VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL COVER WITH AN UNUSUAL USE OF THE ONE-CENT 1861 ISSUE AND RARE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL TO PAY THE 3-CENT RATE.
With 2003 P.S.E. certificate
FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE AND DESIRABLE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL. THIS IS A RARE STAMP WITH ORIGINAL GUM AND IS EVEN MORE DESIRABLE SHOWING A SPLIT GRILL. THIS IS THE ONLY UNUSED EXAMPLE WITH SPLIT GRILL WE HAVE OFFERED IN AT LEAST 25 YEARS.
Our computerized records go back to 1994, plus our Rarities sales and select name sales back to 1966. During that time, we have offered only two used example of Scott 84 with split grill, plus a pair on cover in our recent auction of the Faust collection. The Metzger collection did not have any, and the Rorke collection had one used with perfs significantly in on two sides.
A Power Search review will also demonstrate how rare this is as an original-gum stamp, regardless of the variety. The example offered here, with full original gum, the sheet selvage, the split grill and a small fault, is very desirable.
With 1999 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SCARCE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL. THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT ISSUE TO OBTAIN WITH ORIGINAL GUM AND ANY SEMBLANCE OF DECENT CENTERING.
A Power Search review (sort Scott 84 results by prices realized to see the nicest copies) demonstrates how difficult this is to find with original gum and decent centering. The finest examples are contained in the intact block of four, ex Caspary, Lilly, Klein and Faust. This stamp will look far better on an album page than most.
THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED USED BLOCK OF THE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL. A GREAT RARITY OF THE GRILLED ISSUE.
Listed but unpriced in Scott as a block of four. Scott Retail as two pairs
VERY FINE AND CHOICE USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL.
The 2c D Grill is the rarest of the regular-production 1867-68 Grilled Issues (excluding the 1867 trials and rarest Z Grills), followed in order of scarcity by the 3c Z Grill, the 3c D Grill and the 12c Z Grill.
With 2018 P.S.E. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION THE FINEST QUALITY MULTIPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL IN PRIVATE HANDS, COMPRISING FOUR SUPERB SINGLES, INCLUDING WHAT IS ARGUABLY THE FINEST EXAMPLE EXTANT -- THE TOP LEFT STAMP.
This original-gum block of the 1868 2c D Grill is notable for two significant reasons: first, its rarity as a surviving multiple, and, second, the superb quality of the four stamps contained in the block. The second virtue is the reason the block's survival is so miraculous.
The 2c D Grill is the rarest of the regularly-issued 1868 Grills, excluding the supremely rare Z Grill stamps. The 2c D Grill is rare even as a single, and multiples of any size or configuration are great rarities. We record just one used block -- a block of four. Blocks in unused or original-gum condition are also extremely rare. The last we offered was a block of six with top sheet-selvage and the imprint, but with perfs touching the design (Siegel 1998 Rarities sale, ex Ishikawa). The block offered here was acquired by Mr. Faust in the 1988 Christie's sale of the Walter C. Klein collection. If he had not outbid dealers eager to break this block into singles for the ravenous one-of-a-kind stamp market, there is no doubt this block would have suffered the same fate as the part-imprint, right sheet-selvage block from our 1985 Sheriff sale. The Sheriff block was subsequently broken, even though the singles are not nearly as well-centered as the stamps in the block offered here.
The Faust block is one of three blocks forming a vertical block of twelve, two by six, from Positions 39-40/49-50, 59-60/69-70, and 79-80/89-90 (Faust). The top block with right sheet selvage and the top part of the imprint (Positions 39-40/49-50, ex Hetherington and Sheriff) is now four singles, as noted above. The center block with right sheet selvage and the bottom part of the imprint (Positions 59-60/69-70) is ex Sinkler and was last seen in the 1952 Costales auction of the Henry B. Close collection -- neither the block nor singles from it have been observed in subsequent auctions, and we do not know if it still survives as a block.
The bottom block offered in this sale, comprising Positions 79-80/89-90, was originally joined with the other two blocks, but the right selvage was removed before the second half of the 20th century. In the November 1956 H.R. Harmer sale of the Alfred H. Caspary collection, it was bought by Ezra D. Cole, presumably as agent for Josiah K. Lilly. In the February 1968 Siegel sale of the Lilly collection, the block was acquired by Raymond H. Weill for Benjamin D. Phillips, one of Phillips's last purchases before he agreed to sell his collection to the Weills and then died on October 23, 1968. The block next appeared in Siegel's 1975 Rarities of the World sale, where it was bought for $9,500 (versus $4,500 Scott value) by Norman A. Robinson, on behalf of Walter C. Klein. Robinson obtained the block's first Philatelic Foundation certificate, dated June 2, 1975 (number 49290). In the September 1988 Christie's sale of the Klein collection, Mr. Faust acquired the block for $26,000 hammer (versus $14,000 Scott value).
To summarize, we have records of the following original-gum blocks of the 2 D Grill: a top imprint block of six; three contiguous blocks of four (one was broken into singles and one has not been seen since 1952); and an outlying block of four (1977 Rarities sale, perfs cutting into design). In addition to these blocks, there is one used block of four.
At the risk of enticing the trade to buy and divide this block, we will comment on its extraordinarily fine centering and condition. All four stamps in the block would be graded Very Fine or Extremely Fine as singles, and the top left stamp is an Extremely Fine Gem and probably the finest extant. The ink and paper are fresh, the grills are strong, and the gum has only a few small hinge marks. As collectors of classic U.S. singles know, the 2c D Grill is one of the most difficult issues to obtain with choice centering. The part-imprint single from the ex-Sheriff block holds the record in Power Search -- twice -- as the highest priced single sold by our firm. On that stamp the perfs touch the design at right, but its appearance is improved by the presence of the intact selvage. The P.S.E. Population Report lists two Scott 84 stamps in unused condition, with or without gum -- one is graded 70 and the other 80. The Philatelic Foundation photo records depict a similarly sparse number of unused or original-gum examples, with uniformly poor centering.
While we discourage bidders from buying this block to break it into singles, we need to explain the quality and value of the individual stamps to educate prospective buyers who will have to fight to keep it intact. The catalogue value for a block of Scott 84 is $80,000.00, and the value of a single is $16,000.00 "in the grade of fine," as stated in the footnote. Therefore, there is a modest 25% premium for a block of four versus four singles in the grade of Fine. If an original-gum single in Extremely Fine grade were to come to market, in our estimation it would realize $40,000 to $50,000. A Very Fine single with original gum might bring $20,000 to $25,000. Therefore, without a premium for its status as a block, this unit of four stamps has a market value into six figures if the stamps were sold individually. We hope that does not happen.
Ex Caspary, Lilly, Phillips and Klein. With 1975 and 2018 P.F. certificates.
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. AN OUTSTANDING SOUND USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL WITH AN ATTRACTIVE CANCEL.
The 2c D Grill is the rarest of the regular-production 1867-68 Grilled Issues (excluding the 1867 trials and rarest Z Grills), followed in order of scarcity by the 3c Z Grill, the 3c D Grill and the 12c Z Grill. The 2c D Grill stamps are very difficult to obtain in sound and centered condition, and particularly so with a neat cancel -- most examples have various forms of heavy cork cancels.
Ex Sheriff. With 1975 P.F. certificate