Sale 968B — The Alan B. Whitman Collection, Part Three: 1902-34 Issues, B-O-B
Sale Date — Tuesday-Friday, 22-25 September, 2009
Category — 1909 Bluish Paper Issue (Scott 357-366)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE ONE-CENT ON BLUISH, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- ONLY ONE HAS GRADED HIGHER TO DATE.
The Bluish paper stamps were made as part of an experiment to correct problems with paper shrinkage and spoilage. The existence of this stamp with such superb centering and huge margins is truly remarkable.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $5,300.00). Only three others have achieved this grade and only one has graded higher. The example graded higher, at 98 Jumbo, realized $15,500 hammer in our auction of the Scarsdale collection
EXTREMELY FINE. CERTAINLY ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SURVIVING EXAMPLES OF THE 3-CENT ON BLUISH PAPER.
With 1993 P.S.E. certificate
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. AN EXTREMELY RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 4-CENT ON BLUISH PAPER. THIS IS THE FINEST OF THE THREE MINT NEVER-HINGED COPIES WE HAVE SOLD AND THE ONLY ONE OF THOSE WITH THE PLATE NUMBER SELVAGE.
During the early stages of production of the 1908-09 Washington-Franklin stamps, the Bureau tried to solve the problem of paper shrinkage that caused off-center perforations and resulted in a large number of unusable sheets. Armstrong notes that up to twenty percent of sheets had to be discarded. The first such experiments resulted in the Bluish Paper stamps (Scott 357-366). Rag cloth was added to the wood pulp mixture, but this did not have the desired effect and the experiment was discontinued.
According to Johl (Vol. 1, page 175), the only source of the 4c and 8c Bluish stamps was the archives of the Post Office Department. Approximately 80 of each were traded for rare stamps missing from the archives. Given the failed experimental nature of the paper mixture, it is no surprise that virtually all copies are off-center to some extent.
In the absence of a plate block of the 4c Bluish, this plate number single and the one other known plate multiple (a strip of three) assume far greater significance.
With 1973 and 2007 P.F. certificates
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A BEAUTIFUL ORIGINAL-GUM SHEET-MARGIN EXAMPLE OF THE SCARCE 5-CENT ON BLUISH PAPER
With 1973 A.P.S. and P.F. certificates
FRESH AND FINE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE RARE 8-CENT WASHINGTON ON BLUISH PAPER.
According to Johl (Vol. 1, page 175), the only source of the 4c and 8c Bluish stamps was the archives of the Post Office Department. Approximately 80 of each were traded for rare stamps missing from the archives.
With 1983 and 1997 P.F. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS REMARKABLE STAMP HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E. THE 10-CENT ON BLUISH IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT VALUES TO OBTAIN IN MINT NEVER-HINGED CONDITION.
A review of our records using Power Search reveals that we have offered only four other Mint N.H. examples in the past fourteen years. The others were offered in sales of the Argentum collection (Sale 807), the Vineyard collection (Sale 883), the Odeneal collection (Sale 941) and the Hoffman collection (Sale 956). None of the others is centered as well as this stamp.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $18,400.00). This is the only graded example in Mint N.H. condition in the P.S.E. Population Report
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A BEAUTIFUL LIGHTLY-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 13-CENT BLUISH PAPER WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E.
With 1996 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (OGph, XF-Superb 95; SMQ $5,550.00). Only four others share this grade with none higher
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. AN EXTRAORDINARY STAMP -- POST-OFFICE FRESH, PERFECTLY CENTERED, MINT NEVER-HINGED AND WITH FULL CORNER SHEET MARGINS. IN OUR EXPERIENCE, THIS IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE FINEST-QUALITY BLUISH PAPER STAMP IN EXISTENCE.
The 4c and 8c stamps are correctly recognized as the rarest of the Bluish Paper issue, but they were never sold over the post office counter and used by the public. Of the values that were regularly issued, the 5c is the rarest, followed by the 13c, and then by the 15c, 10c, 6c and 3c (the 1c and 2c are common). If Mint Never-Hinged stamps are isolated from the supply available to collectors, the rarity factors increase significantly for all of the values. The 15c is extremely rare in well-centered Mint N.H. condition.
This Mint Never-Hinged stamp, with full corner sheet margins and perfect centering, is not just the finest 15c Bluish Paper example we can locate in our extensive records -- it is, in our opinion, the finest single example of any of the higher-denomination Bluish Paper stamps. There is simply nothing that compares to it. That said, the very slightly skewed perforations, which are often found in corner-margin positions, keeps this beautiful example from a grade of 90 or 95. However, stamps like this transcend numerical grading.
With 2000 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (VF-XF 85; SMQ $4,600.00). Only three have graded higher to date in the P.S.E. Population Report