Sale 968A — The Alan B. Whitman Collection, Part Two: 1870-1901 Issues

Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 14-15 April, 2009

Category — 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
184
og
Sale 968A, Lot 184, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)1c Ultramarine (145). Original gum, lightly hinged with unusual strong offset on back of the entire design, rich color on bright paper, Jumbo margins, fresh and Extremely Fine, a beautiful stamp, with 1991 P.F. certificate

675
1,500
185
ng
Sale 968A, Lot 185, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)2c Red Brown, Double Impression (146d). Unused (no gum), clear doubling with dramatic second impression shifted up and to the left, light creases and small repair

FINE APPEARANCE. THIS EXAMPLE OF THE 1870 2-CENT UNGRILLED NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY ISSUE WITH DOUBLE IMPRESSION MAY BE UNIQUE.

This error is not known used, and this is the only unused example contained in our records.

Ex Lake Shore. With 1983 and 2005 P.F. certificates

6,500
8,000
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186
nh
Sale 968A, Lot 186, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)3c Green (147). Mint N.H., bright shade, choice centering with wide and balanced margins, fresh and Extremely Fine, the 3c 1870 National is extremely difficult to find in such pristine Mint N.H. condition, as opposed to its 1873 Continental counterpart, with 1987 and 1996 P.F. certificates, Scott Retail as hinged

300
2,700
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187
og
Sale 968A, Lot 187, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)6c Carmine (148). Original gum, lightly hinged, brilliant color, crisp impression, choice centering with wide and balanced margins

EXTREMELY FINE. A PRISTINE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1870 6-CENT NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY UNGRILLED ISSUE. A DIFFICULT STAMP TO FIND WITH THIS EXTREME DEGREE OF FRESHNESS.

With 1995 P.F. certificate

1,200
1,700
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188
nh
Sale 968A, Lot 188, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)10c Brown (150). Mint N.H., bright shade, detailed impression, choice centering

EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1870 10-CENT NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY UNGRILLED ISSUE.

In searching past auction catalogues and Power Search, we have located very few examples of Scott 150 in Mint Never-Hinged condition. Collectors who are unwilling to compromise on gum are well-advised to pursue this opportunity.

With 1989 and 2000 P.F. certificates. Scott Retail as hinged

1,750
0
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189
nh
Sale 968A, Lot 189, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)12c Dull Violet (151). Mint N.H., intense shade and proof-like impression on crisp paper, well-balanced margins

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1870 12-CENT UNGRILLED NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY ISSUE. THIS IS ONLY THE SECOND NEVER-HINGED COPY WE HAVE OFFERED. A GREAT RARITY.

Large multiples of the mid-to-higher denominations do not exist in any quantity to potentially furnish Mint N.H. singles.

With 1983 and 1995 P.F. certificates, the former as strip of seven. Scott Retail as hinged

3,000
15,500
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190
og
Sale 968A, Lot 190, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)15c Bright Orange (152). Original gum, lightly hinged, selvage at right, vibrant color as fresh as the day it was printed on bright paper

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A BEAUTIFUL ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1870 15-CENT NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY UNGRILLED ISSUE.

The 15c 1870 National Grilled Issue (Scott 141) is widely recognized as an extremely rare stamp in choice original-gum condition. Less well known is the fact that its ungrilled counterpart -- Scott 152 -- is comparably challenging to find in such condition. This remarkable stamp, with its wide margins and vibrant color, is one of the best we have encountered.

With 1983, 1992 and 2000 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (OGph, VF 80). There are two 90's and one 95 in the P.S.E. Population Report -- we believe this to be better than the VF 80 grade.

3,250
2,700
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191
nh
Sale 968A, Lot 191, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)24c Purple (153). Mint N.H. with plate no. 21 selvage at top, new P.S.E. certificate mentions "fingerprints" on gum, which are truly negligible and probably occurred in the National Bank Note Company gumming room 138 years ago, intense dark color on crisp paper, well-balanced margins for this difficult issue

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. THIS IS THE ONLY KNOWN MINT NEVER-HINGED PLATE NUMBER EXAMPLE OF THE 1870 24-CENT NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY ISSUE. A FABULOUS CLASSIC RARITY FROM THE FAMOUS BLOCK THAT WAS BROKEN.

This stamp comes from the top left of the Mint N.H. plate number block of four that was part of the Walter Klein collection and last sold in our 1998 Rarities sale. Sadly, after the Rarities sale it was broken into singles. Each of the righthand stamps from the block has a straight edge at right. The bottom left stamp was offered in our Silver Lake sale (Sale 866, lot 84) and is not quite as well-centered as the stamp offered here, nor does it have the plate number selvage.

Ex Klein as a block of four. With 1989 and 1999 P.F. certificates, the former for the block. With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (VF 80). Only three Mint N.H. stamps have been graded: two at 80 and one at 70. Scott Retail as hinged

2,200
40,000
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192
nh
Sale 968A, Lot 192, 1870 National Bank Note Co. Ungrilled Issue (Scott 145-155)30c Black (154). Mint N.H., intense shade characteristic of National printing, remarkably detailed impression, magnificent centering with unusually wide and balanced margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SPECTACULAR MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1870 30-CENT NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY UNGRILLED ISSUE. THIS IS EASILY THE FINEST EXAMPLE OF THIS ISSUE WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED, AND WE ARE CONFIDENT IT IS THE FINEST EXTANT. THIS IS THE FIRST MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE EVER SOLD BY THE SIEGEL FIRM, AND IT IS BELIEVED TO BE THE ONLY ONE IN EXISTENCE.

Among classic United States stamps, there are certain issues that fail to achieve the normal survival rates for Mint Never-Hinged versus hinged, or high grade versus low. The 30c 1870 National is one of those impossibly difficult issues. Ignoring the grilled stamps (Scott 143), let us consider Scott 154, the ungrilled version of the basic 30c 1870 Issue.

We reviewed every major sale containing significant offerings of Bank Note singles and blocks. A cursory overview follows: Ambassador collection--one no gum; Argentum--regummed single; Caspary--large part OG and another with a crease, no blocks; Hetherington--one of Caspary's singles; Lilly--one part OG, no blocks; Seymour--two OG Fine-Very Fine; West--a few off-cover singles, no blocks; Siegel Sale 612--off-center block and single with nibbed perfs; Klein--off-center block with s.e.; Braus--two no gum singles, no blocks; and Hirschfield--none. Zoellner had to settle for a well-centered stamp with traces of gum. There are perhaps four to five Fine-Very Fine OG singles and two Extremely Fine OG singles. All of the half-dozen or so known blocks are off center. The P.S.E. Population Report lists five OG stamps, including one 70, two 90's and one 95. There is only one Mint N.H. stamp (offered here).

In the context of this dismal report on the population of surviving Scott 154 stamps, the Extremely Fine Mint Never-Hinged example in the Whitman collection is nothing short of phenomenal. It is reported to have turned up in an old-time collection of gem-quality stamps that was sold privately several years ago. The first collector to own it after the collection was dispersed is believed to be Dr. Robert Hinrichs. It was then sold privately to the consignor of the Lakeview collection (Siegel Sale 836), but this stamp was removed from the collection and sold privately to Alan Whitman before the balance of the collection was consigned to auction. Now that the P.S.E. has given the stamp its blessings with an XF 90 OGnh grade, we can confidently describe it as the finest 30c 1870 National Ungrilled Issue extant, and we are equally confident there is no other copy in existence which can rival it.

With 1995 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (XF 90). This is the only graded Mint N.H. example, probably for all time. Scott Retail as hinged

7,500
67,500
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