5¢ Orange Brown (1b), Position 91L with huge bottom left corner sheet margins, both measure approximately 8mm, ample margins at top and right, unusual dry print at left where the sheet of paper likely began to dry before printing (drying from the outside in) and therefore failed to pick up all the ink, deeply blued paper, tied by neat red square grid cancel with matching "New-York Mar. 19" (1851) circular datestamp on envelope to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, docketing at left "Cousin Nellie New York March 12, 1851"
Extremely Fine; some tears on backflap barely nick the edges of the cover.
This is an exceedingly rare on-cover example of the 5¢ 1847 Issue with huge corner sheet margins. For a variety of reasons, very few examples of the 5¢ 1847 Issue with corner sheet margins exist. To begin, only four outer corner positions on the full plate of 200 and four additional positions from the interior columns (separated by a gutter) could produce stamps with corner sheet margins. When the stamps were affixed to letters or envelopes, the sheet margins were often trimmed off, presumably to make the stamp fit on the envelope without covering up the address. Corner-margin stamps surviving from this small original supply are very rare, regardless of condition. Of the handful of truly full-size sheet-margin copies we have located, this is one of only two on cover--the other is the superb bottom left corner-margin example currently in the Gordon Eubanks collection.
Ward backstamp. Ex Paul C. Rohloff, Marc Haas and John R. Boker, Jr.
5¢ Orange Brown (1b), with huge top left corner sheet margins, left measures 5.5mm and top measures 6.5mm, bottom and right both with large margins, tied by blue "Baltimore Md. Apr. 24" (1851) circular datestamp on greenish folded letter addressed in blue to Mt. Vernon, Ohio, manuscript "Paid 5", heavy file folds, one of which falls near but does not touch stamp which has a few pinpoint raised indents, Extremely Fine Gem corner-margin stamp on cover and one of the largest on-cover examples in existence, ex Knapp, Gibson, Rohloff and Boker, and from our 1974 Rarities of the World sale
5¢ Orange Brown (1b), large margins to ample at top, brilliant color and First Printing impression, tied by blue "Philada. Pa. 5 cts Feb. 17" (1848) integral-rate circular datestamp on buff envelope with "Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co., No. 91 Walnut Street, Philadelphia" corner card, to Leesburg, Virginia, Very Fine, a scarce corner card use of the 5¢ 1847 Issue, this is the only example listed in the USPCS census with this style corner card from Penn Mutual (a 10¢ is known with a cameo design on the flap), ex Emerson, West, Starr, Hart and Boker, illustrated in Bakers' U.S. Classics (p. 175)
5¢ Orange Brown (1b), brilliant deep color, ample margins to just in at left, used with Hall & Mills' Despatch Post, New York, N.Y., (2¢) Black on Green (76L1), full margins to just in at lower right, both tied together by red square grid cancel with matching "New-York Oct. 5" (ca. 1847) circular datestamp on buff envelope to Newburyport, Massachusetts
Very Fine; 5¢ stamp with a faint margin crease from placement at edge of cover.
A beautiful cover and the only recorded combination of the 1847 Issue and the Hall & Mills' Despatch Post local stamp.
Ex Henry L. C. Wenk III (1985 Rarities of the World sale) and John R. Boker, Jr. With 1979 Robson Lowe certificate.
5¢ Orange Brown (1b), horizontal pair, radiant color, large and even margins, tied by five strikes of red grid cancel, matching "Cleveland O. Dec. 5" (1850) circular datestamp on light gray folded cover to St. Catharines, Canada West, sender's routing instruction "via Lewiston" at lower left, light strike of "Queenston U.C. Dec. ?, 1850" circular datestamp, manuscript "9" pence due, Extremely Fine, a beautiful cover to Canada with a choice pair of the Orange Brown shade, Cleveland was less than 300 miles from the exchange point so this was charged 10¢ postage for weight and not distance, ex Hart, Dr. Robertson and Hackmey, signed Ashbrook and with his note on back
5¢ Orange Brown (1b), horizontal strip of eight--nearly a complete row--original gum, stamps 2, 4, 5 and 7 are Mint N.H., others lightly hinged, bright shade, clear impression from reworked plate, large margins at top and sides, mostly clear at bottom except just touching on two stamps
Discovered shortly before its first auction appearance in 1970
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1970 Rarities of the World, 3/24/1970, Sale 371, lot 22, described as "From a new Original Find"
Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/19/1976, Sale 500, lot 21
Richard Wolffers, 10/31/1984 sale, lot 272
Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 3, to William H. Gross
CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES
Malcolm L. Brown census (Chronicle 171, August 1996, page 156), where described as "Positions 91-98L (?)"
Jonathan W. Rose, Classic United States Imperforate Stamps, page 9
The Philatelic Foundation (1976)
Very Fine appearance; couple gum toned spots (one shows faintly on face), slight horizontal crease, vertical creases mostly between stamps, slightly oxidized color far left and right
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
$80,000.00 as singles (multiples of Orange Brown are unpriced)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
5¢ 1847 Shades
The 5¢ 1847 Issue printings and the myriad colors they produced have vexed specialists attempting to classify them, as far back as the early 20th century when Dr. Carroll Chase described shade varieties in words, without the benefit of full-color publishing. In more recent times, Calvet M. Hahn and Wade Saadi have tried to describe the shades and illustrate them with color images. They have also attempted, with mixed results, to attribute shades (and impressions) to specific deliveries and/or printings.
The 5¢ stamps in a distinct orange hue are assigned Scott numbers 1b (Orange Brown), 1c (Red Orange) and 1d (Brown Orange). Philatelists have been left to decide which listed shade applies to a stamp at hand. Complicating matters, there is no clear consensus on the spectrum range for each shade, which results in great differences between two stamps presented or certified as the same Scott number.
The strip offered here is an unequivocal Orange Brown. It is a brightly tinted shade, and the impression is pronounced, but the lines of engraving show wear and fuzziness, which is most evident in the lines of the oval background surrounding Franklin's portrait and in the fine lines along the outside portions of the rectangular design within the framelines. The overall impression indicates that this was probably a late printing, circa 1850-51, made from the cleaned and reworked plate, a process used by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson to improve the quality of prints made from the well-worn plate after years of use.
The 1847 Issue is much scarcer in unused condition than other issues, because the stamps were demonetized in 1851. They could be exchanged for the new issue, but once the exchange period ended, the stamps would have no postage value. Considering the purchasing power of five or ten cents in 1851, it is not surprising that the stamps were either used or exchanged, rather than left for future generations of collectors. Multiples of any of the orange-hue stamps are very rare, and multiples larger than a unit of three of any 5¢ shade are also rare. This is the largest unused multiple of the Orange Brown, Scott 1b.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT 1847 ISSUE IN THE ORANGE BROWN SHADE, GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E..
With 2014 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $3,400.00). This is the highest grade awarded to this shade