1¢ Blue, Type I (5), Position 7R1E, large margins, just touched at lower right plume, wonderful early color and impression, few faint toned specks in margin have been removed, tiny sealed pre-use margin tear at lower left, tied by "Pittsburgh Pa. Aug. 13" (1852) circular datestamp on blue printed circular for wholesale dry goods dealer dated August 1852, to Harrisonville, Ohio, Very Fine appearance, an attractive and rare use of the 1¢ 1851 Type I, Position 7R1E, on a printed circular--our census, available at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/5 , contains only eight examples on circulars, ex Margaret Woodson Fisher and Hackmey, Wagshal census no. 5-COV-071, signed Ward, with clear 1995 P.F. certificate, Scott value $85,000.00
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The 1¢ Type I Imperforate--One in a Thousand
The 1¢ 1851 stamp, with a bust of Franklin based on Caffieri's sculpture, was one of the workhorses of postage stamps issued during the decade it was current. To print enough 1¢ stamps to meet demand, twelve steel plates were made--one was never used (Plate 6), and the first plate was reworked to add life to it (thus, the Early and Late states). Only Plates 1 through 4 were used to print stamps that were issued imperforate. All stamps from Plates 5 through 12 are perforated. When we refer to a specific position, the position number is shown first (1 to 100), followed by the pane (R for right and L for left) and the plate number (1 to 12).
The original 1¢ 1851 design has an elaborate ornamental border on all four sides. The changes to this ornamental border produced the different types. Ashbrook's type system is based on the premise that Type I should be a printed design that comes closest to the original die design. The presence of the top ornaments, the bottom plumes and scrolls, and the side ornaments is a requirement for Type I. For imperforate stamps, Ashbrook found only one position among the 1,000 entries on Plates 1E, 1L, 2, 3 and 4 that met this requirement: Position 7R1E. The fact that only one position met the Type I criteria is why Scott 5, a Type I imperforate stamp, is so rare. The Wagshal census of Scott 5 contains nearly 100 unduplicated records of stamps in singles and multiples, on and off cover. Therefore, Scott 5 is the rarest of all United States regular issues prior to the 1868 Grills, and fewer than 20 covers survive.
Because of the significance attached to the outer portions of the 1¢ 1851 design, rare types that have been carefully cut apart, so as not to impinge on any part of the design, are extremely desirable. Time has also not been kind to the surviving population, as very few examples of Scott 5 are sound.