Sale 1106 — 2015 Rarities of the World
Sale Date — Thursday, 25 June, 2015
Category — 1902-08 Issue and Later Issues
EXTREMELY FINE. A PHENOMENALLY RARE COMPLETE SET OF PANAMA-PACIFIC SMALL DIE PROOFS OF THE PANAMA-PACIFIC ISSUE. THIS IS THE ONLY SET WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LOCATE. A RARITY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.
From February 20 to December 4, 1915, the Panama-Pacific Exposition was held in San Francisco, to commemorate Balboa's discovery of the Pacific Ocean and to celebrate the opening of the mankind's greatest engineering achievement, the Panama Canal.
A series of commemorative stamps were created to promote the exposition, depicting Balboa (1c), the locks at the Panama Canal (2c), the Golden Gate (5c) and Discovery of San Francisco Bay (10c). These were released in 1913 as Perf 12, and again in 1914-15 as Perf 10 stamps.
Separately, the Post Office Department decided to prepare a limited number of proof sets showing every United States stamp printed up to the time of the Exposition. A total of 413 different designs were made. Only two sets were officially prepared, but it is widely recognized that between 3 and 5 of each were made. These included Officials, Newspapers and Periodicals, Philippines and other special use stamps.
As part of the special proof set, the Post Office Dept. included the new Panama-Pacific designs, which had just been issued. We know of no other sets, and we have not seen any other individual values offered.