BERMUDA, William B. Perot, 1854, 1p Red on Bluish Wove Paper (X2; SG O4).
Huge octagonal margins, clear impression of the large rimless circle and "1854" year date, neatly denominated "One penny"
and signed "W B Perot",
used on flap of folded letter datelined at Hamilton, April 15, 1855, from N. Butterfield, a banker, to B. Wilson Higgs in St. Georges
THE FINEST OF THE ELEVEN RECORDED EXAMPLES OF PEROT'S FIRST PROVISIONAL STAMPS. THE ONLY 1854 DATE IN PRIVATE HANDS - THE OTHER BEING PART OF THE ROYAL PHILATELIC COLLECTION - AND BY FAR THE BETTER OF THE TWO PEROT FIRST-TYPE PROVISIONALS KNOWN ON COVERS. THE MOST OUTSTANDING ITEM OF BERMUDA AND RANKED AMONG THE WORLD'S MOST IMPORTANT PHILATELIC RARITIES.
This example was the first of the Perot postmaster's provisional stamps to be seen outside of Bermuda. It was shown by Louis Mowbray to Alfred Smith & Co. of Bath, England, in 1897 (Alfred Smith's Monthly Circular, July 1897). Sometime thereafter the cover was sold to Count Philippe de la Renotiere von Ferrary, whose massive worldwide collection was dispersed between 1921 and 1925 in a series of auctions at the Hotel Drouot in Paris under the supervision of M. G. Gilbert. In the fifth Ferrary sale (November 15, 1922, lot 122) this 1854 Red on Bluish Wove on cover was sold for 35,250 French francs (approximately $5,021) to Maurice Burrus, an Alsatian tobacco magnate whose own vast collection was sold in various auctions from 1962 to 1967. At the Robson Lowe sale of the Burrus Bermuda (July 24, 1963, lot 478), the cover was acquired by the Italian collector, FIRST NAME? Tomasini, for £11,000.
Ten years after the Burrus sale the cover again traded hands when part of the Tomasini collection was sold through Stanley Gibbons (October 4, 1973, lot 5). At the Tomasini sale, or sometime after, the cover was acquired for £50,000 by an American collector, who later consigned it to our firm's Rarities of the World auction (April 5, 1980, lot 368), where it realized $231,000, selling to the late Dr. Leonard Kapiloff. Prior to his death, Dr. Kapiloff sold the cover through Christie's London (June 13, 1991, lot 1079) for £XXX,XXX.
Of the eleven recorded examples of Perot's first provisional stamp, in black or red, this stamp is of vastly superior quality. It has the largest margins of any of the eleven stamps (several of which are badly cut into), and, unlike the others, it is free of any faults or repairs.
There are only two provisionals dated "1854", the other being part of the collection of Her Majesty the Queen. Perhaps of greater significance, given the current emphasis on postal history, is the fact that only two first-type Perot provisionals are known on covers. Both emanate from the Butterfield-Higgs correspondence, the other being the Black on Bluish Gray stamp dated "1848", which was affixed across the flap and torn in half upon opening (repaired).
Described and illustrated in Stamps of Fame, L. N. and M. Williams (p. 80-84, plate 12). The Perot provisionals are discussed in detail in M. H. Ludington's The Postal History and Stamps of Bermuda.
Ex Ferrary, Burrus, Tomasini and Kapiloff. With 1991 B.P.A. certificate. Stanley Gibbons £250,000
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