe, 3/16/1988, lot 594

Ivy, Shreve & Mader sale, 12/9/1988, lot 470, to Chapin

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS CERTIFICATION

Chapin census no. 291 The Philatelic Foundation (1988)

CONDITION NOTES SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

Very Fine and choice $6,500.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Chapin census records more than 30 plate number multiples for Scott 73, 87 and 93, but there are only seven strips of the F Grill (Scott 93), and no plate blocks outside of the two recorded panes of 100. One pane is believed to remain intact following its sale in 2002 (Metzger collection, Matthew Bennett Inc.). The other was part of the Maryette B. Lane Black Jack collection that was stolen decades ago, but was not contained in the recovered material. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 87 ]

E. $ 5,000-7,500


Will close during Public Auction

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