2¢ Carmine, Type I, Vertical Coil (321), deep rich color, well-centered, tied across both sides by “Indianapolis, Ind. Oct. 2 3:30PM 1908” postmark and wavy-line machine cancel on light blue cover addressed to “Mr. Randolph Prelate, Baker Vawter Co., Chicago, Ill.”, backflap with engraved McKinley Club seal of a “GOP” elephant, monogram “MC” and “INDIANAPOLIS” city location, sender’s signature “R. C. Griffith” below the printed design, with original letter enclosure on matching McKinley Club engraved stationery--mentions looking for employment, selling a house for “mother” and running into an old girlfriend
* Edwin P. Seebohm, San Francisco, June 1939, Sale 68, lot 16, to Milton
* Maxwell C. Milton (collection bought and sold privately through Weills; the cover sold privately to Zoellner, 1993)
* Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 531, to William H. Gross
CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES
* Siegel census no. 321-COV-01
* World Stamp Show 2016 Court of Honor (Gross)
* The Philatelic Foundation (1994)
* Accompanied by notarized affidavit from Randolph Prelat, the addressee, dated June 21, 1939, attesting that: ...the certain United States Postage Stamp described on Page 4 of catalogue of Edwin P. Seebohm (68th Public Auction) as Lot No. 16 has not been tampered with and has been in my possession since it was originally mailed from Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1908
* Extremely Fine stamp and cover
VIEW PDF OF HISTORY AND COMMENTARY at https://siegelauctions.com/2018/1188/104.pdf
VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE. THIS IS THE ONLY SURVIVING INTACT COVER BEARING THE 2-CENT 1908 VERTICAL COIL. THE RAREST TWENTIETH CENTURY UNITED STATES STAMP AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEMS OF TWENTIETH CENTURY UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
Armstrong, in his book United States Coil Issues 1906-38, records five pairs and one cover (to A.M. Travers) that has stamps removed. The Scott Catalogue repeats this number. Our census of Scott 321 (see Appendix, p. 385) records only four unused pairs, the Zoellner cover offered here, and the Travers cover with stamps removed (Census 321-COV-02). The Philatelic Foundation had previously certified one additional pair (PFC 15017), but their own records indicate that they withdrew support for the opinion on April 2, 1962.
In February 1908 the Bureau of Engraving and Printing issued a limited amount of vertical-format coils for use in private vending machines. Four rolls of 1,000, or a total of 4,000 stamps, were produced. Scott 321 can only come from Die I, as Die II was not put into service until April 1908. A supply was sent to the Parkhurst Vending Machine Company in Indianapolis, and this is the only city where Scott 321 is known to have been used.
Census No. 321-COV-01. Accompanied by a notarized affadavit from the recipient, dated June 21, 1939, stating that the item had been in his possession since being received. The watermark direction has been checked to confirm that it comes from sheet stock, not from a booklet pane. With 1994 P.F. certificate