Sale 951 — The Tahoe Collection of Superb Used U.S. Stamps
Sale Date — Wednesday, 27 February, 2008
Category — 1857-60 Issue
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION THE FINEST RECORDED SINGLE OF THE RARE 1857 ONE-CENT TYPE IA PERFORATED. VERY FEW EXIST WITH WIDE-SPACED PERFORATIONS.THIS IS WIDELY REGARDED AS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT USED CLASSIC UNITED STATES STAMPS IN EXISTENCE. THIS MAGNIFICENT STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF SUPERB 98 JUMBO BY P.S.E.
Type Ia stamps were produced from 18 of the 20 bottom-row positions on Plate 4. After perforations were introduced in mid-1857, sheets on hand printed from Plates 1 Late and 2 were fed through the new perforating machine, but the narrow spaces between stamps made perforating difficult to accomplish without cutting into the designs. Plate 4 was produced in early 1857 when the introduction of perforations was anticipated; thus, it was entered from a new six-relief transfer roll, and the spaces between stamps were enlarged to allow for perforations. Some Plate 4 sheets were issued in imperforate form (April to June 1857), while the greater portion was issued perforated beginning in July 1857, along with perforated sheets from Plates 1L and 2.
Plate 4's most distinctive feature is that the top row (Positions 1-10L and 1-10R) was entered with the designs complete at top (Type II) and the bottom row (Positions 91-100L and 91-100R) was entered with designs complete or nearly complete at bottom (Types Ia and Ic). Although the plate layout provided sufficient space for perforations, the height of the top-row and bottom-row designs was larger than others in the sheet, which resulted in perforations cutting into either the top or bottom rows, depending on which direction the sheet was fed into the perforator. Type Ia and Ic stamps from the bottom row are almost always cut into at bottom, an unfortunate situation for collectors because the bottom part of the design is what makes Type Ia and Ic stamps desirable.
The exceptions to the normal cut-into condition of top-row and bottom-row Plate 4 stamps are those with wide-spaced perforations. It has been assumed for years that the pins of the bottom row of the perforator were reset to create more space, but some students of the 1851-57 Issue have begun to reexamine this aspect of Plate 4 production to seek alternative explanations for wide-spaced perforations. Whatever the cause, wide-spaced stamps are extremely rare and highly desirable, because they exhibit all of the features that define their respective types. The so-called Waterhouse strip (ex Sir Nicholas Waterhouse, Saul Newbury and Mortimer Neinken; illustrated on p. 280 of the Neinken book) is the most famous of 1c 1857 Type Ia wide-spaced examples. Although a small number of single wide-spaced stamps are recorded, the example offered in this sale is the best-centered and one of the few completely sound stamps. When it was acquired by the late Amos Eno decades ago, this extraordinary stamp realized ten times Scott Catalogue value. In 1993 our firm sold this stamp by private treaty to Robert Zoellner for the same multiple of Scott value. It also realized the same multiple of catalogue value when acquired by the present owner at the Shreve sale of the Hinrichs collection.
Ashbrook states: "I consider perforated Type IA stamps that are not touched by perforations as the rarest stamps in the 1857 perforated issue." (Neinken book, p. 279). The Scott Catalogue contains a footnote to the basic price quotes: "Copies of this stamp exist with perforations not touching the design at any point. Such copies command very high prices."
Ex Eno, Zoellner and Hinrichs. With 2004 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (Superb 98 Jumbo; SMQ $180,000 as 98). The P.S.E. Population Report lists seven graded examples of Scott 19 (6 used, 1 OG). This Superb 98J is trailed by one 90 and four graded 40 or below (the OG copy is a 30).
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST KNOWN EXAMPLES OF THE EXTREMELY RARE PERFORATED ONE-CENT 1857 ISSUE FROM POSITION 99R2. THIS POSITION IS WIDELY REGARDED AS THE BEST EXAMPLE OF TYPE III.
On Plate 2, 198 of the 200 positions were Type II. Position 100R was Type II in the early stage of the plate, but as wear began to weaken the bottom line, it became Type IIIa with a small break at bottom. Positions 89R and 99R on Plate 2 have been the focus of special attention, because of their unusual nature. Ashbrook states: "A study of the double transfers of 89R2 and 99R2 is most interesting, because here in a vertical pair of positions we have two distinct varieties... The 99R2 stamp is a fresh entry that was short transferred both at top and bottom over an original entry that had been erased... The stamp, 89R2, is a re-entry, but not in the proper sense of this term, because the re-entry on the lower part of this position was an error, as it was not made to correct an existent fault of the original 89R transfer."
Plate 2 stamps were issued imperforate from December 1855 through June 1857. Beginning in July 1857 stamps from Plates 1 Late, 2 and 4 were issued with perforations, and Plates 2 and 4 continued to produce stamps through late 1857. Plate 2 stamps are rarer perforated than in imperforate form; conversely, Plate 4 stamps are rarer imperforate than in perforated form. However, perforated 99R2 stamps are of extreme rarity with perhaps 10 to 15 examples known in any condition (one unused, which is contained in a block, and the others used, including two on covers). Most have faults or are very off-center. This sound example cancelled by a lightly-struck blue datestamp is one of the finest extant.
With 1993 and 2005 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1857 5-CENT BRICK RED. EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST EXAMPLES IN EXISTENCE -- THIS REMARKABLE STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E., WHICH IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE.
Many collectors know this issue by type and shade, but fewer are aware of the order of production (or release). This state of confusion is partly due to the Scott Catalogue. The distinctive Brick Red shade of the 5c 1857 Issue comes first in the series of Scott-listed perforated 5c issues, but its true release date comes later in the sequence.
Based on dated covers, the 5c Type I shades were released in the following order: 1) Red Brown, Scott 28, EDU 8/23/1857; 2) Indian Red, Scott 28A, EDU 3/31/1858; 3) Brick Red, Scott 27, EDU 10/6/1858; 4) Brown, Scott 29, EDU 3/21/1859, almost certainly the last printing from the first 5c plate. The second 5c plate was made from a new six-relief transfer roll with the design projections cut away at top and bottom, to varying degrees. The Type II Brown was issued first (Scott 30A, EDU 5/4/1860), and the Orange Brown printing from the same plate followed about one year later (Scott 30, EDU 5/8/1861).
The first 5c sheets to be perforated in mid-1857 undoubtedly came from the unissued supply of 5c imperforate sheets in the "1856" Red Brown shade. These are akin to 1c perforated stamps from Plate 1 Late (Type IV, Scott 23) and Plate 2, and 3c perforated stamps from the Type I plate (Scott 25). Covers dated during the second half of 1857 and first quarter of 1858 have 5c stamps in the "1856" shade of Red Brown, which look like Scott 12 with perforations. By March 31, 1858, the EDU of the Indian Red shade, a second printing must have been made. We suspect that the entire family of Red Brown, Bright Red Brown and Indian Red shades -- all of which differ from the "1856" Red Brown -- were printed at the same time during the first quarter of 1858. No one has established a separate EDU for an "1858" Red Brown (Scott 28) -- separated from the earlier perforated "1856" Red Brown, which has the same Scott number -- thus our hypothesis cannot yet be supported by an EDU. If we are correct, the "1858" Red Brown and Indian Red should have similar EDU dates.
The Brick Red EDU of October 6, 1858, and its predominant use in early 1859 indicate either a separate printing (3rd Quarter 1858) or a later release date for stamps printed earlier. The Brick Red color is so far removed from any of the other 5c shades, we strongly suspect it was made inadvertently while the printers tried to match the earlier 1856 Red Brown. The Brick Red shade is actually closer to some of the 3c 1851 shades than it is to the 5c 1856. Sheets of the irregular 5c shades (Brick Red) would have been added to the stacks along with the subsequent Red Brown, Bright Red Brown and Indian Red sheets. However, when stamps were issued to post offices, the "color corrected" sheets would be released before the "irregular" Brick Red sheets were distributed.
Looking at the EDU's, there is a largely consistent pattern of new 5c printings at the beginning of each year in 1858 (Red Brown), 1859 (Brown), 1860 (Type II Brown) and 1861 (Type II Orange Brown). The only exceptions to this pattern are the "1856" Red Brown perforated sheets released in mid-1857, which make sense in the context of the first perforated issue, and the October 1858 Brick Red. The Brick Red stamps are much too scarce and limited in their distribution (New Orleans and a few other scattered post offices) to constitute a separate printing in 1858. In our opinion, it makes more sense if they were printed as part of the 1st Quarter 1858 printing, but released later in the year when needed.
With 2006 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $8,750.00). This is the highest grade awarded to date, and only three others share this grade
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT 1857 ISSUE IN THE BROWN COLOR. A BEAUTIFUL STAMP IN EVERY RESPECT.
Ex Floyd. With 1988 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (XF 90; SMQ $1,150.00). A note accompanying this graded stamp explains that the cancel was a bit heavy, otherwise it would have graded higher. We actually think a colorful red cancel adds to this stamp's appeal, which puts it on a par with the five other examples which have graded higher.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE PERFORATED 10-CENT GREEN TYPE II, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE.
With 1992 and 2003 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $1,750.00). This is the highest graded awarded to date. A total of eleven used 10c Type II perforated stamps are reported in the current P.S.E. Population Report, but we wonder how many of the others have a neat colorful cancel.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 12-CENT 1860 ISSUE FROM PLATE 3, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E. THIS IS ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE WITH THE CLEAR DOUBLE TRANSFER AT BOTTOM.
Ex Floyd. With 1990 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $1,650.00 with no premium for the double transfer). This is the highest grade awarded to any 12c 1857-60 perforated stamp (Scott 36 or 36b). Only seven Plate 3 (Scott 36b) stamps graded 95 are reported in the P.S.E. Population Report. Considering the extraordinary margin width--almost unheard of in this issue--and the centering and face-free cancel, we consider this a very strong 95, if not a 98.