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Census of 1c Blue, Type I (Scott 5)

5-CAN-004

5-CAN-004

Notes:
  • Described by SBA as having “bad thin spot in the center—under the ear—in the hair”.
  • No discernible cancellation. Described by PFC as having “faint manuscript cancellation”. No gum. See notes below.
Provenance:
  • The history of this stamp illustrates the enormous influence of expert certification on the classification of a stamp. Although this stamp has no obvious signs of either a cancellation or cleaning, it has been certified as a used (and, sometimes, cleaned) stamp.
  • SBA’s notes state that the stamp was borrowed by Dr. Chase from an unknown owner and sent to SBA in 1923 for examination, but there is no statement as to what either Dr. Chase or SBA concluded at that time. However, SBA illustrated the stamp in Vol. 1 of his 1938 treatise (p. 119, illust. 15T), and referred to it as “An unused single in an eastern collection...” The stamp cannot be identified from the illustration, but SBA’s notes confirm that the illustration 15T is this stamp.
  • The stamp was later sent again to SBA, this time by the PF, on August 11, 1947, with the request that he opine whether it was an unused copy. SBA’s equivocal reply stated that his, “quartz lamp did not show any traces of cleaning but that there were slight traces in the back of the head. It was problematical whether the copy had ever been used. My personal opinion is that it had.” [Emphasis in original]. In reply, Boggs of the PF stated that, “From the ultraviolet and infrared photographs that we have, it would be very hazardous to say that it was unused.” In short, although SBA?wavered from his published opinion that the stamp was unused, he did not squarely abandon it, and the PF representative could not provide any objective finding of usage. Thus, there was nothing to support a conclusion that the stamp was either used or cleaned, only the subjective “personal opinion” of SBA and the feeling of the PF representative that “it would be very hazardous to say it was unused.”
  • The Siegel #807 2/3/1999 catalogue description states, “no visible trace of a cancellation.” It further states that there are “a few tiny, very faint spots. The same sort of spotting is found on the two original-gum examples of Scott 5. We believe it is quite possible that this stamp is unused...” The Siegel reference to “two original-gum examples” is not supported by examples confirmed in this census.
  • The David Wingate Collection, Siegel Sale 1180, 4/11/2018, lot 32
Certificates:
  • Submitted as PFC 636 (1947) but withdrawn prior to certification.
  • PFC 15774 (1962) states “cleaned and thin”.
  • PFC 299353 (1996) issued to Raymond H. Weill Co. states “small thin spot and a faded manuscript cancellation”. This PFC was misplaced prior to Siegel “Argentum” sale in 1999 and another was issued on 1/29/1999 (see next).
  • PFC?335649 (1/29/1999) issued to Raymond H. Weill Co., submitted as having “faint manuscript cancel”, PFC states “Genuine with a small thin spot”.
  • Ex Henry C. Gibson (prior to 1930).
  • Ex Edward F. Lawrence Jr. (circa 1950’s).
  • Ex “Argentum”, Siegel #807, 2/23/1999, lot 25, realized $62,500 vs. $31,000 Scott value. The Siegel description incorrectly quotes 1996 PFC, which was misplaced before the stamp was consigned. Another PFC (1/29/1999) was issued prior to the auction (submitted as “faint manuscript cancel” and certified “Genuine with a small thin spot”).
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