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

Dollar Value Columbians (Scott 241-245)
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
151° ogbl ImageA scarce top plate block of the $1.00 Columbian Issue

DESCRIPTION

$1.00 Columbian (241), block of six from top of right pane with "AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY." imprint and "No. 93" plate number, original gum, lightly hinged, vivid color

PROVENANCE

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 195, to Weill

Arthur J. Kobacker, Christie's Robson Lowe, 9/25/1991, lot 519

Bought privately from Harry Hagendorf (Columbian Stamp Co.)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine appearance; faint vertical crease at left and two trivial thin specks

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$50,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The $1.00 Columbian, depicting "Isabella Pledging Her Jewels," is based on a painting by Antonio Munce-Degrain. The vignette was engraved by Robert Savage, the frame by Douglas S. Ronaldson and the lettering by George H. Seymour. 55,050 stamps were printed and an unknown number were destroyed and never issued. The $1.00 is very rare as a top plate block. Most plate blocks are from the bottom position, and many have narrow selvage. Notable name sales such as Fogelson, Eno, "MLG" and Wampler, did not contain any top plate blocks. The Weill Stock sale contained a sheet of 100, with two bottom plate blocks. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 241 ]

E. $ 10,000-15,000


Will close during Public Auction
152° ogbl ImageA superb bottom plate block of the $2.00 Columbian Issue--one of the two finest of only five available plate blocks--from the Lilly and Kobacker collections

DESCRIPTION

$2.00 Columbian (242), block of six from bottom of right pane with "AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY." imprint and "No. 105" plate number, original gum, lightly hinged, outstanding centering, deep rich color

PROVENANCE

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 196, to Weill

Arthur J. Kobacker, Christie's Robson Lowe, 9/25/1991, lot 520

Bought privately from Harry Hagendorf (Columbian Stamp Co.)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine; small tear in selvage, Lilly sale mentions "almost invisible thin speck" which might exist but is all but undetectable

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$175,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

How the Knife Cuts

The $2.00 Columbian, depicting "Columbus in Chains," is based on an 1841 painting by Emanuel Gottleib Leutze. The vignette was engraved by Charles Skinner and the frame and lettering by Douglas S. Ronaldson. 45,550 stamps were printed from Plate 105, and an unknown number were destroyed and never issued.

For the Columbian series, all of the 1¢ stamps and most but not all of the 2¢ stamps were printed from 200-subject plates, with horizontal guide arrows between the two panes of 100. The perforating machine simultaneously applied horizontal perforations and cut the 200-stamp sheets into panes of 100, normally leaving a trace of the guide arrow on the straight edge of each pane. Some of the 2¢ stamps and all of the 3¢-$5.00 stamps were printed on smaller presses from plates of 100 subjects, with no guide arrows. When the perforating machine applied horizontal perforations to sheets from the 100-subject plates, the cutting blade, in the same position, removed either the top or bottom sheet margin (and plate number), depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, reducing by half the potential number of Columbian plate blocks that might have been available to collectors. This is also why so many Columbian stamps are reperforated at top or bottom rather than at the sides--10 stamps from every 100-subject sheet (or pane) would have a straight edge at either top or bottom. The 100-subject sheets were then divided into panes of 50 for distribution and sale at post offices. The undivided full sheets of 100 were only available from the Philatelic Agency in Washington D.C.

All of the values printed from 100-subject plates are known with both top and bottom plate blocks except for the 50¢ and $4.00, from which only bottom plate blocks are known. As explained, depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, either the top or bottom selvage was cut away and a straight edge was left in its place. For the 50¢ and $4.00, it appears that the entire supply was fed into the perforator in the same manner, preserving the bottom selvage and eliminating all top plate blocks (or any kind of top selvage). It is interesting that top and bottom plate blocks of the other dollar values exist.

The $2.00 Columbian is one of the great rarities of plate block collecting. Only six are recorded, including one in the Miller collection:

1) Bottom left plate no. 105 and "AA" block of eight, "MLG" collection (Siegel Sale 971, lot 1163)

2) Bottom right plate no. 105 block of six, lightly hinged, tiny sealed tear in selvage, ex Lilly and Kobacker, offered in this sale

3) Bottom left plate no. 105 block of six, disturbed original gum, ex Col. Green (Sale 27), Eno and "World's Fair" collection (Siegel Sale 1055, lot 59)

4) Top right plate no. 105 block, part of a full sheet of 100, sheet with separations, right plate block intact, discovered in Germany (Mohrmann sale, 2016)

5) Top left plate no. 105 block with perf separations, part of a full sheet of 100, sheet and plate block with separations, discovered in Germany (Mohrmann sale, 2016)

6) Bottom left plate no. 105 block of six, original gum, Miller collection, The New York Public Library, unavailable to collectors. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 242 ]

E. $ 100,000-150,000


Will close during Public Auction
153° ogbl ImageA brilliant and fresh bottom plate block of the $3.00 Columbian Issue--one of only three plate blocks recorded and the finest in terms of centering and overall condition

DESCRIPTION

$3.00 Columbian (243), block of six from bottom of left pane with "AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY." imprint and "No. 106" plate number, original gum, barely hinged, exceptional centering, fresh color and paper

PROVENANCE

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 197, to Weill

Arthur J. Kobacker, Christie's Robson Lowe, 9/25/1991, lot 521

Bought privately from Harry Hagendorf (Columbian Stamp Co.)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine; Lilly sale mentions "pinpoint thin speck" which might exist, but is all but undetectable and a "light gum wrinkle" which is utterly inconsequential

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$275,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Best of the Three $3.00 Columbian Plate Blocks

The $3.00 Columbian, depicting "Columbus Describing Third Voyage," is based on a painting by Francisco Jover y Casanova, reported to be in a museum in Spain. The vignette was engraved by Robert Savage and the frame and lettering by Douglas S. Ronaldson. 27,652 stamps were printed from Plate 106, and according to Luff 2,937 were destroyed.

For the Columbian series, all of the 1¢ stamps and most but not all of the 2¢ stamps were printed from 200-subject plates, with horizontal guide arrows between the two panes of 100. The perforating machine simultaneously applied horizontal perforations and cut the 200-stamp sheets into panes of 100, normally leaving a trace of the guide arrow on the straight edge of each pane. Some of the 2¢ stamps and all of the 3¢-$5.00 stamps were printed on smaller presses from plates of 100 subjects, with no guide arrows. When the perforating machine applied horizontal perforations to sheets from the 100-subject plates, the cutting blade, in the same position, removed either the top or bottom sheet margin (and plate number), depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, reducing by half the potential number of Columbian plate blocks that might have been available to collectors. This is also why so many Columbian stamps are reperforated at top or bottom rather than at the sides--10 stamps from every 100-subject sheet (or pane) would have a straight edge at either top or bottom. The 100-subject sheets were then divided into panes of 50 for distribution and sale at post offices. The undivided full sheets of 100 were only available from the Philatelic Agency in Washington D.C.

All of the values printed from 100-subject plates are known with both top and bottom plate blocks except for the 50¢ and $4.00, from which only bottom plate blocks are known. As explained, depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, either the top or bottom selvage was cut away and a straight edge was left in its place. For the 50¢ and $4.00, it appears that the entire supply was fed into the perforator in the same manner, preserving the bottom selvage and eliminating all top plate blocks (or any kind of top selvage). It is interesting that top and bottom plate blocks of the other dollar values exist.

The $3.00 Columbian is one of the great rarities of plate block collecting. Only three are recorded:

1) Top right plate no. 106 block of six, reinforced perf separations, ex Crocker (1938) as plate block of 10, offered in Eugene Klein auction (1940) as plate block of six and block of four with the option to keep it together (photo shows the intact block of ten), Siegel 1988 Rarities sale in its present form, "World's Fair" collection (Siegel Sale 1055, lot 60)

2) Bottom left plate no. 106 block of six, lightly hinged and Extremely Fine centering, ex Lilly and Kobacker, offered in this sale

3) Bottom left plate no. 106 block of six, narrow selvage, no gum, top left stamp slight thin, ex Franklin J. Willock (Harmer, Rooke sale, 1/13/1953, lot 429), 1980 Greg Manning, 2004 Shreves Philatelic Galleries. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 243 ]

E. $ 100,000-150,000


Will close during Public Auction
154° ogbl ImageBottom plate block of the $4.00 Columbian Issue--one of only three plate blocks recorded (all bottoms) and the finest of the three-- a highlight of the Gross collection and of 19th century United States philately

DESCRIPTION

$4.00 Columbian (244), block of six from bottom of left pane with "AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY." imprint and "No. 107" plate number, original gum, five stamps Mint N.H., top right stamp narrow hinge remnant, gorgeous centering and margins, vivid color on bright and extraordinarily fresh paper

PROVENANCE

Colonel Stillwell (sold by order of U.S. Trust Company), Siegel Auction Galleries, 5/31/1972, Sale 413, lot 244

Arthur J. Kobacker, Christie's Robson Lowe, 9/25/1991, lot 522

Bought privately from Harry Hagendorf (Columbian Stamp Co.)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$635,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

A Superb $4.00 Columbian Plate Block

The $4.00 Columbian, depicting "Isabella--Columbus," is based on an unknown portrait of Queen Isabella and a portrait of Columbus from a painting by Lorenzo Lotto. The vignette was engraved by Alfred Jones and the frame and lettering by George H. Seymour. 26,350 stamps were printed from Plate 107, and according to Luff 3,357 were destroyed.

For the Columbian series, all of the 1¢ stamps and most but not all of the 2¢ stamps were printed from 200-subject plates, with horizontal guide arrows between the two panes of 100. The perforating machine simultaneously applied horizontal perforations and cut the 200-stamp sheets into panes of 100, normally leaving a trace of the guide arrow on the straight edge of each pane. Some of the 2¢ stamps and all of the 3¢-$5.00 stamps were printed on smaller presses from plates of 100 subjects, with no guide arrows. When the perforating machine applied horizontal perforations to sheets from the 100-subject plates, the cutting blade, in the same position, removed either the top or bottom sheet margin (and plate number), depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, reducing by half the potential number of Columbian plate blocks that might have been available to collectors. This is also why so many Columbian stamps are reperforated at top or bottom rather than at the sides--10 stamps from every 100-subject sheet (or pane) would have a straight edge at either top or bottom. The 100-subject sheets were then divided into panes of 50 for distribution and sale at post offices. The undivided full sheets of 100 were only available from the Philatelic Agency in Washington D.C.

All of the values printed from 100-subject plates are known with both top and bottom plate blocks except for the 50¢ and $4.00, from which only bottom plate blocks are known. As explained, depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, either the top or bottom selvage was cut away and a straight edge was left in its place. For the 50¢ and $4.00, it appears that the entire supply was fed into the perforator in the same manner, preserving the bottom selvage and eliminating all top plate blocks (or any kind of top selvage). It is interesting that top and bottom plate blocks of the other dollar values exist.

The $4.00 Columbian plate block is of the utmost rarity. Only three examples are recorded:

1) Bottom left plate no. 107 block of ten with left selvage, ex Crocker

2) Bottom right imprint and plate no. 107 block of six, tiny surface scuff and tiny thin speck, Extremely Fine centering, ex Lilly and "World's Fair" collection (Siegel Sale 1055, lot 61)

3) Bottom left imprint and plate no. 107 block of six, five stamps Mint N.H., sound and Extremely Fine, ex Col. Stillwell and Kobacker, offered in this sale. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 244 ]

E. $ 300,000-400,000


Will close during Public Auction
155° ogbl ImageThe unique top plate block of the $5.00 Columbian Issue--one of only four plate blocks extant and the only block from the premium top position--a highlight of the Gross collection and one of the most important of all United States plate blocks

DESCRIPTION

$5.00 Columbian (245), block of six from top of left pane with "AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY." imprint and "No. 108" plate number, original gum, five stamps Mint N.H., bottom right stamp barely hinged, intense shade, attractive centering and margins

PROVENANCE

As block of 10: William H. Crocker, Harmer, Rooke sale, 11/23-25/1938, lot 417, as a block of ten described as "immaculate mint condition and with full original gum"

As block of 6: Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 199, to Jacques Minkus

Bought privately from Harry Hagendorf (Columbian Stamp Co.)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1991)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine; Lilly sale mentions "negligible gum wrinkle" which is utterly inconsequential

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$290,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The High Value of the Columbians

The $5.00 Columbian, depicting "Columbus" is based on a portrait taken from a medal, possibly of Spanish origin. The same portrait design was used for the commemorative half-dollar issued for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The vignette was engraved by Alfred Jones, the frame by George Skinner and Douglas S. Ronaldson, and the lettering by Ronaldson alone. A total of 27,350 stamps were printed from Plate 108, and according to Luff 5,506 were destroyed.

For the Columbian series, all of the 1¢ stamps and most but not all of the 2¢ stamps were printed from 200-subject plates, with horizontal guide arrows between the two panes of 100. The perforating machine simultaneously applied horizontal perforations and cut the 200-stamp sheets into panes of 100, normally leaving a trace of the guide arrow on the straight edge of each pane. Some of the 2¢ stamps and all of the 3¢-$5.00 stamps were printed on smaller presses from plates of 100 subjects, with no guide arrows. When the perforating machine applied horizontal perforations to sheets from the 100-subject plates, the cutting blade, in the same position, removed either the top or bottom sheet margin (and plate number), depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, reducing by half the potential number of Columbian plate blocks that might have been available to collectors. This is also why so many Columbian stamps are reperforated at top or bottom rather than at the sides--10 stamps from every 100-subject sheet (or pane) would have a straight edge at either top or bottom. The 100-subject sheets were then divided into panes of 50 for distribution and sale at post offices. The undivided full sheets of 100 were only available from the Philatelic Agency in Washington D.C.

All of the values printed from 100-subject plates are known with both top and bottom plate blocks except for the 50¢ and $4.00, from which only bottom plate blocks are known. As explained, depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, either the top or bottom selvage was cut away and a straight edge was left in its place. For the 50¢ and $4.00, it appears that the entire supply was fed into the perforator in the same manner, preserving the bottom selvage and eliminating all top plate blocks (or any kind of top selvage). It is interesting that top and bottom plate blocks of the other dollar values exist.

The $5.00 Columbian is perhaps the most iconic value of the series. Only four plate blocks are recorded, including three blocks of six and one block of eight:

1) Bottom left plate no. 108 block of 8, part disturbed original gum, perf separations reinforced, small flaws, ex Col. Green, Col. Stillwell (Sale 413, lot 249), "MLG" collection (Sale 971, lot 1164)

2) Top left plate no. 108 block of 6, ex Crocker as plate block of 10, ex Lilly as plate block of 6 (Sale 327, lot 199), 5 stamps Mint N.H., sound, offered in this sale

3) Bottom right plate no. 108 block of six, top left stamp small tear, small tear in bottom left selvage, ex Moody (H. R. Harmer Part 2, lot 614), Dr. Guillermo Guinle H. R. Harmer 6/15/1953), "Ambassador" (Sale 300, lot 294), Kobacker (Christie's RL, lot 522) and Sale 836 (lot 1617), illustrated in Luff book

4) Bottom right plate no. 108 block of six, narrow selvage, ex T. Charlton Henry (Harmer, Rooke 12/14/1960, lot 606), "World's Fair" (Sale 1055, lot 62). (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 245 ]

E. $ 200,000-300,000


Will close during Public Auction

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