$5.00 Carmine Lake & Dark Blue (573a variety), Mint N.H. wide top block of eight with Carmine Lake frame plate number F14327 only, missing the Dark Blue vignette plate number F14326, the $5.00 denomination and the Dark Blue marker, deep rich colors, choice centering with wide margins
First surfaced in a May 1975 Richard Wolffers sale
Shreves Philatelic Galleries, 6/21-22/1996, lot 847, to William H. Gross
The Philatelic Foundation (1982)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Missing Vignette Plate Number
This is one of only two recorded plate blocks of the $5.00 1922 Issue missing the vignette plate number, and it is by far the finer of the two (the other has faults). Close examination detects only a single dot of blue ink in the selvage at left, without a trace of the plate number, the $5.00 denomination or the usual blue markers at center. The reason for the error is unclear. It has been speculated that foreign matter adhered to the plate, causing the blue plate number to fail to print, but we disagree, since the other blue markings normally found in the selvage are also missing. The existence of two examples also supports the conclusion that this numberless vignette plate was used briefly, and then the number was added before additional sheets were printed.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED PLATE BLOCK OF THE ELUSIVE $5.00 1922 CARMINE LAKE & DARK BLUE HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E. THIS IS THE FINEST MINT NEVER-HINGED PLATE BLOCK WE HAVE OFFERRED.
While the normal color Scott 573 plate block is relatively easy to find, the Scott 573a plate block is nearly impossible to find in this superior condition. A Power Search review emphasizes this fact. We have offered only two others in sound Mint N.H. condition since keeping computerized records (a third example received a certificate as the normal 573) and none had the centering to match this gem.
With 2017 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; Plate blocks unpriced in SMQ)
VERY FINE MINT NEVER-HINGED PLATE BLOCK OF THE $5.00 1922 ISSUE IN THE BETTER CARMINE LAKE AND DARK BLUE.
This is the first Mint N.H. plate block of Scott 573a we have offered since 2010.
With 2016 P.F. certificate