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VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THE 24-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL ISSUE INVERT IS ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL INVERTS IN UNUSED CONDITION. ONLY FOUR UNUSED EXAMPLES ARE RECORDED, AND OF THESE ONLY THREE ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS. THE TAPLING STAMP IS PART OF THE PERMANENT COLLECTION OF THE BRITISH LIBRARY. THE STAMP OFFERED HERE HAS THE BEST CENTERING OF THE FOUR.
This stamp was acquired sometime in the 1950s by Herbert Houghton “Hoky” Phillips, Jr., a Texas relative of Benjamin D. Phillips and a client of Raymond and Roger Weill. His collection was sold privately to the Weills around 1985. In 1987 it was acquired by Ryohei Ishikawa in a private transaction brokered by Harvey R. Warm and Scott R. Trepel (purchased from the Weills). It was sold in the 1993 Ishikawa auction at Christie's, where it was purchased by Columbian Stamp Company (Sonny Hagendorf) on behalf of a private collector. In 1996 Hagendorf sold the stamp to Steven Walske. It was offered in Walske's 2003 auction of his 1869 Pictorial Issue collection (the "Lafayette" collection), where it was acquired by David Wingate.
The Scott Catalogue value for the 24c 1869 Invert in unused condition is $750,000.00, but the last auction realization was $1,125,000 hammer (February 9, 2008, Philip Weiss Auctions), and that stamp was subsequently sold privately for an even higher price.
Census No. 120b-UNC-01. Ex H. Houghton Phillips, Jr., Ryohei Ishikawa and Steven C. Walske. With 1946, 1969 and 2003 P.F. certificates (the first two no longer accompany).
Census of Scott 120b: https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/120b
FINE AND WONDERFULLY FRESH. ONE OF FOUR RECORDED UNUSED 24-CENT 1869 PICTORIAL INVERTS, NONE OF WHICH ARE CENTERED OR SOUND, AND ONE OF WHICH IS PERMANENTLY PART OF THE BRITISH LIBRARY'S TAPLING COLLECTION. THIS STAMP IS ONE OF THE KEYS TO A COMPLETE UNUSED COLLECTION OF UNITED STATES CLASSIC STAMPS.
The best centered of the four recorded unused 24c 1869 Inverts is the stamp sold in the 1993 Ishikawa auction for $210,000 hammer; it has a thin spot and is centered to right, but the perfs are clear. The next best centered stamp is ex Hindes and is centered to left with the perfs just touching; it has two short perfs and is part of an 1869 Invert set that has been in a collector's hands, presumably since it last appeared at auction in 1974. The Tapling stamp is centered to right with the perfs just slightly in; it is, of course, part of the British Library's permanent collection and will never be available to collectors.
The fourth recorded unused 24c 1869 Invert is the stamp featured here. It is essentially sound, but has been certified by the Philatelic Foundation as having a "margin crease", which we have difficulty locating. The colors of this stamp are exceptionally fresh, and the vignette impression, so often blurred or obscured by cancellations, is visible with proof-like clarity. It is centered to one side, as are the other three unused examples, but the frame is a bit higher on this stamp, causing the perfs to impinge slightly into the design.
The set assembled by Mr. Harry Hagendorf of Columbian Stamp Company - the finest set possible (15c ex Lichtenstein, 24c as described above, and 30c ex Worthington) - has been recently sold to a collector and will probably not be available for many years. The Hindes set, last offered at auction in 1974, is currently unavailable. Crossing the Tapling stamp off the list of available copies leaves only this unused 24c 1869 Invert. The opportunity to acquire this stamp must be considered by any collector determined to assemble a complete set of unused United States Inverts.
Ex Worthington. With 1971 P.F. certificate