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VERY FINE. THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE $24.00 1875 NEWSPAPER SPECIAL PRINTING, OF WHICH ONLY TWO WERE SOLD. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL SPECIAL PRINTINGS, AND ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS ITEMS IN EXISTENCE. OFFERED TO THE MARKET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALMOST FOUR DECADES.
The large-format Newspaper stamps issued in 1865 were unsatisfactory for collecting postage on the bulk mailing of newspapers and periodicals. Starting January 1, 1875, the rate was fixed at 2c per pound for weekly or more frequent publications, and 3c per pound for less frequent publications. A total of 24 denominations were created, ranging from 2c to $60, so that payment could be made on mailing weight from one pound to one ton without using more than five stamps in any transaction. They could not be used for any other purpose.
The $24.00 design depicts the mythological figure of the Goddess of Peace, shown half naked, leaning against a broken column, with an olive branch in her left hand and three arrows in her right. The regular-issue stamps were sent to postmasters on December 11, 1874, for use starting on the first day of the new year.
In a separate development, in 1875 stamps from previous issues to the current date were made for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and were intended both for sale and also to showcase examples of every U.S. stamp printed. Stamps which were no longer valid for postage were called Reprints (those which were demonetized -- Scott Nos. 3, 4, 40-47, PR5-PR7 and LO3-LO6). Those still valid for use were called Re-Issues. Those printed concurrently with contemporary designs were called Special Printings.
Special Printings were created for Bank Note Company regular postage issues (Scott 167-177 and 180-181), Officials and Newspapers and Periodicals. The Officials received "Specimen" (or "Sepcimen") overprints. Continental Bank Note Company produced the Special Printings, because they held the current contract.
The Reprints, Re-Issues and Special Printings were only available for purchase through the Third Assistant Postmaster General, who maintained a small office to fill requests from over the counter and mail order sales. This office remained open from 1875 to 1883, and all remaining stamps on hand were destroyed under close supervision on July 3, 1884. Invoices were prepared for all sales transactions, listing the denomination, quantity sold and name of purchaser.
For the $24.00 Newspaper stamp, the records show that two were sold, both to Paul Lietzow of Berlin, Germany, but on different dates. The first sale was entered on December 29, 1879. The second $24.00 sold was entered on July 26, 1880. There were no other purchasers -- apparently the number of people in the 1870's and early 1880's willing to pay $24 for a stamp that could never be used was limited to one person in Europe. Lietzow was also the purchaser of the only copies sold of the $36.00 (two), $48.00 (one) and $60.00 (one) denominations, as well as two each of the $9.00 and $12.00 values.
Paul Lietzow was a German collector/dealer who displayed his collection in one of the first philatelic exhibitions in Germany. The first was held in April 1870 and featured one person's collection. Lietzow exhibited his collection in July 1877 in Berlin for the benefit of wounded soldiers. His collection at the time comprised 6,200 stamps housed in six large volumes, quite an achievement for the time. In 1880 and 1882 he published handbooks on philately, one of which was a precursor to the Scott Catalogue. The idea of exhibitions and handbooks was to increase the appeal of stamp collecting, which was widely seen as suitable only for schoolboys and not worthy of serious pursuit.
In the November 1879 Philatelic Record, available at http://archive.org/stream/philatelicrecord11879lond/philatelicrecord11879lond_djvu.txt , Lietzow is quoted: "At the present time we may boldly assert that Philately has become a science. And should the scoffer sneeringly enquire, What sort of a science? I unhesitatingly reply, A sister science to Universal History. As such the learned do not hesitate to accept of Heraldry, or the science of blazon; of Numismatics, or the science of coins; of Epigraphy, or the science of ancient inscriptions; or even of Sphragistics, or the knowledge of seals. There is no reason why Philately should be excluded from the companionship of these sister sciences; for it is equal in every way to the study of Numismatics. And yet some wiseacres may be found who object to it on the score of its newness. Every science must have a beginning, and the modern character of Philately is a reproach, if it be a reproach at all, which every succeeding year will aid in obliterating. Had Chalcas, high priest in the temple of Jupiter, or even His Royal Highness Prince Orestes, busied themselves with the collection of postage stamps, the savants of today would readily have lifted their hats in recognition of Philately as a science."
Ex Lilly. Two backstamps (one applied by Thier, a European dealer) and signed in pencil by Souren Yohannessiantz. With 1960 and 2014 P.F. certificates. Listed but unpriced in Scott. Based on an auction realization the $36.00 is priced at $250,000.00 (two were sold and one has been discovered). Offered to the market for the first time since our 1976 Rarities sale.