VERY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE FIRST DAY COVER OF THE 2-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE.
About one dozen 2c Trans-Mississippi First Day covers are believed to exist.
With 2001 P.S.E. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM PAIR. THE WIDEST MARGINS AND FINEST CENTERING POSSIBLE FOR THIS ISSUE.
With 1989 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail as two Mint N.H. singles.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SCARCE AND DESIRABLE 2-CENT PAN-AMERICAN FIRST DAY COVER WITH A PAIR USED ON AN ILLUSTRATED EXPOSITION COVER.
Of the 61 recorded First Day covers for this issue, only thirteen are on Exposition covers.
With 2001 A.P.S. certificate
FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE ONE-CENT PAN-AMERICAN INVERT WITH A PLATE NUMBER OR IMPRINT. ONE OF THE GREATEST SHOWPIECES OF 20TH CENTURY UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
The Pan-American inverts were the first bicolored postage stamps produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the first invert postage errors issued by the Post Office since the 1869's. The 1c Pan-American Inverts were found in at least four different post offices around the country. Approximately 600 to 700 are known, including thirteen blocks of four, a block of six and a block of 20, some of which may have been broken into singles. This is the only example with an imprint or a plate number contained in our records.
Scott Catalogue price is based on a private sale of this item several years ago.
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARING USED EXAMPLE OF THE ONE-CENT PAN-AMERICAN INVERT.
The 1c Pan-American Inverts were found in at least four different post offices around the country, soon after release of the issue in May 1901. According to the revised Johl-King book (p.7) "The first known copies of this error were discovered at Bessemer, Alabama, by the Carrell Jewelry Company on some circulars just prior to mailing them. When they realized the find they had made they lost no time in removing the stamps from the circulars and thus saved them to philately." Three covers are known with one each used from Bessemer Ala., Oakland Cal. and St. Louis Mo.
The 1c Pan-American Invert in used condition is considerably scarcer than unused. With the increased collector demand for 20th Century stamps, especially in used condition, the price of a used 1c Pan-American Invert has surged ahead from $7,000 in 2001 to $16,500 in 2010. In our opinion it is still severely undervalued, given that the significantly more common unused catalogues $12,500.00.
With 2007 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE 2-CENT PAN-AMERICAN INVERT. THIS MARVELOUS STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF XF 90 BY P.S.E.
The 2c is the rarest of the three Pan-American Inverts. It is surmised that approximately 200 were issued through the post office, with two distinct shades known. Estimates of surviving examples range from an early count (1945) of 55 unused and 2-3 used to the 2009 Datz estimate of 75-85 unused, seven used and two blocks of four (one of which is rejoined). Our Levi records contain the intact block offered in the Whitman sale (4), a reconstructed block offered in our Zoellner sale (4), 64 unused singles and 6 used singles, for a total of 72 unused and 6 used. Many of the unused singles have disturbed gum or no gum, and/or are off center to top or top left.
With 1968, 1982 and 1995 P.F. certificates. With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, XF 90; SMQ $144,000.00). Only two others have been awarded this grade -- at least one of them (ex Whitman) has a hinge remnant. The Scott Catalogue value is for a stamp with slightly disturbed gum.
FINE. ONE OF FOUR RECORDED PLATE NUMBER AND PLATE LETTER SINGLES OF THE 4-CENT PAN-AMERICAN INVERT. ONLY THIS EXAMPLE HAS THE "SPECIMEN" OVERPRINT.
The production and distribution of the 4c Pan-American Invert occurred under extraordinary circumstances. After the 1c and 2c Inverts were discovered, rumors of a 4c Invert caused the Post Office Department to order a special printing of 4c Inverts to retain as specimens. It was reported that two sheets of 200 were printed, for a total of 400 stamps; however, as we shall describe further on, at least four plate impressions were made. It appears that only the lower halves of the sheets were finished with gum and perforations.
If the reported quantities are correct, 203 4c Inverts were released with or without the small "Specimen" overprint. Some examples, both with and without the overprint, were given away by Third Asst. Postmaster General Edwin C. Madden. When postal authorities learned of the practice, they destroyed 194 copies and put one pane of 100 into the official archives. At a later date, 97 of these were traded for rarities missing from the archives.
We are in the process of studying this fascinating Invert "Special Printing" and have recorded imprint and plate number examples of the 4c Pan-American Invert from the bottoms of four different sheets of 100, each comprising left and right panes of 50 (six of the eight panes are represented by at least one bottom-margin position). The sequence of vignette plate letters in the bottom selvage, which were normally printed in the top selvage, can be used to identify Left or Right pane positions. These letters were applied each time the vignette plate was used, and the 4c Invert has the longest sequence of letters we can find on any 4c Pan-American, presumably because the plate was used for the last time to make the Invert "Special Printing" after the regular stamps were printed. There are at least 48 separate entries of the two or three-letter initials on the 4c Invert vignette plate.
For the purpose of identification, we will refer to these four sheets as S1, S2, S3 and S4 (Left/Right for each). From S1 Left we record three singles with plate letters and the unique plate block of four with the imprint and plate number. None of the S1 Left imprint stamps have a "Specimen" overprint. From S1 Right we record the imprint and plate number strip of four recently sold in the Cunliffe auction by Spink-Shreves. It, too, does not have a "Specimen" overprint. From S2 we record only one imprint and plate number single, from the Right pane and without overprint, ex Odeneal (Siegel Sale 941, lot 1207). From S3 we record an imprint and plate number single from the Left pane (Siegel Sale 745, lot 717) and another from the Right pane, neither with overprint. Finally, from S4 we record the imprint and plate number single offered here, from the Left pane and with "Specimen" overprint, ex Green and Cunliffe.
Ex Colonel Green and Cunliffe. With 1996 P.F. and 2009 P.S.E. certificates.