Sale 968B — The Alan B. Whitman Collection, Part Three: 1902-34 Issues, B-O-B
Sale Date — Tuesday-Friday, 22-25 September, 2009
Category — 1910-13 Washington-Franklin Issue (Orangeburg Coil, Scott 389)
FINE-VERY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE PAIR CONTAINING THE ONLY KNOWN MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 3-CENT ORANGEBURG COIL, SCOTT 389. ONLY TWO UNUSED SINGLES AND SIX UNUSED PAIRS ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS. ONE OF THE GREATEST RARITIES OF 20TH CENTURY UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
The Orangeburg coil was made by the Post Office Department in 1911, specifically for use by the Bell Pharmaceutical Company. The 3c coil stamps were used to send samples of their products to physicians. Due to the quantity of mail, they were put through the first-class cancelling machine at Orangeburg, New York. The Orangeburg coil stamps' use on third-class mail and the fact that philatelists were generally unaware of their production account for their rarity.
A census of the Orangeburg coil, published in The Philatelic Foundation's Opinions VII book, records two singles and seven unused pairs, including one in the Miller collection at The New York Public Library. The 3c Orangeburg pair in our May 2008 sale of the Jay Hoffman collection realized $230,000 hammer versus $140,000 Scott value. It did not contain a Mint Never-Hinged stamp and was centered strongly to one side.
The Scott Catalogue specifically refers to the left stamp in this pair: "There is only one mint, never-hinged example recorded".
With 1997 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail as singles (the Mint N.H. single catalogues $225,000.00)