EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1851 ONE-CENT TYPE IV IS GRADED GEM 100 JUMBO BY P.S.E., WHICH IS THE HIGHEST GRADE ATTAINABLE. THE ESSENCE OF PERFECTION.
Many collectors have a tendency to discount how difficult it is to find imperforate classics in such superb condition. The assumption is that there are multiples which can be split to "make" perfect singles. However, one would have to find a block of nine with no hinging in the surrounding stamps that are included in order to produce the Gem offered here. For all the imperforate issues (Scott 1-17), only six stamps in total have achieved this ultimate grade in Mint N.H. condition -- two of Scott 9 and four of Scott 11/11A.
Ex "Hanover". With 2007 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100 Jumbo; unpriced in SMQ in Mint N.H. condition). Scott 9 is priced in the grade of 100, in hinged condition, at $11,000.00. This does not take into consideration any multiplier for Mint N.H. condition or for the Jumbo grade. Scott Retail as hinged
1¢ Blue, Type II (7), Plate 1 Early, large margins at bottom and right, just in at top and left, faults including sealed tears, tied by red grid cancel on blue printed circular for wholesale druggist datelined "New York, July 1st, 1851", addressed to Newburgh, New York, manuscript "Circular" and "paid" at upper left, docketing below stamp includes the July 1, 1851 date, Very Fine appearance--only two 1¢ 1851 covers postmarked July 1 are recorded (one with Scott 5A and the other with Scott 7); six July 1 circulars with the 1¢ 1851 are recorded, but printed circulars were frequently mailed after their publication date, so they are not considered true First Day of Issue uses; the Scott U.S. Specialized lists the July 1 circular in the First Day Cover section and prices it at $4,000.00--ex Fisher and noted in Neinken, The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851 to 1861 (p. 78).
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The New 1851 Issue
Three new stamps--1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ denominations-- were necessary after postage rates were revised by Congress during the Fillmore administration. Effective July 1, 1851, the basic rates became 1¢ for newspapers and circulars (with a distance escalation until 1852), 1¢ for drop letters and carrier fees, 3¢ for domestic letters sent up to 3,000 miles, and 6¢ for letters sent over 3,000 miles. Prepayment by stamps or stamped envelopes was not made compulsory until 1855, but for the first time there were higher rates for letters sent unpaid--5¢ instead of 3¢, and 10¢ instead of 6¢. The combination of convenience and the financial incentive to prepay postage led to a rapid increase in stamp use and popularity.
Under Postmaster General Nathan K. Hall, the contract to print the 1851 Issue was awarded to the Philadelphia firm of Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co. (Casilear retired in October 1854, but his name was included in plate imprints as late as 1857). To start, only the 1¢, 3¢ and 12¢ (and the General Issue Carrier stamps) were produced. A 10¢ stamp was added in 1855 to meet the new transcontinental rate, and a 5¢ stamp was added in 1856 for use on transatlantic mail. The firm's original six-year contract was extended to 1861, during which time stamps were perforated and three new denominations were issued (24¢, 30¢ and 90¢), for a total of eight different stamps under Toppan Carpenter's contract.
All three 1851 Issue stamps were supplied to certain post offices on or before July 1, 1851, the first day of the new rates. The census of 1851 First Day Covers published by Wilson Hulme in 2001 (The 1851 Issue of United States Stamps: A Sesquicentennial Retrospective, USPCS) tallied 45 covers from 23 cities in 11 states (one in the count was postmarked by the Louisville & Cincinnati Mail Line route agent). Only two of the 45 covers have 1¢ stamps--the Scott 5A cover from Boston (sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale) and a cover with a strip of Scott 7 from New York City (ex Jefferys and Grunin). The other 43 have 3¢ stamps, and currently there are no 12¢ July 1 covers known.
The 1¢ on a July 1, 1851, printed circular is a suitable alternative to the supremely rare postmarked First Day covers.
1¢ Blue, Type II (7), Positions 98-100L1E, horizontal strip of three from bottom right corner of left pane of Plate 1 Early with corner interpane margins and centerline at right, just touched at top, beautiful bright shade and early impression, tied by two perfect strikes of blue "Charleston S.C. Paid Dec. 2" (1851) circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Camden, South Carolina, file fold clear of strip, Very Fine, a rare interpane-margin strip from Plate 1E Left, scarce and desirable in this wonderful quality, ex Malcolm, Grunin, Dr. Martin and Hackmey, with 2005 P.F. certificate
1¢ Blue, Type II (7), three singles from Plate 1 Early, large margins to just in, center and right stamps light toning spots at top right and bottom right respectively, tied by black grid cancels, blue "Buffalo N.Y. Feb. 24" circular datestamp on J. Sage & Sons' Piano Forte and Music Store illustrated advertising cover to Syracuse, New York, where forwarded to Cortland, New York, blue "Syracuse N.Y. Mar. 1" circular datestamp, matching "5" and "FORWARDED" handstamps, Very Fine, the 3¢ postage paid the rate to Syracuse, 5¢ charged for forwarding, ex Rogers and Hackmey, with 2005 P.F. certificate
1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), Positions 91-99L1L, horizontal strip of nine, left stamp 91L triple transfer, one inverted, Positions 97L and 98L double transfers, all are recut once at top, large margins except at left and Position 97L where slightly in, Position 95L small tear, tied by "Sturgis Mich. Jan. 24" circular datestamps on large cover to the Commissioner of Pensions in Washington, D.C., partly reduced and refolded (lacking left side flap), Very Fine appearance, a rare strip of nine of the 1¢ 1851 Issue from Plate 1 Late, including Position 91L1L with triple transfer, one inverted, ex Caspary and Grunin, signed by Morris Fortgang who notes "Superb and rare strip of 9"
1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), Positions 91-96L1L, horizontal strip of six, left stamp 91L triple transfer, one inverted, huge margins to just in including bottom sheet margin, few faults including 92L large diagonal tear and 96L corner crease, tied by "San Francisco Cal. 7 May" circular datestamps on cover to Waterloo, New York, Fine appearance, a rare strip used to properly pay the 6¢ rate for distances over 3,000 miles, ex Hackmey, with 2004 P.F. certificate
1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), Positions 72-74/82-84R1L, horizontal block of six used with single and horizontal strip of three, Positions 62-64R1L, large margins to just in, tied by fancy cork cancel--the so-called "Shell"--clear strike of "Downieville Cal. Oct. 2" circular datestamp with month inverted on cover to John Bradbury in Boston, Massachusetts
Fine-Very Fine; certificate notes that the top left stamp of block and the strip each have "creases" and a small tear, but these negligible flaws are endemic to large multiples positioned along the top edge of a cover, and we would not call the minor wrinkles "creases" (we would call them wrinkles), and the tears are minute.
A remarkable cover, franked with a block of six, strip of three and single of the 1851 1¢ Type IV, used from California to Boston. Very few covers with blocks of this issue are known, and this is exceptionally beautiful.
This cover was included in the "Cleveland Album," a collection of United States covers formed in the 1890s and consigned to the Siegel firm in 1994. This cover is the mate to lot 193 in this sale (ex Caspary, Baker, Grunin and Kramer), which is from the same correspondence and shows the 10¢ rate prepaid with a block of four and strip of six 1¢ Type II stamps from Plate 2.
Ex "Cleveland Album", George J. Kramer and Joseph Hackmey. With 2003 P.F. certificate.
1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), Positions 14-19/24-29L1L, block of twelve, large margins to in, used with 3¢ Rose, Type I (25), tied by "Fairfield Texas, February 20th/58" manuscript postmark on large cover to the clerk of the county court in DeWitt County, Texas, blurry strike of "Fairfield Tex. Feb. 20" circular datestamp, docketing indicates this contained depositions
Fine-Very Fine appearance; stamps with some minor faults and cover slightly toned and worn.
This is the largest recorded multiple of the 1¢ 1851 Issue on cover. The 15¢ postage pays the five-times 3¢ rate.
Ex Joseph Hackmey.
1¢ Blue, Type IV (9), Positions 26-30R/36-40R1L, large margins to almost clear including right sheet margin with "on & Cincinnati." of imprint, top stamps lightly soiled along pressed-out horizontal file fold, tied by light strikes of "San Francisco Cal. 18 Jun." (1855) circular datestamps on folded letter to Yorkville, New York, manuscript docketing at lower left confirms date of use, Fine, the largest recorded multiple on cover paying the 10¢ transcontinental rate, a highly unusual franking, the rate changed from 6¢ to 10¢ on April 1, 1855, just a short time before this was used, and 10¢ stamps were not available to pay the rate for mail sent from the West Coast until the end of June--the letter ends with a diatribe against someone's "faithless lover," a woman who deserves to have "the double forked tongue of serpents pierce her, infuse her blood with the venom and poison of the cobra de capello," ex Hackmey, with 2004 P.F. certificate