FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE ONE-CENT J. C. AYER & CO. PRINTED IN BLUE. ONLY THREE ARE REPORTED TO EXIST. ONE OF THE GREAT RARITIES OF PRIVATE DIE MEDICINE COLLECTING.
The one-cent Ayer's stamps were printed and issued in seven different colors. Three colors are the only recorded examples, the Orange is one of two known and the Brown Carmine and Blue are represented by two or three known. All six of these rare colors are included in the Inman collection, which is a remarkable feat. The majority used by Ayer were in Black, where it has been estimated that 1.25 million were used each year.
The rarity of Medicine stamps is often attributable to paper type, such as pink or experimental silk paper. This is an unusual case where the item's rarity is based on the printed color, which is more easily discernible than most paper types. The Blue is extremely rare, with three reported in the Aldrich book. The Joyce collection contained two, but only this one was offered in the auction. The only other example we were able to locate was in the Lilly sale, which has similar margins and is also faulty.
Ex Eagle, Colonel Green and Joyce. Offered to the market for the first time since 1991.