THE BOTTOM LEFT STAMP FROM THE EARL OF CRAWFORD BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1867 5-CENT ALL-OVER GRILL. ONE OF FOUR RECORDED UNUSED EXAMPLES OF THIS ESSAY.
There are eight 5c A Grill stamps recorded in our census (see Zoellner Appendix or http://siegelauctions.com/enc/census/80/80.htm) -- four used and four unused copies that originally formed a block of four owned by the Earl of Crawford. This stamp is the bottom left stamp from this block, which has an interesting history.
The entire Earl of Crawford collection was purchased by Nassau Stamp Co. (John A. Klemann) in 1915. In a June 5, 1930, letter from Klemann to Philip H. Ward, this stamp was described as follows: "The 5c copy was one of a block of four from the 'Lord Crawford' collection, purchased by this company and later broken into four single stamps. It was previously owned by an employee of the National Bank Note Company, Mr. Charles F. Steel." [Steel was the creator of the grilling process]. The stamps originating from the Earl of Crawford block have drawn inconsistent opinions over the years. The right vertical pair of stamps (Census Nos. 80-UNC-01 and 80-UNC-03) have been separately certified by the P.F. as genuine, while the upper left stamp was certified first as an essay (PFC 3170) and then as a counterfeit (PFC 36753). The lower left stamp -- the stamp offered here and the one described in the Klemann letter -- had never been submitted to the Philatelic Foundation until this year, when it was declared to be an all-over essay grill. It previously had a 1942 American Board of Experts certificate signed by Klemann, describing it as a genuine "5c Brown with essay grill covering the entire stamp", an opinion consistent with Klemann's knowledge of grilling and of the source block's origin.
Of the four recorded used 5c A Grill stamps, two have identical shades, centering and cancellations. In fact, the two of the same shade were originally joined as a pair and were used as singles together. They are printed in a distinctive shade -- sometimes called Black Brown -- that is very scarce and found only on covers dated from late 1867 into 1868 (we have records of four covers from October 1867 to May 1868). It is likely that a small number of sheets from this late printing were available for grilling with the A Grill in 1867. The other two recorded 5c A Grills are in a brighter shade of Brown and must come from a different supply of 5c sheets printed earlier.
Two of the four unused 5c A Grill stamps from the Earl of Crawford block were previously certified as genuine Scott 80's by the Philatelic Foundation, yet this stamp from the same block has been described in 2003 as an essay. Obviously, if the other stamps from the block are re-certified, the P.F. will have to be consistent and describe them as essays.
Census No. 80-UNC-04. Ex Sinkler and Lamdorn. From the Bruce Daniels estate. With 2003 P.F. certificate stating "it is a genuine previously hinged Scott 80E, all over essay grill, with creases."
THESE FOUR 1868 E GRILL STAMPS WERE FOUND TOGETHER AND DESCRIBED BY BRAZER AND FINKELBURG AS TRIALS FROM THE NEW E GRILL DEVICE.
Certain characteristics of these four stamps suggest that they were trial products grilled in early 1868 after the E Grill device was created. These distinguishing characteristics are 1) the uniform and very strong grill impressions, 2) the shades of the 3c (Rose) and 12c (Intense Black), 3) scissors-separated perfs, and 4) the discovery of these four denominations together. This "set" is accompanied by Falk Finkelburg's original album page identifying these as "Trial Essayed...The Only Ones Known".
Scott Retail as normal stamps is $10,750.00
VERY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL.
As a thorough search of past auction catalogues shows, the 2c D Grill in original-gum condition is conspicuously absent from most important collections. The finest examples are contained in the intact block of four, ex Caspary, Lilly and Klein. The stamp offered here, with full original gum and with perforations clear of the design on all four sides, is a rarity of the highest order.
With 2000 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL BLACK JACK COVER.
The 2c D Grill is the rarest of the regular-production 1867-68 Grilled Issues (excluding the 1867 trials and rarest Z Grills), followed in order of scarcity by the 3c Z Grill, the 2c and 3c D Grills, and the 12c Z Grill. Covers bearing the 2c D Grill are extremely rare.
With 1992 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 12-CENT Z GRILL.
With 2002 P.F. certificate
FINE-VERY FINE. THIS IS THE FINER OF TWO RECORDED USED BLOCKS OF SIX, THE LARGEST RECORDED USED MULTIPLES OF THE 1868 12-CENT E GRILL.
Ex Emerson and Twigg-Smith. With 1966 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail as block of four and pair
FINE-VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF THE 1868 10-CENT F GRILL.
With 1994 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. UNDOUBTEDLY THE FINEST USED BLOCK OF THE 1868 15-CENT LINCOLN WITH F GRILL.
As an indication of rarity, the Twigg-Smith collection of used blocks lacked a block of Scott 98. Considering the centering of this block and the fact it is sound, we have no hesitation describing this as the finest used block extant.
With 2002 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. THE 1868 24-CENT F GRILL IS VERY RARE IN CHOICE ORIGINAL-GUM CONDITION.
Ex Golin. With 1984 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE USED BLOCK OF THE 1868 24-CENT F GRILL.
Ex Ishikawa and Twigg-Smith. Each stamp with small "W.H.C." (Colson) backstamp. With 1979 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE FINEST OF THREE RECORDED INTACT USED BLOCKS OF THE 1868 90-CENT F GRILL.
Multiples of higher-denomination stamps such as the 90c F Grill were usually used on heavy parcels or large covers to foreign countries. The parcels or wrappers were rarely kept, and so few multiples have survived. Of the 90c F Grill, we record two other off-center blocks, as well as two rejoined and faulty blocks (one ex Klein and the other ex Ishikawa).
This block was offered in the Emerson sale of May 15, 1948, as a block of six. The left stamps were later separated. This is the only well-centered, sound and intact block we have been able to locate, and it is by far the finest used multiple.
Ex Twigg-Smith. With 1970 P.F. certificate