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Sale 968 — The Alan B. Whitman Collection of Outstanding United States Stamps

Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 27-28 January, 2009

Category — 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
115
og
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 115, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)2c Black, F. Grill (93), 2c Black, F. Grill (93)2c Black, F. Grill (93). Original gum, lightly hinged, pretty shade, clear grill, wide margins, Very Fine and choice, with 1988 and 2000 P.F. certificate

525
1,200
116
nh
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 116, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)3c Red, F. Grill (94). Mint N.H, 3c Red, F. Grill (94). Mint N.H3c Red, F. Grill (94). Mint N.H., intense shade on bright paper, sharp grill points, fresh and Fine, we have only sold four others in Mint N.H. condition since keeping computerized records and all had similar centering to the example offered here, ex Odeneal, with 1992 and 2007 P.F. certificates, Scott Retail as hinged

400
650
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117
ogbl
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 117, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)3c Red, F. Grill, Imperforate Horizontally (94c), 3c Red, F. Grill, Imperforate Horizontally (94c)3c Red, F. Grill, Imperforate Horizontally (94c). Block of four with part selvage at left, original gum, bright shade, detailed impression, wide margins at top and bottom

EXTREMELY FINE. AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE BLOCK OF THE 1868 3-CENT F GRILL WHICH IS IMPERFORATE HORIZONTALLY. THIS IS THE FIRST EXAMPLE OF THIS VARIETY, EITHER AS A PAIR OR BLOCK, THAT WE HAVE OFFERED SINCE KEEPING COMPUTERIZED RECORDS. A GREAT RARITY OF THE ISSUE.

We are unsure of how many examples of the 3c F Grill Imperforate Horizontally error exist, but a review of our own auctions with Power Search produced none. We also looked in major name sales which contained varieties and/or multiples such as Sinkler, Col. Green, Caspary, Eno, Lilly, Klein, Ishikawa, Floyd and a half-dozen others. We found only one -- in the first Hind sale -- which was also a block, but the description was not detailed enough for us to determine whether this is the same item. The only other example we located is a pair in the Miller Collection at the New York Public Library. Clearly the elusiveness of past auction offerings of Scott 94c indicate that it could be one of the rarest of all classic U.S. varieties.

With 2004 P.S.E. certificate

10,000
37,500
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118
ogbl
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 118, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)3c Red, F. Grill, Printed on Both Sides (94d), 3c Red, F. Grill, Printed on Both Sides (94d)3c Red, F. Grill, Printed on Both Sides (94d). Block of eighteen with selvage at top and left and with full imprint, parts of seven stamps printed on back with imprint and plate no. 35, original gum, lightly hinged, bright color, clear grills, few trivial perf separations and toned specks not mentioned on accompanying certificate

VERY FINE. THE UNIQUE UNUSED MULTIPLE OF THE 1868 3-CENT F GRILL PRINTED ON BOTH SIDES, WHICH CONTAINS THE ONLY UNUSED EXAMPLES OF THIS GREAT RARITY (ONE USED IS RECORDED). THE PRESENCE OF THE IMPRINT AND PLATE NUMBER ON THE REVERSE ADDS TO THE SPECTACULAR CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THIS MULTIPLE.

For several years we have kept comprehensive census records for U.S. stamps printed on both sides. For Scott 94, we record only one used single and this unused multiple.

Ex Herzog and Chapin (acquired privately). With 1972 and 2003 P.F. certificates. Scott Retail as six singles.

45,000
47,500
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119
nh
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 119, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)5c Brown, F. Grill (95). Mint N.H, 5c Brown, F. Grill (95). Mint N.H5c Brown, F. Grill (95). Mint N.H., deep rich color and proof-like impression, clearly-impressed grill, choice centering for this narrowly-spaced issue, single nibbed perf at top not mentioned on accompanying certificate

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A SCARCE MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 5-CENT F GRILL.

We have offered only four other Mint N.H. stamps in Power Search. Most were removed from blocks, and only a few are sound.

With 1989 and 1997 P.F. certificates

3,750
2,600
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120
og
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 120, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)10c Yellow Green, F. Grill, Very Thin Paper (96 var), 10c Yellow Green, F. Grill, Very Thin Paper (96 var)10c Yellow Green, F. Grill, Very Thin Paper (96 var). Original gum, lightly hinged, rich color on bright paper, clearly-defined grill

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 10-CENT F GRILL ON VERY THIN PAPER.

In our experience, the Very Thin Paper variety comes in a distinct shade on semi-translucent paper. The example offered here is the only original-gum single contained in Power Search -- we have offered two blocks of four which probably also qualify.

With 1994 P.F. certificate which does not mention the variety

3,250
2,800
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121
ogbl
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 121, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)10c Yellow Green, F. Grill (96), 10c Yellow Green, F. Grill (96)10c Yellow Green, F. Grill (96). Block of four, original gum, lightly hinged, rich color, clearly-defined grills

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A SCARCE SOUND AND WELL-CENTERED ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1868 10-CENT F GRILL.

Almost every 10c F Grill block with Very Fine or better centering has been broken up to satisfy the growing demand for singles. This block is a rare survivor.

With 1994 P.F. certificate

26,500
13,000
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122
og
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 122, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)12c Black, F. Grill (97), 12c Black, F. Grill (97)12c Black, F. Grill (97). With part imprint at top, original gum, lightly hinged, intense shade and remarkably detailed impression which shows every nuance of the detailed engraving, unusually choice centering with wide and balanced margins, long and full perforations all around

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A STUNNING ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 12-CENT F GRILL. THIS IS CERTAINLY AMONG THE FINEST IN EXISTENCE, AND IT IS WORTHY OF THE FINEST COLLECTION.

We acknowledge the past existence of original-gum 12c F Grill multiples, which in recent years have been broken to furnish choice singles (this came from a block). However, the quality of this particular stamp -- its centering and margins, shade and overall freshness -- qualify it as one of the three or four finest in existence.

Ex Caspary and Moody as part of an imprint block and ex Morris as a single. With 1987 and 1994 P.F. certificates, the former as a block.

3,500
10,000
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123
ogbl
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 123, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)12c Black, F. Grill (97), 12c Black, F. Grill (97)12c Black, F. Grill (97). Block of four, original gum, small h.r., bright shade on crisp paper, clearly-defined grills, choice centering throughout

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A RARE SOUND AND CENTERED ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1868 12-CENT F GRILL. VERY FEW BLOCKS EXIST IN ANY CONDITION, AND THIS IS PERHAPS THE FINEST.

Our records contain only six original-gum blocks of the 12c F Grill. Some of these have probably been broken to feed collector demand for singles (the previous lot is a perfect example), and therefore the number of surviving multiples may be smaller. Blocks of four are the largest surviving multiples, since the Caspary block of eight has been broken.

With 1986 and 2003 P.F. certificates. As another indication of rarity, the Scott Catalogue assigns a 214% premium for the block versus four singles.

30,000
57,500
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124
og
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 124, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)15c Black, F. Grill (98), 15c Black, F. Grill (98)15c Black, F. Grill (98). Original gum, lightly hinged, bright shade, detailed impression, clearly-defined grill, perfectly centered with wide and balanced margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 15-CENT F GRILL IN EXISTENCE. THIS MAGNIFICENT STAMP HAS ATTAINED THE GRADE OF SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS BY FAR THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE. THIS STAMP IS OFFERED TO THE MARKET FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER A DECADE.

The ungrilled version of this issue was released in 1866, about one year after President Lincoln was assassinated. It is regarded by many to be America's first commemorative issue, memorializing the martyred president as the nation started to heal from the wounds of the Civil War. In 1868 it was issued with two grill types, the E Grill (Scott 91) and F Grill (Scott 98). 15c usually paid the registration fee on domestic mail or the U.S.-French treaty rate.

Although some of the 15c F Grill blocks have been broken to furnish choice singles, we were unable to locate any other stamps among multiples that would qualify for the coveted P.S.E. grade of Superb 98.

Ex Concord, Morris and Weisman. With 1987 and 1994 P.F. and 1998 and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (OGph, Superb 98). This is the highest grade awarded to date, and this is the only example awarded this grade. Accompanied by note from master grader Dr. William Litle which reads "I think this is the first 98 Scott No. 77, 91 or 98 of any kind".

4,500
55,000
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125
ogbl
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 125, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)15c Black, F. Grill (98), 15c Black, F. Grill (98)15c Black, F. Grill (98). Block of four, original gum, lightly hinged, bright shade and detailed impression, clearly-defined grills, some tiny insignificant pinpoint gum toned specks not even worth mentioning on accompanying 2007 P.F. certificate

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A RARE ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1868 15-CENT F GRILL. THIS IS AN EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT BLOCK TO FIND WITH DECENT CENTERING.

The largest recorded original gum multiples are a reconstructed block of 20 and a block of 16. Both are significantly off center with perfs cutting far into the stamp designs.

With 1988 and 2007 P.F. certificates.

35,000
21,000
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126
og
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 126, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)24c Gray Lilac, F. Grill (99), 24c Gray Lilac, F. Grill (99)24c Gray Lilac, F. Grill (99). Original gum, lightly hinged, rich color, crisp impression, gorgeous centering with unusually wide and balanced margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE 1868 24-CENT F GRILL IN EXISTENCE. THIS AND THE 30-CENT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT F GRILLS TO OBTAIN IN SUCH PRISTINE CONDITION.

The higher-denomination F Grills were produced in limited quantities and seem to have caused National Bank Note Co. difficulty in applying perforations. They are typically off center with very choppy perfs. This stamp has uncharacteristically precise centering and well-formed perforations.

Ex Weisman and offered to the market for the first time in a decade. With 1990 P.F. and P.S.E. certificates

8,500
9,000
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127
ogbl
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 127, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)24c Gray Lilac, F. Grill (99), 24c Gray Lilac, F. Grill (99)24c Gray Lilac, F. Grill (99). Block of four, original gum, bright shade, clear grills

FRESH AND FINE. A SCARCE ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1868 24-CENT F GRILL. VERY FEW ARE SOUND.

Our extensive records contain perhaps a half-dozen or so blocks of four, plus a block of fifteen and an imprint and plate no. block of six. Several of the blocks are faulty, and some may have been broken for singles.

With 2007 P.F. certificate.

42,500
35,000
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128
og
Sale Number 968, Lot Number 128, 1868 Regular-Production Grilled Issue (F Grill, Scott 92-100)30c Orange, F. Grill (100), 30c Orange, F. Grill (100)30c Orange, F. Grill (100). Original gum, vibrant color as fresh as the day it was printed, wide margins for this difficult issue

EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE 1868 30-CENT F GRILL IN EXISTENCE. A REMARKABLE STAMP IN EVERY RESPECT -- COLOR, GRILL, IMPRESSION, INTACT PERFORATIONS AND MARGIN WIDTH. TRULY SPECTACULAR.

The 30c 1861-68 Issue stamps -- Scott 71 (to a lesser extent) and Scott 100 -- rank as two of the most difficult classic U.S. stamps to find in such pristine condition. Due to narrow spacing of the plate, the 30c 1861-68's are usually found with tight margins, especially at sides.

A review of auction sales produced only six other original-gum examples of the 30c F Grill in grades of Very Fine or Extremely Fine. Except for this stamp and one other (ex Scarsdale, Siegel Sale 918, lot 54), the potentially choice stamps appeared in sales held during the 1940's and 50's. Whether any or all of them could pass today's more rigorous standards for condition and certification is unlikely.

Ex Gabade and Morris, and offered to the market for the first time since 1996. With 1987 and 1995 P.F. certificates.

8,500
15,500
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