FINE-VERY FINE. A SCARCE BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE $5.00 1902 ISSUE.
We have offered perhaps a half-dozen others in all of our Rarities sales and our auctions from 1994 onwards.
$5.00 Dark Green (313), top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 1620 block of six, bottom stamps original gum, small hinge slivers, top stamps small part original gum, deep rich color and proof-like impression
Col. Edward H. R. Green, Part 24, Irwin Heiman sale, 1/8-10/1946, lot 703
Amos Eno, Harmer, Rooke & Co., 5/18/1954, lot 145
Siegel Auction Galleries, 1977 Rarities of the World, 3/23/1977, Sale 510, lot 178
Dr. J. Paul Wampler, Shreves Philatelic Galleries, 4/24/1998, lot 150, to William H. Gross
The Philatelic Foundation (1977)
Fine-Very Fine; perf separations sensibly reinforced by hinge slivers
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Top Value and Rarest of Second Bureau Plate Blocks
Only four plate blocks of the $5.00 1902 Issue are recorded, including one in the National Postal Museum (top position) and another in the Miller collection owned by The New York Public Library (extra wide bottom position). The only other plate block available to collectors, with similar size selvage and also from the top position, was offered in our sale of the W. Parsons Todd collection in 1977.
$5.00 Dark Green (313), Block of four with horizontal guideline, choice centering for this difficult issue, deep rich color and proof-like impression
Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)
The Philatelic Foundation (1993)
Extremely Fine; bottom right stamp with small backstamp
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A STUNNING MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $5.00 1902 ISSUE WITH EXTRA WIDE BOTTOM PLATE NUMBER SELVAGE. A TRUE CONDITION RARITY.
The 1902-03 Second Bureau Issue was a great improvement over the Bureau's first efforts in 1894 and 1895. Perforations tend to be cleaner, and centering better, but the large plate layout and perforation method still resulted in a large number of poorly centered stamps. Furthermore, stamps issued in choice condition seldom stayed that way, because the boom in stamp collecting that began with the Roosevelt administration caused hordes of hinge-bearing philatelists to mount stamps over and over again. For this reason, today's collectors have grown accustomed to paying many multiples of Scott value for Extremely Fine stamps in Mint Never-Hinged state. This is especially true when it comes to the $5.00 denomination. This fact is made abundantly clear when one realizes that the highest grade awarded by P.S.E. to a $5.00 value in Never-Hinged condition is 90, given to only three stamps. The stamp offered here has not been numerically graded, but its quality is self-evident.
Only two $5.00 plate blocks are available to collectors. We have offered two other Mint N.H. plate number singles, but neither compares favorably to the one offered here in terms of selvage size or centering.
With 2006 P.F. certificate