VERY FINE APPEARANCE. BY FAR THE FINER OF TWO RECORDED SURVIVING BLOCKS CONTAINING THE MEDIO PESO ERROR (THE OTHER IS OFFERED IN THE FOLLOWING LOT). THIS EXTRAORDINARY MULTIPLE IS WIDELY REGARDED AS THE MOST IMPORTANT OFF-COVER PIECE OF PERUVIAN PHILATELY, AND IT IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THE ARISTOCRATS OF SOUTH AMERICAN PHILATELY.
The make-up of the lithographic stone which produced the 1858 One-peseta is not known with certainty. However, by studying examples of the Medio Peso Error, specialists have deduced that at least one of the 10-subject bloc reports erroneously included a row of five of the Medio Peso denomination. The normal One-peseta bloc report consisted of two horizontal rows of five, all of the same denomination, which philatelists have classified as ten different numbered types, based on tiny distinguishing marks in each transfer. The correct arrangement of the types in the bloc report became known after the type numbers were assigned, which accounts for the non-sequential order of the bloc report (top row 10-1-4-7-3, bottom row 5-2-8-6-9).
Apart from the obvious philatelic importance of this se-tenant Medio Peso Error block, it also tells us something about the bloc report that produced it. The two errors, which are called Types C and D, are the third and fourth positions in the bottom row of the 10-unit bloc report. Normally, the stamps above these two positions in the bloc report would be Types 4 and 7. However, the Types are 8 and 6, which indicates that Types 5-2-8-6-9 were in the top row of the error bloc report rather than their normal position at the bottom. This means that not only were the five Medio Peso denominations transferred to the stone, but the entire bloc report of ten was uniquely configured with the bottom row positioned at the top and the error transfers at the bottom.
For many years, no one knew the whereabouts of the remarkable block of six offered here, which is known as the "Small Weinberger Block." We quote directly from the Bargholtz handbook on the Medio Peso error: "The earliest mention found of this block was in a 1930 publication Etudes Philateliques by Didier Darteyre, who illustrated it together with the Ferrari block and stated that the new block had recently been offered for sale by the German auction firm H. Kohler. Subsequently, in 1931, Hall mentioned that the block belonged to one of Mr. Kohler's customers, Mr. Alfred Weinberger from Czechoslovakia. An illustration of the block was also included in Hall's article mentioned above. After this, the block disappeared and was not seen or heard of again until 1997, when it was offered as lot 245 in the Harmers of London auction on 24 July together with some other material from the Consul Weinberger estate."
The "Large Weinberger Block," which included two Medio Peso Errors se-tenant with sixteen One-Peseta in a tall vertical block, no longer exists. It was also mentioned in the 1931 article by Hall, but sometime between then and 1959, it was cut down into two se-tenant strips of three (Types A/10/5 in one strip and B/1/2 in the other, both of which are now in the Jaretzky collection of Peru). The only other block containing the Medio Peso Error is the ex-Ferrary block offered in the following lot. Although a rare artifact, the Ferrary block's condition cannot compare to the "Small Weinberger Block" offered here.
Bargholtz Census A2. Ex Consul Weinberger. Offered publicly in this sale for only the third time in approximately 80 years.