3¢ Green, H. Grill (136), block of 32 from top of right pane with "NATIONAL BANK NOTE CO. NEW YORK" imprint, "No. 8" plate number and guide arrow, most stamps including the entire plate block are Mint N.H., two stamps at bottom center small hinge remnants, clearly defined grills, well-balanced margins, rich color
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1972 Rarities of the World, 3/23/1972, Sale 409, lot 91
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1974 Rarities of the World, 3/27/1974, Sale 448, lot 87
John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)
John C. Chapin, A Census of United States Classic Plate Blocks 1851-1882, census no. 364
Very Fine-Extremely Fine; right column vertical gum crease, light staining in selvage from gum, contemporary ink in selvage to right of plate block, some perf separations
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
$26,000.00 as plate block of 12 and five blocks of four without any premium for the Mint N.H. stamps
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Miraculous Survivor
This is the largest recorded multiple of Scott 136 in existence. It is also the only example to show the entire imprint and plate number. A block of eight is known with the I Grill, but it only shows the plate number. Another block of eight shows only part of the imprint. The imperforate bottom-margin block of 16 offered in the following lot has the complete imprint and plate number--from a different plate and with a different style of imprint--but it is not the regularly issued stamp.
Considering the centering of the stamps in this block, the Mint N.H. gum, and the scarcity of choice singles of this issue, its survival as a multiple is miraculous. In fact, the miracle worker was Jack Chapin, whose passion for classic plate number blocks ensured that the vandals were kept at bay.
John C. "Jack" Chapin served with the U.S. Marine Corps as a second lieutenant rifle platoon leader in the South Pacific, receiving two Purple Hearts for his valor. Long interested in military history--World War II in particular-- Chapin was the author of Uncommon Men: The Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps and numerous monographs for the Marine Corps Historical Center. Chapin was also a collector of classic plate number multiples. In 1982 he published a census of all classic plate number blocks known to him, and he updated the census with articles in the Collectors Club Philatelist.
After Mr. Gross acquired the entire Chapin collection in 2002, he of course kept this block intact. When it is sold in the Gross auction, we hope a true philatelist will acquire and preserve it, as Jack Chapin did 45 years ago and Mr. Gross did for the past 17 years.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A GORGEOUS 1870 3-CENT GRILLED NATIONAL BANK NOTE ISSUE IN SUPERB ORIGINAL-GUM CONDITION.
The 3c is more challenging to find in this superior grade than many of the other grilled issues, even though it has a lower catalogue value.
With 2003 P.F. certificate for block of four, this is the top left stamp