1¢-30¢ 1875 Re-Issue of 1861-66 Issue (102-110), blocks of four, all with original gum, deep rich colors and proof-like impressions, choice centering throughout
Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lots 322-329 (2¢-30¢) as a group to Cole (for Lilly)
Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lots 96-103/105 (2¢-30¢) as a group to Cole (for Hetherington)
1¢ block: Siegel Auction Galleries, 1982 Rarities of the World, 4/24/1982, Sale 596, lot 231
Arthur Hetherington, "Quality" collection, H. R. Harmer sale, 10/27/1983, lots 7-14 (2¢-30¢) as a group
Bought and sold privately by Harry Hagendorf (Columbian Stamp Co.) and Gary Posner (who sold them to Whitman)
Alan B. Whitman, Siegel Auction Galleries, 1/7/2009, Sale 968, lot 34 (including 1¢ block), to William H. Gross
The Philatelic Foundation (2¢-30¢--1968; 1¢--1982)
Very Fine; minor reinforcements, a few trivial imperfections, including 1¢ light crease at top right, 3¢ small thin spot at left, 15¢ faint natural horizontal gum bend at top
QUANTITIES SOLD, BLOCKS KNOWN AND SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUES (2019)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Post Office Special Printing Program
The stamps called Reproductions, Reprints, Re-Issues and Special Printings were created by the Post Office Department to exhibit every United States stamp at the 1876 Centennial, and to furnish examples to collectors. The program began in 1875 and ended in 1883, and was managed by the Third Assistant Postmaster General's office. Invoices were made for all sales, listing the denomination, quantity sold and name of purchaser. Unsold stamps were destroyed on July 3, 1884.
To have an inventory to fill orders, postal officials authorized the printers under contract to make special printings. For the 1847 Issue, new dies and plates with different engravings were made by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing--these are Reproductions (Scott 3-4). Stamps no longer valid for postage, but which could be reprinted using the original die designs are Reprints (Scott 40-47, PR5-PR7 and LO3-LO6). Those still valid for postage are called Re-Issues (Scott 102-111, 123-133a)--they were printed either from the original plates or from plates created for the Special Printing program. Re-Issues can be found cancelled and, in rare cases, used on cover. Finally, the special-order printings of currently circulating issues are called Special Printings, which include the Bank Note regular issues (Scott 167-177, 180-181, 192-204, 205C, 211B, 211D), and Postage Dues, Officials and Newspapers & Periodicals stamps (the Official stamps received "Specimen" overprints).
The 1847 Reproductions were presumably printed at the Bureau, where the imitation dies and plates were made. The 1861-66 and 1869 Re-Issues were printed by the National Bank Note Co. The 1851-57 Reprints and 1875 Bank Note stamps on hard paper were printed by the Continental Bank Note Co. The American Bank Note Co. printed the 1879-83 Special Printings on soft paper.
Stamps created for the Special Printing program differ from the normal printings. In most cases, the differences are obvious; in others, such as certain Special Printings on soft paper, the differences are subtle. The 1861-66 and 1869 Re-Issues are the only sets with gum.
The set of blocks offered here cannot be duplicated. Since the 90¢ does not exist in block form, this group of blocks is considered to be a "set." Seven of the nine are the only blocks extant; we record four 1¢ blocks and one additional 2¢ block. In a 1974 Jackson Winter auction, a second 15¢ block was described as the Re-Issue and repaired, but it was never certified and has since disappeared, leaving us to conclude it was either misidentified or has been divided into singles--we have removed it from the record.
VERY FINE. THE UNIQUE "SET" OF 1861-66 RE-ISSUE BLOCKS OF FOUR, WHICH IS COMPLETE FROM THE ONE-CENT THRU THE 30-CENT (THE 90-CENT DOES NOT EXIST IN BLOCK FORM). SIX OF THESE BLOCKS ARE UNIQUE. THEY WERE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CASPARY, LILLY AND HETHERINGTON COLLECTIONS, AND AS A GROUP FORM ONE OF THE GREATEST ASSEMBLAGES OF BLOCKS IN CLASSIC UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
Stamps from previous issues were made for the 1875 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and were intended both for sale and also to showcase examples of every U.S. stamp printed to date. Stamps which were no longer valid for postage were called Reprints (those with original issue dates prior to demonetization -- Scott Nos. 3, 4 and 40-47). Those still valid for postage were called Re-Issues. Those printed concurrently with contemporary designs were called Special Printings. The Post Office Department tried to get the original printing company to make them where possible; the Continental Bank Note Company printed Scott Nos. 40-47 and also Scott Nos. 167-177 and 180 and 181, while National Bank Note Company printed Nos. 102-111 and Nos. 123-132.
The 1861 Re-Issue and 1869 Pictorial Re-Issue were the only set of Reprints, Re-issues or Special Printings to be issued with original gum (both were done by the same printing company). The quality of the printing is very high -- the colors are consistent, the impressions are uniformly superior, and the paper used is thicker and whiter than the original issued stamps. The design and perforations are exactly the same as the issued stamps. Perhaps the quality of the printing was an attempt to showcase their skills, to be considered for future stamp contracts. They were only available from the offices of the Third Assistant Postmaster General, who recorded the quantities purchased and the names of the purchasers. On July 23, 1884 the remaining stock was destroyed, by order of the Postmaster General.
Our records for the 1861 Re-Issues are very comprehensive, and encompass hundreds of auction catalogues, as well as the Levi Records. The 3c, 5c, 10c, 12c, 24c and 30c blocks are unique. There are two blocks recorded for the 2c and 15c (the second of the latter with repaired perfs).
Ex Caspary, Lilly and Hetherington. The 1c with 1982 P.F. certificate. Others with 1968 P.F. certificates.