EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE SOUND FOUR-MARGIN EXAMPLE OF POSITION 7 FROM THE RIGHT PANE OF PLATE ONE EARLY. POSITION 7R1E IS THE ONLY ONE AMONG THE 1,000 SUBJECTS ON THE PLATES THAT PRODUCED IMPERFORATE ONE-CENT STAMPS TO SHOW THE FULL DESIGN -- TYPE I, SCOTT NUMBER 5 -- AND ITS EXTREME RARITY IS GREATLY MULTIPLIED WHEN SOUND CONDITION BECOMES A FACTOR. THIS IS ONE OF THE FINEST EXAMPLES ON OR OFF COVER.
The published census compiled by Jerome S. Wagshal (available from our website at http://siegelauctions.com/dynamic/census/5/5.pdf) contains at least 98 unduplicated records of Scott 5. There are probably no more than ten examples existing outside of the Wagshal census population. Therefore, the 1c 1851 Type I is the rarest of all United States stamps issued regularly prior to the 1868 Grills. Fewer than 20 covers still survive with Position 7R1E.
Because of the significance attached to the outer portions of the 1c 1851 design, rare types that have been carefully cut apart, so as not to impinge on any part of the design, are extremely desirable. The narrow spacing between stamps in the sheet and the users' indifference to the outlying ornamentation during separation are factors that contributed to the great rarity of four-margin examples. Time has also not been kind to the surviving population, as very few examples of Scott 5 are sound. The example offered here is not only sound, it is especially desirable because it shows the complete design all around, including the essential elements of Type I, the top and bottom ornamentation.
Examples of Position 7R1E on cover present an even greater challenge to collectors who have strict condition standards. Most of the recorded covers with 7R1E have examples which are faulty and/or cut-into. Without question, the greatest 7R1E cover is the famous ex-Newbury cover with a strip of three, Positions 7-9R1E, cancelled in red (also ex Ishikawa and Boker, and now in an important West Coast collection). The runner-up, in terms of quality, is arguably the cover offered here, which once reposed in the Caspary collection and was acquired by Raymond Vogel more than 40 years ago.
Wagshal Census No. 5-COV-074. Ex Caspary