3¢ Dull Red, Type IV, Imperforate Vertically (26Af), horizontal strip of three, no trace of perforations in the vertical direction, centered slightly to bottom, tied by large "Paid" grid cancels and red "Boston Ms. Apr. 20, 1859" circular datestamp on cover to St. Louis, Missouri, accompanied by February 9, 1859 enclosure
Very Fine appearance; left stamp has sealed tear, minor cover edge nicks and tears have been expertly improved--these trivial flaws are immaterial.
This is the unique example of the 3¢ 1857 Type IV Imperforate Vertically. One of the great rarities of this foundational stamp of United States classics collecting.
The 3¢ 1857 Type IV (Scott 26A) is distinguished by its non-continuous or broken vertical framelines between entries. It comes only from Plates 10 and 11 and is the result of individual recutting of the framelines. All other 3¢ plates (9 and 12-28) show continuous vertical framelines and produced the far more common Type III stamps (Scott 26).
The 3¢ Imperforate Vertically variety is a great rarity for both the Type III and Type IV stamps. Only two or three examples are recorded of the Type III Imperforate Vertically--a used single with imprint and plate no. (ex Piller and Hulme), a single on cover on which the P.F. declined to opine the last time it was submitted in 2015 (ex Chase), and an unused pair (ex Piller and Wagshal). This is the only recorded example of the 3¢ Type IV Imperforate Vertically. Prior to 1997 specialists were unaware that this strip is Type IV, not Type III so at one time it was identified as the old Scott 26b (and offered as such in our 1966 Rarities sale). It has been correctly identified and is now listed in Scott with the footnote "unique."
Ex Dr. John L. Robertson and William S. Floyd. With copy of 1950 and 1997 P.F. certificates (the latter issued under the old Scott 26a variety).