Sale 904 — Superb United States Stamps
Sale Date — Saturday, 10 December, 2005
Category — Buffalo Balloon Semi-Official Air Post
VERY FINE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE RARE BUFFALO BALLOON AIR POST ISSUE.
VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE RARE 5-CENT BUFFALO BALLOON ISSUE.
A very attractive example of this rarity. Most examples are defective to some degree.
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARING TETE-BECHE PAIR OF THE RARE BUFFALO BALLOON AIR POST ISSUE.
The Buffalo Balloon stamp, designed by John F. B. Lillard and engraved by John H. Snively, was printed by Wheeler Brothers Printers in Nashville, Tennessee. Only 300 were printed in tete-beche arrangement from a single die. The stamps were intended for use on a balloon flight from Nashville to Gallatin, Tennessee, which took place on June 18, 1877. Of the 300 that were printed, only 23 were used.
Based on previous examples we have handled, at least some of the Buffalo Balloon stamps were exposed to moisture around the time they were printed. This accounts for the fact that only two of the eleven tete-beche pairs certified by the Philatelic Foundation are sound. The others are mostly thinned in one corner where they were stuck together.