Sale 1034 — The Merlin Collection of Superb United States Stamps
Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 28-29 November, 2012
Category — 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE $2.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE IN EXISTENCE. THIS STUNNING STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE IN ANY CATEGORY TO ACHIEVE THIS DESIRABLE GRADE.
The design of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi depicts the Eads bridge, which spans the Mississippi River at St. Louis. The original engraving was used on the admission ticket to the Republican Convention of 1896, which nominated McKinley as candidate for president. The stamp, issued during the McKinley Administration, illustrates the natural boundary between East and West and so was appropriate for the Trans-Mississippi issue.
All of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi stamps were printed in a single day's run on June 3, 1898. The $2.00 was printed in sheets that have narrower spacing between the horizontal rows than between the vertical columns. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to obtain stamps with top and bottom margins that equal the sides. This stamp essentially achieves that unnatural effect, which could only occur when the horizontal perforations were applied in such a way that the holes impinged on the space allocated to the rows above and below.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, Superb 98; SMQ $16,800.00). This is the highest grade awarded in any category and it is the only example to achieve this grade. The next-highest grade is a 95 -- knowledgeable collectors know how difficult it is to find the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi in such superb condition. SMQ does not price the 98 in Mint N.H. condition, as it may not even exist.