Sale 973 — 2009 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Saturday, 13 June, 2009

Category — 1894-98 Bureau Issues

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
162
nhbl
Sale 973, Lot 162, 1894-98 Bureau Issues3c Purple (253). Mint N.H. bottom imprint and plate no. 91 block of six, remarkably well-centered for this difficult plate block, wonderfully fresh and intact

VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A DESIRABLE EXAMPLE OF THE 3-CENT 1894 BUREAU ISSUE PLATE BLOCK.

With 2009 P.F. certificate

3,500
2,000
163
ogbl
Sale 973, Lot 163, 1894-98 Bureau Issues10c Dark Green (258). Bottom imprint and plate no. 55 block of six, all Mint N.H. except pos. 2, rich color

VERY FINE IMPRINT AND PLATE BLOCK OF THE 10-CENT 1894 UNWATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE.

With 2009 P.S.E. certificate

3,500
2,400
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164
ogbl
Sale 973, Lot 164, 1894-98 Bureau Issues$1.00 Black (261). Bottom selvage block of eight with part arrow and natural s.e. at left, bottom center stamps Mint N.H., other six lightly hinged, intense shade and impression, usual natural gum bends

VERY FINE. A RARE BOTTOM SELVAGE BLOCK OF EIGHT OF THE 1894 $1.00 TYPE I UNWATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE.

This block is the perfect companion to the bottom right corner block of Type II which recently sold in the Whitman sale. The block offered here is the Type I portion from the same sheet that was recently broken. Scott Retail as singles

14,700
9,500
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165
nh
Sale 973, Lot 165, 1894-98 Bureau Issues$1.00 Black, Ty. II (261A). Mint N.H., intense shade and impression on bright paper, almost perfect centering with wide and balanced margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1894 $1.00 UNWATERMARKED TYPE II BUREAU ISSUE.

Collectors of this issue know that it is extremely difficult to find the First Bureau issue in centered, Mint Never-Hinged condition, particularly the higher denominations. This is mostly due to production problems as the Bureau of Engraving and Printing assumed responsibility for stamp production after the American Bank Note Co. contract expired.

With 2007 P.S.E. certificate (XF 90; SMQ $18,700.00). Only two examples have graded higher to date and only two others shard this grade.

7,500
10,500
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166°
og
Sale 973, Lot 166, 1894-98 Bureau Issues$5.00 Dark Green (263). Original gum, lightly hinged, deep rich color and proof-like impression on post-office fresh paper, perfectly centered with wide margins

EXTREMELY FINE FINE GEM. THIS STUNNING ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1894 $5.00 UNWATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.

The 1894 Unwatermarked issue was the first U.S. postage issue to be printed by the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, after the contract with American Bank Note Co. expired. The first stamps printed by the Bureau are notoriously difficult to find well-centered, as production was marred by initial problems as they geared up to meet the needs of the public for stamps. The designs were kept the same from the 1890 ABN Co. issue, with the addition of corner triangles to distinguish the printings. The use of the same designs is another indication of the time pressure that may have caused some of the initial production problems. Perhaps the two most difficult denominations to find in superb condition are the $1.00 Type II (Scott 261A), and the $5.00.

With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, Superb 98; SMQ $29,000.00). Only three others share this grade and only one has graded higher to date. Collectors waiting for a Mint N.H. example in higher grades will have a very long wait -- the highest grade awarded thus far to a Mint N.H. copy is 80.

5,000
17,500
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167
nh
Sale 973, Lot 167, 1894-98 Bureau Issues5c Chocolate (270). Mint N.H. with plate no. 392 at bottom, pretty shade as fresh as the day it was printed, perfectly centered with wide and balanced margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS STUNNING STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE.

With 2006 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $4,300.00). This is the highest grade awarded to date and only one other shares this grade.

115
2,600
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168°
 
Sale 973, Lot 168, 1894-98 Bureau Issues6c Dull Brown, USIR Watermark (271a). Horizontal strip of three, "I" of watermark straddles the right pair, stamps rejoined along perfs, center stamp with small thin

FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED USED MULTIPLE CONTAINING THE 6-CENT 1895 "USIR" WATERMARK ERROR. LESS THAN 25 IN TOTAL HAVE BEEN CERTIFIED AS GENUINE BY THE PHILATELIC FOUNDATION.

With 2009 P.F. certificate

20,000
8,000
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169
 
Sale 973, Lot 169, 1894-98 Bureau Issues8c Violet Brown, USIR Watermark (272a). Showing clear "R" of watermark, choice centering with wide margins, deep rich color, wide and balanced margins, very light cancel

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1895 8-CENT WATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE WITH "USIR" WATERMARK.

Our census of Scott 272a records approximately 66 copies, most of which are used. The variety was created when the stock of paper intended for use on revenue stamps was inadvertently used for regular-issue stamps.

With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; the variety is unpriced in SMQ). Only one has graded higher to date (at 95J) and only one other shares this grade.

1,000
4,750
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170
nh
Sale 973, Lot 170, 1894-98 Bureau Issues10c Orange Brown, Ty. II, Vertical Wmk. (283a). Mint N.H., radiant color as fresh as the day it was printed on crisp paper, mathematically perfect centering with wide and balanced margins, long and full perforations all around

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS STUNNING MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF SCOTT 283a IS PROBABLY THE FINEST IN EXISTENCE. IT HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF GEM 100 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE AND THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE THIS ILLUSTRIOUS GRADE.

According to Brookman, the 10-cent Type II has the same type characteristics as the 1890 Issue, and so was likely made prior to Type I, which shows an altered die in the area of the circle surrounding the left denomination. In the 2007 Scott Specialized, the listings were clarified to include both the horizontal and vertical watermarks. In an article in the 2007 Scott Specialized, author Kenneth E. Diehl notes that the 10c stamps with vertical watermarks were printed from plates of 200 subjects, and were put on the presses in early 1902. The horizontal watermarked stamps (Scott 283) were printed from sheets of 400 stamps and were printed first.

It is curious to note that the vertical watermarked issue, Scott 283a, was printed after the 10c Trans-Mississippi and 10c Pan-American Issues, and only a short time before the 10c 1902 Issue, Scott 307, was printed (EDU March 12, 1903). We must therefore conclude that this issue was printed in limited quantities. The existence of this example in Gem 100 grade is truly remarkable.

With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100); it is unpriced in 98 or higher in SMQ simply because the editors have no basis for evaluating this rarity. By contrast, Scott 283 has an SMQ of $17,400.00 in the grade of 98, and Scott Catalogue gives Scott 283a a 40% premium over Scott 283.

700
21,000
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