FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 4-CENT VERMILION J. C. AYER & CO. ISSUE. ONLY THREE ARE RECORDED, AND THIS IS THE FIRST WE HAVE OFFERED IN DECADES.
The 4c J. C. Ayer & Co. stamps were initially printed in six colors on old paper -- Black (none known), Red (5 known), Vermilion (3 or 4 known), Green (3 known), Purple (1 known) and Blue. The majority of stamps issued were Blue, on various papers. It has been estimated that slightly over a million per year were used, over a 20-year period, so most of the Blue stamps are common, except for some paper varieties. They were generally not cancelled, since they were normally destroyed or damaged when the pill box or bottle was opened.
The three examples are illustrated at our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/RS13a . One has all points of the star trimmed away.
Ex Lilly and Joyce.