3¢ Pink (64), unused block of twelve (no gum) with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 12 Plate." plate number at bottom, beautiful true Pink color, extraordinarily well-centered
One of two plate blocks of 12 discovered in California; this one sold to John N. Luff (reported in American Journal of Philately, Oct. 1892); sold by Luff to Worthington, 1905
George H. Worthington, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 8/21-23/1917, lot 249
J. C. Morgenthau sale, January 1922, to Duveen
Henry J. Duveen (sold privately to Hind, according to Ashbrook)
Arthur Hind, Phillips-Kennett sale, 11/20-24/1933, lot 248, to Perry (as agent for Waterhouse)
Sir Nicholas Waterhouse, H. R. Harmer London sale, 6/27-30/1955, lot 409, to Weill
H. R. Harmer sale, 1/18/1966, lot 218, with PFC 5905 dated 10/11/65
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1988 Rarities of the World, 4/23/1988, Sale 692, lot 131
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1993 Rarities of the World, 11/20/1993, Sale 755, lot 107, to Zoellner
Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 175, to William H. Gross
CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES
John C. Chapin, A Census of United States Classic Plate Blocks 1851-1882, census no. 193
Stanley B. Ashbrook, Special Service, #53, pages 425-426
New York International Philatelic Exhibition 1913 (Worthington)
TIPEX 1936 exhibition (Waterhouse)
ANPHILEX 1996 Invited Exhibits (Zoellner)
The Philatelic Foundation (1965)
Fine overall; faint vertical crease through third row as almost always found in the unused Pink stamps, lower left vertical pair rejoined and some perf separations throughout reinforced with hinge slivers
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
$190,000.00 as two blocks and two pairs with original gum
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Long History of the 3¢ Pink Plate Block
The Pink shade of the National Bank Note Company 3¢ 1861 Issue was produced only in the early printings released in the fall of 1861. The shade is distinctive, and in its true form can easily be distiniguished from the other shades. The Pink is prone to transformation through light exposure, and in some cases can lose its special vibrancy.
Unused and original-gum examples of the 3¢ Pink are very scarce, and multiples are rare. It has been reported that a sheet was owned by George Walcott, a collector during the early part of the 20th century, and that John Klemann, a dealer at the time, purchased the sheet and divided it into blocks and singles. Many of the stamps with original gum have similar centering and color, as well as vertical creasing, which suggests that the account of a Walcott-Klemann sheet is factual, but no other imprint or plate number multiple from that sheet has been reported.
In the Special Service (#53, September 1955), following the Waterhouse sale, Stanley B. Ashbrook reported the history of the 3¢ Pink plate block:
Writing in the October 1892 American Journal of Philately, Mr. Luff gave the history... At that time Mr. Luff resided in San Francisco, Calif. and he related how two blocks of the 3¢ 1861 PINK had been discovered "among the papers of a lawyer in National City, Calif." who sold them to San Francisco dealers. Mr. Luff stated, quote: (there) "were two blocks of twelve, each bearing the imprint xxxx No. 12 plate. I am happy to say one of these blocks adorns my collection."
If there was a second plate block in 1892, it has been lost to philately. Elliott Perry, who acquired this block for Waterhouse in the 1933 Hind sale, is also quoted stating that it did not have gum at that time, despite the sale catalogue describing original gum.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. AN ABSOLUTELY STUNNING EXAMPLE OF THE EARLY PINK SHADE. A MATCHLESS COMBINATION OF QUALITY AND COLOR.
Ex Klein and Zoellner. 1959 P.F. certificate no longer accompanies. With 1998 and 2004 P.F. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A GORGEOUS USED EXAMPLE OF THE 3-CENT 1861 ISSUE IN THE PINK SHADE.
With 2007 P.S.E. certificate (XF 90; SMQ $3,250.00). Only two have graded higher (both at 95) and only five others share this grade
FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE FRANKING WITH THE 3-CENT PINK ON A COVER FROM NEBRASKA TERRITORY TO SWITZERLAND. THIS IS THE LARGEST FRANKING OF THIS ISSUE WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED.
With 2000 P.F. certificate
FINE APPEARING ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 3-CENT 1861 ISSUE IN THE PINK COLOR.
With 1991 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1861 3-CENT PINK.
Multiples of this distinctive shade are very difficult to obtain. Apart from the unique plate block of twelve (ex Zoellner) we have offered only four other blocks since keeping computerized records. None were sound.
With 1988 P.S.E. certificate