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

1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)
Lot Sym. Lot Description  
170° nhbl ImageA beautiful Mint Never-Hinged imprint and plate block of four of the 4¢ Trans-Mississippi Issue

DESCRIPTION

4¢ Trans-Mississippi (287), Mint N.H. full top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 599 block of four, well-centered

PROVENANCE

James H. Gray, Jr., Shreves Philatelic Galleries, 9/30/2005, lot 4, to William H. Gross

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; some slight oxidation

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$1,550.00 (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 287 ]

E. $ 750-1,000

SOLD for $700.00
Will close during Public Auction
171° nhbl ImageAn attractive 5¢ Trans-Mississippi Mint Never-Hinged full top plate block

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Trans-Mississippi (288), Mint N.H. full top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 618 block of four, radiant color, crisp impression

PROVENANCE

"MLG" collection, Siegel Auction Galleries, 4/21/2009, Sale 971, lot 1227, to William H. Gross

CONDITION NOTES

Fine; small hinge mark in ungummed part of selvage (easily trimmed and so counted as Mint N.H.)

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$1,600.00 (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 288 ]

E. $ 300-400

SOLD for $650.00
Will close during Public Auction
172° nhbl ImageAn extraordinary Mint Never-Hinged 8¢ Trans-Mississippi wide top plate block

DESCRIPTION

8¢ Trans-Mississippi (289), Mint N.H. wide top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 609 block of four, gorgeous centering throughout with wide margins on each stamp, deep rich color and detailed impression

PROVENANCE

James H. Gray, Jr., Shreves Philatelic Galleries, 9/30/2005, lot 6, to William H. Gross

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine Gem

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$3,400.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The 8¢ Trans-Mississippi is one of the most difficult denominations of the set to obtain in such superb condition. We have offered only one Mint N.H. top plate number block of six since keeping computerized records. Of the plate blocks of four we have offered, several have issues such as gum wrinkles, or have poor centering. This example is the finest we have ever offered. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 289 ]

E. $ 3,000-4,000

SOLD for $4,750.00
Will close during Public Auction
173° nhbl ImageA beautiful Mint Never-Hinged plate block of the 10¢ Trans-Mississippi Issue

DESCRIPTION

10¢ Trans-Mississippi (290), Mint N.H. full top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 620 block of four, well-balanced margins, detailed impression

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$3,600.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The full imprint and plate number is contained within the selvage adjoining two stamps of the Trans-Mississippi Issue, so generations of collectors saved this issue in plate blocks of four, not six. We have never offered a Mint N.H. plate block of six from the top position since keeping computerized records. We have offered only one plate block of six from the bottom position, in 1999. Lilly owned a top left corner plate block of ten, and a few full panes are also known.

The great name auctions containing plate blocks, such as Colonel Green, Eno, Sinkler, Todd, the Weill Stock, Kobacker, Wampler and Fogelson, either had a plate block of four of the 10¢ Trans-Mississippi or none at all. We have sold only five other Mint N.H. top imprint and plate number blocks of four since keeping computerized records. We found only three that compare favorably to the superb plate block of four offered here. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 290 ]

E. $ 2,000-3,000

SOLD for $4,250.00
Will close during Public Auction
174° Pbl ImageThe unique plate block of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi plate proof on card-- an important commemorative issue rarity

DESCRIPTION

$2.00 Trans-Mississippi, Plate Proof on Card (293P4), top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 613 block of four, wide margins, bright color, detailed impression

PROVENANCE

As a vertical plate block of six: Col. Edward H. R. Green, Harmer, Rooke sale, 11/13-18/1944, lot 112

As a plate block of 4: Harmer, Rooke sale, 10/9-11/1956, lot 149

"Vanguard" collection, Schuyler Rumsey Auctions, 4/26/2001, Sale 11, lot 3321, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

Professional Stamp Experts (2001)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; some thinning of card on back, tiny scuff just below and touching the imprint at left

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$30,000.00 as a block of four; unpriced as a plate block

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

A Surprisingly Rare Plate Proof

Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) plate proofs of the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (or of any BEP commemorative issue) should not be confused with the more readily available 1893 Columbian plate proofs, which were printed by a private bank note company. The Trans-Mississippi plate proofs are great rarities. In fact, of the nine denominations, only the 2¢ and $2.00 Trans-Mississippi are found in plate proof form outside government archives--both are on card (no India paper proofs are known). We do not know of any other BEP commemorative plate proofs in private hands.

The only source of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi plate proofs is a vertical block of six with imprint and plate number, sold in Part 17 of the Colonel Green sales (Harmer, Rooke & Co., 11/13-18/1944). The description notes "In the almost 50 years since the Bureau issued this stamp no plate proofs have ever been recorded, a magnificent item and of course unique." Shortly after the Green sale, the bottom pair was removed. The block was offered in a Harmer, Rooke sale (10/9-11/1956, lot 149), and the pair appeared in one of our auctions decades later (Sale 564, 6/12-13/1980). We have been unable to locate any other examples.

The 2¢ Trans-Mississippi plate proof is equally rare--we have found six singles and no multiples. At one point the vignettes for the 2¢ and $2.00 were switched, so perhaps this is the reason why plate proofs of these two denominations were released. (Image)

Search for comparables at SiegelAuctions.com

Get Market Data for [United States 293P4a ]

E. $ 10,000-15,000

SOLD for $27,000.00
Will close during Public Auction

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