Sale 997 — United States Stamps
Sale Date — Tuesday-Friday, 26-29 October, 2010
Category — 5c 1856 Issue (Scott 12)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE TWO FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE 5-CENT 1856 ISSUE. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT FACE-DIFFERENT DESIGNS TO OBTAIN IN SUCH SUPERB ORIGINAL-GUM CONDITION.
The 5c stamp was issued in 1856, five years after the 1c, 3c and 12c values and one year after the 10c were issued. It was typically used to pay the 5c shore-to-ship rate for mail sent overseas and also in multiples for the 10c transcontinental or 15c U.S.-French treaty rates.
With the exception of some rare types of the 1c and 10c, such as Scott Nos. 5 and 16, the 5c stamp is the most difficult denomination to obtain with four margins in sound original-gum condition. The spacing between stamps was very narrow, leaving little margin for error when separating the stamps, which explains why so few examples are known with four margins. When other factors such as gum, color and impression are taken into consideration, the rarity and beauty of the stamp offered here may be fully appreciated. The only stamp that rivals this example was in our sale of the Scarsdale collection (Sale 918, lot 9, realized $57,500 hammer).
Ex Seymour and Whitman. With 1985, 1990 and 2000 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (OGph, XF 90; SMQ $60,000.00). This is the highest grade awarded to date and the only OGph example to achieve this grade (the next highest is VF 80).