EXTREMELY FINE GEM STAMP AND IMMACULATE COVER. THE FINEST EXAMPLE OF SCOTT 594 EXTANT ON COVER AND AMONG THE FOUR BEST-CENTERED OF ALL KNOWN COPIES OF THIS RARITY. AN IMPORTANT 20TH CENTURY COVER.
The 1c Green, Scott 594, is waste from a horizontal rotary printing used to make coils. At the beginning or end of a coil-stamp print run from the 170-subject rotary plates, some leading or trailing paper was produced that was too short for rolling into 500-stamp rolls. In 1919 the Bureau devised a plan to salvage this waste by perforating and cutting the sheets into panes. They were put through the 11-gauge flat-plate perforator in use at the time, giving the sheets full perforations on all sides. In 1923 coil waste from the new 1c and 2c rotary production was turned into stamps later classified as Scott 578-579 and 594-595. These were the last of the coil-waste issues. The existence of Scott 594 was not reported until four months after the final sheets were delivered, and the 1c Rotary Perf 11 was soon recognized as one of the rarest United States stamps.
There are today fewer than 100 confirmed examples of Scott 594. The first major find of this stamp was made in 1934 by Ernest E. Fairbanks, who retrieved nine pairs (18 stamps, one or two damaged) on nine separate covers that were returned by the post office years earlier from a bulk mailing. All were postmarked at New York City on October 4, 1924. The nine Fairbanks covers were cut down into pieces, and today there are perhaps five or six of these pieces intact. According to a survey of the Levi records and The Philatelic Foundation patient records, there are four Scott 594 cards or covers. Two are postcards, each bearing a single stamp, cancelled at New York City on March 25 and October 16(?), 1924. A pair on cover (an envelope) is cancelled at New York City on October 13, 1924. The second cover (offered here) is a circular-rate unsealed envelope cancelled at New York City in 1924, but the machine postmark is dateless, as normal for third-class mail.
The stamp on this cover ranks among the four best-centered copies of Scott 594 that exist in any condition. It is the finest of the four recorded uses and the only single franking on an envelope. The perfs cut into the top of the pair on the other known envelope.
Census No. 594-COV-01 (available at https://siegelauctions.com/census/US/Scott/594 ). Ex Ewing and Dr. Graves ("Argentum"). Signed by Gordon Usticke (Stanley Gibbons backstamp). With 1988 P.F. certificate