Sale 1200 — The William H. Gross Collection: U.S. Stamp Multiples

Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 8-9 May, 2019

Category — 1875 Re-Issue of 1861-66 Issue (Scott 102-110)

Cat./Est. Value
Sale 1200, Lot 95, 1875 Re-Issue of 1861-66 Issue (Scott 102-110)The spectacular "set" of the 1875 Re-Issue of 1861-66 Issue in blocks of four, complete from the 1¢ through 30¢ values, including seven unique blocks--this famous set was featured in the important collections formed by Caspary, Lilly, Hetherington and Whitman, and as a group constitutes one of the most outstanding assemblages in classic United States philately


1¢-30¢ 1875 Re-Issue of 1861-66 Issue (102-110), blocks of four, all with original gum, deep rich colors and proof-like impressions, choice centering throughout


Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lots 322-329 (2¢-30¢) as a group to Cole (for Lilly)

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lots 96-103/105 (2¢-30¢) as a group to Cole (for Hetherington)

1¢ block: Siegel Auction Galleries, 1982 Rarities of the World, 4/24/1982, Sale 596, lot 231

Arthur Hetherington, "Quality" collection, H. R. Harmer sale, 10/27/1983, lots 7-14 (2¢-30¢) as a group

Bought and sold privately by Harry Hagendorf (Columbian Stamp Co.) and Gary Posner (who sold them to Whitman)

Alan B. Whitman, Siegel Auction Galleries, 1/7/2009, Sale 968, lot 34 (including 1¢ block), to William H. Gross


The Philatelic Foundation (2¢-30¢--1968; 1¢--1982)


Very Fine; minor reinforcements, a few trivial imperfections, including 1¢ light crease at top right, 3¢ small thin spot at left, 15¢ faint natural horizontal gum bend at top



The Post Office Special Printing Program

The stamps called Reproductions, Reprints, Re-Issues and Special Printings were created by the Post Office Department to exhibit every United States stamp at the 1876 Centennial, and to furnish examples to collectors. The program began in 1875 and ended in 1883, and was managed by the Third Assistant Postmaster General's office. Invoices were made for all sales, listing the denomination, quantity sold and name of purchaser. Unsold stamps were destroyed on July 3, 1884.

To have an inventory to fill orders, postal officials authorized the printers under contract to make special printings. For the 1847 Issue, new dies and plates with different engravings were made by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing--these are Reproductions (Scott 3-4). Stamps no longer valid for postage, but which could be reprinted using the original die designs are Reprints (Scott 40-47, PR5-PR7 and LO3-LO6). Those still valid for postage are called Re-Issues (Scott 102-111, 123-133a)--they were printed either from the original plates or from plates created for the Special Printing program. Re-Issues can be found cancelled and, in rare cases, used on cover. Finally, the special-order printings of currently circulating issues are called Special Printings, which include the Bank Note regular issues (Scott 167-177, 180-181, 192-204, 205C, 211B, 211D), and Postage Dues, Officials and Newspapers & Periodicals stamps (the Official stamps received "Specimen" overprints).

The 1847 Reproductions were presumably printed at the Bureau, where the imitation dies and plates were made. The 1861-66 and 1869 Re-Issues were printed by the National Bank Note Co. The 1851-57 Reprints and 1875 Bank Note stamps on hard paper were printed by the Continental Bank Note Co. The American Bank Note Co. printed the 1879-83 Special Printings on soft paper.

Stamps created for the Special Printing program differ from the normal printings. In most cases, the differences are obvious; in others, such as certain Special Printings on soft paper, the differences are subtle. The 1861-66 and 1869 Re-Issues are the only sets with gum.

The set of blocks offered here cannot be duplicated. Since the 90¢ does not exist in block form, this group of blocks is considered to be a "set." Seven of the nine are the only blocks extant; we record four 1¢ blocks and one additional 2¢ block. In a 1974 Jackson Winter auction, a second 15¢ block was described as the Re-Issue and repaired, but it was never certified and has since disappeared, leaving us to conclude it was either misidentified or has been divided into singles--we have removed it from the record.

ScottSoldBlocksScott Value
E. 500,000-750,000