EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION THE FINEST USED EXAMPLE OF THE 3-CENT 1867 EXPERIMENTAL ALL-OVER GRILL IN EXISTENCE. A PHENOMENAL STAMP IN EVERY RESPECT -- CENTERING, COLOR, IMPRESSION, PAPER, PERFORATIONS AND CANCELLATION.
The August 1867 3c experimental A Grill was the first grilled issue. It was soon learned that the all-over grill weakened the paper and interfered with perforating and separating, resulting in rough perforations and pieces torn out of the margins when split apart. Within two months of A Grill production the apparatus was modified by dividing the embossed area into smaller rectangular units within each stamp (C Grill).
The 3c A Grill, Scott 79, is one of the most distinctive of 19th century United States stamps by virtue of its consistently poor appearance. The Scott Catalogue values this stamp in Fine-Very Fine grade and with perforation faults, the norm for the issue. Any example with complete perforations and in sound condition is valued far in excess of the Scott Catalogue price. The example offered here, which received a clear but not as heavy grill impression as usual -- allowing the perfs to remain intact -- has realized hammer prices of many multiples of Scott value each time it has been sold, including $35,000 and $47,500 hammer in its last two auction appearances.
Ex Zoellner, Dr. Puliafito, "Natalee Grace" and "Golden Oak". With 1966, 1987 and 2012 P.F. certificates. Scott Catalogue states that "Values for No. 79 are for Fine-Very Fine examples with minor perf faults. Examples with complete or virtually complete perforations sell for much more."