$2.00 Dark Blue (277a), full top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 84 block of six, bottom side stamps hinge remnants, tiny hinge slivers are barely noticeable and placed as a preventive measure, unusually choice centering throughout, rich color
Order of U.S. Trust Company, H. R. Harmer 1/19/1971, lot 306
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1986 Rarities of the World, 4/5/1986, lot 187
"MLG" collection, Siegel Auction Galleries, 4/21/2009, lot 1167, to William H. Gross
The Philatelic Foundation (1971)
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
A Gem Quality "Little Jemmy" Plate Block
The $2.00 regular issue designed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1894 was the first stamp to depict this Founding Father and the nation's fourth president, James Madison, whose diminutive stature earned him the unflattering nickname "Little Jemmy." This was also the first $2.00 regular issue (preceded by the Columbian $2.00 stamp).
The die was engraved by Lyman F. Ellis and George F. C. Smillie. It was printed from one printing plate--Plate 84. Lewis Kaufman's records contain five plate blocks of this stamp (all described as the Dark Blue shade), but only three are free of serious condition problems, which are noted below:
1) Full top plate block of 6, 1986 Rarities of the World sale and "MLG" collection, offered in this sale
2) Bottom plate block of 6, 1985 Rarities of the World sale, ex Wampler and "MLG" collection
3) Wide top plate block of 6, 1967 Rarities of the World sale, illustrated in Durland book
4) Top plate block of 6, regummed, ex Simon (1975 Siegel sale)
5) Full top plate block of 6, selvage partly separated and rejoined, October 1974 Siegel sale and more recently in the 2008 "Newport" sale (Weiss).
VERY FINE-EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1895 $2.00 WATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE IN THE DARK BLUE SHADE.
With 1970 P.F. certificate