EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM COPIES OF THE 1868 12-CENT Z GRILL IN EXISTENCE. IT IS THE FIRST SOUND ORIGINAL-GUM COPY WE HAVE OFFERED SINCE 2001, AND THE CENTERING ON THE STAMP OFFERED HERE SURPASSES THAT OF THE OTHER COPY. A GREAT RARITY OF THE ISSUE.
Although the supremely rare Z Grills (1c, 10c and 15c) have attracted more attention over the years, the rarity of original-gum examples of the 2c, 3c and 12c Z Grill has been well-known to collectors who demand Very Fine or Extremely Fine centering and original gum. Unlike the 2c Z Grill, no well-centered blocks of the 3c or 12c have been available to furnish singles.
A review using Power Search found only one other sound and reasonably well-centered copy, which sold for $50,000 hammer in our 2001 Rarities sale versus $9,000 catalogue value. We also spent time looking through our library of older auction catalogues, and found only one other potential rival, which was described as having large part original gum. The editors of SMQ apparently agree with us -- they do not price Scott 85E as an OG stamp above the grade of 70 (they have never graded an OG copy).
Ex Morris. With 1978 and 1991 P.F. certificate. Offered to the market for the first time since 1996.