Sale 1032 — The Nick Kirke Collection of Gem-Quality Used U.S. Stamps
Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 23-24 October, 2012
Category — 1917-18 Washington-Franklin Issues (Scott 483-524)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE $2.00 ORANGE RED & BLACK 1918 FRANKLIN ISSUE.
The $2.00 and $5.00 1918 Issue are the first bi-colored dollar-denominated postage stamps issued by the United States. Both were released just three months after the famous 1918 24c Inverted Jenny, but the early printings were issued in small quantities, since stocks of the earlier $2.00 and $5.00 issues (Scott 479 and 480) were still on hand.
According to Johl, the $2.00 Orange Red & Black was a color error on the part of the Bureau of Engraving & Printing. The official description and order for the bi-color stamps specified "Red and Black" for the $2.00. When subsequent printings appeared in 1920 and philatelists brought the matter to the attention of the Bureau, they were told "this stamp has always been this color" (Johl, p. 306). From studies of Bureau and Post Office records, it is clear that the originally-intended color was not issued until November 1920 (Scott 547), and that the earlier Orange Red stamps were mistakes.
With 2005 P.F. and 2004 P.S.E. certificates (Superb 98; SMQ $1,700.00). Only one has graded higher (at 98J) and this is the only example to achieve this grade