VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED TRIAL COLOR PROOFS OF THE BUFFALO BALLOON AIR POST ISSUE. ONE OF THE GREAT PROOF RARITIES IN UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
The Buffalo Balloon stamp, designed by John B. Lillard and engraved by John H. Snively, was printed by Wheeler Brothers Printers in Nashville, Tennessee. Only 300 were printed in tête-bêche arrangement from a single die. The stamps were intended for use on a balloon flight from Nashville to Gallatin, Tennessee, which took place on June 18, 1877. Of the 300 that were printed, Lillard wrote that only 23 were used. Two examples of the Black Trial Color proof are recorded. The other was sold in our 1974 Rarities of the World sale and is also ex Rudy.
With 1996 R.P.S. certificate. Listed in Scott in a footnote to No. CL1 and priced at $7,500.00 -- the same as an unused stamp and a number which has not changed since it was first priced in the 1993 Specialized Catalogue. The Schoendorf booklet prices the proof at 3-times the unused stamp