Sale 1025 — 2012 Rarities of the World
Sale Date — Tuesday, 26 June, 2012
Category — Air Post thru Parcel Post
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS ONE OF ONLY TWO RECORDED TRIAL COLOR PROOFS OF THE BUFFALO BALLOON AIR POST ISSUE. ONE OF THE GREAT PROOF RARITIES IN UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
The Buffalo Balloon stamp, designed by John B. Lillard and engraved by John H. Snively, was printed by Wheeler Brothers Printers in Nashville, Tennessee. Only 300 were printed in tête-bêche arrangement from a single die. The stamps were intended for use on a balloon flight from Nashville to Gallatin, Tennessee, which took place on June 18, 1877. Of the 300 that were printed, Lillard wrote that only 23 were used. Two examples of the Black Trial Color proof are recorded. The other was sold in our 1974 Rarities of the World sale and is also ex Rudy.
With 1996 R.P.S. certificate. Listed in Scott in a footnote to No. CL1 and priced at $7,500.00 -- the same as an unused stamp and a number which has not changed since it was first priced in the 1993 Specialized Catalogue. The Schoendorf booklet prices the proof at 3-times the unused stamp
EXTREMELY FINE APPEARING TÊTE-BÊCHE PAIR OF THE RARE BUFFALO BALLOON AIR POST ISSUE.
The Buffalo Balloon stamp, designed by John B. Lillard and engraved by John H. Snively, was printed by Wheeler Brothers Printers in Nashville, Tennessee. Only 300 were printed in tête-bêche arrangement from a single die. The stamps were intended for use on a balloon flight from Nashville to Gallatin, Tennessee, which took place on June 18, 1877. Of the 300 that were printed, Lillard wrote that only 23 were used (see lot 247 for letter).
Based on previous examples we have handled, at least some of the Buffalo Balloon stamps were exposed to moisture around the time they were printed. This accounts for the fact that only two of the eleven tete-beche pairs certified by the Philatelic Foundation are potentially sound. The others are mostly thinned in one corner where they were stuck together.
With 1986 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARING STAMP AND AN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL ARTIFACT OF THE BUFFALO BALLOON MAIL.
The booklet Buffalo Balloon Mail 1873-1877 by Schoendorf discusses and quotes this letter. It was sent from New York by stamp designer John B. Lillard to Jno. Skinner in Albany and reads "Dear Sir, I enclose you the sheet of Balloon stamps they were issued by myself in June 1877 and used in the trip I made in the Balloon Buffalo with Prof. King only 300 were issued and 23 used. Very best, J.H.B. Lillard." It is from this letter that the information on how many stamps were used originates. The Schoendorf booklet states that the letter was sent with only one stamp but it does not cite its source for that information. We sold an example in the Jeanette Rudy collection in 2004 with a manuscript "X" marking nearly identical to this one and with similar margins.
Scott Retail for unused No. CL1 $7,500.00
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1902 SERIES SPECIAL DELIVERY STAMP, SCOTT E6, HAS BEEN AWARDED THE PERFECT GRADE OF GEM 100 BY P.S.E. -- THIS STANDS ALONE AS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE.
Scott E6 is the first of the "Messenger on Bicycle" Special Delivery designs. It was released as part of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's "Series of 1902" regular postage issues (Scott 300-313). Scott E6 is printed on double-line "USPS" watermarked paper with 12-gauge perforations. In 1908 the "Helmut of Mercury" Special Delivery stamp was issued. However, the Messenger on Bicycle design was re-issued in 1909 from new plates, and the same basic design was issued continuously until the Motorcycle Delivery design replaced it in 1922. Changes in the paper and perforation gauge for the issues from 1909 until 1922 mirror the changes in the Washington-Franklin series of the same period.
Scott E6 is not particularly scarce (it has a Scott value of $525.00 unused), but experienced collectors and professionals know that very few examples of the 1902 Issue exist with wide and balanced margins. The P.S.E. Population Report statistics support this statement, and a review of our auction records with Power Search provides visual confirmation. None of the stamps (singles or in blocks) in our database compare to this Mint N.H. Gem 100 example.
With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; unpriced above the grade of 98 in SMQ, SMQ $11,000.00 as 98). This is the highest grade awarded to date and the only example to achieve this desirable grade. One has been graded Superb 98, and four have been graded 95.
FINE-VERY FINE. A RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED PLATE BLOCK OF THE 10-CENT ULTRAMARINE 1914 SPECIAL DELIVERY ISSUE, SCOTT E9.
We have sold only three Mint N.H. plate blocks of Scott E9 since 1993
FINE APEARANCE. A SCARCE IMPRINT AND PLATE NUMBER BLOCK OF SIX OF THE 50-CENT PERF 12 SINGLE-LINE WATERMARK POSTAGE DUE. THIS IS THE FIRST PLATE BLOCK WE HAVE OFFERED SINCE KEEPING COMPUTERIZED RECORDS.
Scott Retail as singles
FINE-VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE TOP PLATE BLOCK OF SIX OF THE 1914 3-CENT POSTAGE DUE ISSUE IN THE DULL ROSE SHADE. THIS IS THE FIRST PLATE BLOCK IN EITHER THE CARMINE LAKE OR DULL ROSE SHADE WE HAVE OFFERED SINCE KEEPING COMPUTERIZED RECORDS.
This issue is rare in any block form -- we have not offered even a block of four in either shade since keeping computerized records. We have offered only one Mint N.H. single in this shade since keeping computerized records.
Scott Retail as singles
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A STUNNING MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1914 50-CENT POSTAGE DUE ISSUE. WE HAVE OFFERED ONLY TWO MINT NEVER-HINGED COPIES SINCE KEEPING COMPUTERIZED RECORDS.
Scott No. J58 has the highest catalogue value of any regularly issued Postage Due stamp. Only the 1c-3c Special Printings, Scott Nos. J8-J10, catalogue higher. This stamp is the key to any meaningful collection of the Postage Due issues. We have offered only one other in Mint N.H. condition since keeping computerized records, and the perforations touch at left on the other copy.
With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (VF 80; SMQ $30,400.00). This is the only graded Mint N.H. copy.
FINE. AN ATTRACTIVE AND RARE USED BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1914 50-CENT POSTAGE DUE ISSUE.
We have offered only three others since keeping computerized records.
VERY FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE PLATE NUMBER BLOCK OF THE 1916 ONE-CENT PERF 10 UNWATERMARKED POSTAGE DUE ISSUE.
Generally, the 1c Unwatermarked Perf 10 is found with poor centering. Our review of major plate block and Postage Due auctions, including Cole, Simon, Todd, and Wampler, revealed only three examples: the ex-Cole (and Drucker) plate block (plate 5541), the ex-Wampler plate block (plate 5510), and one from our 2003 Rarities sale (plate 5522). All three are top positions with selvage reduced.
With 1966 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail as singles
FINE-VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE USED BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1916 ONE-CENT PERF 10 UNWATERMARKED POSTAGE DUE ISSUE.
This is the first used block we have offered since keeping computerized records. With 1965 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE-EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL MINT NEVER-HINGED PLATE BLOCK OF THE 1930 30-CENT PERF 11 POSTAGE DUE.
We have offered only one other since keeping computerized records, which had perfs touching the design.
FINE. A RARE BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE $2.00 OFFICES IN CHINA DOUBLE SURCHARGE ERROR.
The Offices in China double surcharge error occurred during the overprinting of stamps for use at the U.S. Postal Agency in Shanghai. It has been reported that the errors were among the last stamps to be put on sale before the agency closed on December 31, 1922. The Deputy Postal Agent, Mr. E. H. Murray, knew of the error but allowed it to be put on sale, as he was retiring and the Agency was closing.
Top right and bottom left stamps with purple backstamp. Listed but unpriced in Scott as a block of four. Scott Retail as singles.
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE USED EXAMPLE OF THE $2.00 OFFICES IN CHINA DOUBLE SURCHARGE WITH WIDE MARGINS.
The Office in China double surcharge error occurred during the overprinting of stamps for use at the U.S. Postal Agency in Shanghai. It has been reported that the errors were among the last stamps to be put on sale before the agency closed on December 31, 1922. The Deputy Postal Agent, Mr. E. H. Murray, knew of the error but allowed it to be put on sale, as he was retiring and the Agency was closing. This stamp is far scarcer in used condition. Approximately six covers are known.
With 2012 P.S.A.G. certificate
VERY FINE. ONE OF NINE RECORDED 6-CENT POST OFFICE BISECTS ON FULL COVERS, OF WHICH ONLY SIX ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS.
We record the following nine covers with the 6c Post Office bisect (all diagonal halves, as noted): C1) TR, Rockland Me. Jan. 6, to NYC, marked "British", ex Gibson, Starnes, the cover offered here; C2) TR, Rockland Me. Jan. 10, to NYC, marked "British", 1953 PFC, ex Ackerman, Ehrenberg, Markovits; C3) BL, Rockland Me. Jan. 10, to NYC, marked "British", 2003 PFC, ex Markovits; C4) BR, New York Mills NY Apr. 10, to Concord Mass, 1993 PFC, ex Hughes, Ward, Markovits; C5) TL, Galveston Tex. May 19 (1883?), intra-city address, 1978 PFC, ex Markovits; C6) TR, Rockland Me. Jan. 10, to NYC, Miller collection NYPL; C7) BR, Lockport NY Sep. 30, on 3c UO7 entire to Elmira NY, Miller collection NYPL; C8) TR, Shenandoah Va. Apr. 2, to NYC, Miller collection NYPL; and C9) BL, Rockland Me. Jan. 7, to NYC, ex Ehrenberg. In addition to complete covers, there are two pieces: P1) TL (see No. P2 for other half), Niagara Falls NY, Jun. 18, on 3c UO7 cut square, ex Markovits; P2) BR (see No. P1 for other half), Niagara Falls NY, Jun. 18, with 3c O49 on 6c UO12 cut square, ex Markovits. The Miller collection at The New York Public Library also contains two 3c UO7 cut squares with bisects of the 12c Post Office (both used from Lockport N.Y. on Nov. 28).
Ex Starnes and "Andromeda". With 2007 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. AN EXTRAORDINARILY RARE BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE $10.00 STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUE, WITH THE BLACK PLATE NUMBER AT TOP AND WITH THREE MINT NEVER-HINGED STAMPS.
Scott Retail as original gum block of four.
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY REPORTED IMPRINT BLOCK OF THE 1879 ONE-CENT AGRICULTURE AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY PRINTING ON SOFT PAPER. A BLOCK OF FOUR IS ALSO THE LARGEST RECORDED MULTIPLE. ONE OF THE GREATEST RARITIES OF THE ISSUE.
In an effort by the Grant administration to stem the tide of postal abuse, stamps were issued in 1873 for the nine departments of the Executive branch. Stamps were issued to the various departments by the Post Office as needed, and an accounting was kept for budgeting purposes and for reimbursement of the Post Office Department.
The Agriculture Officials were printed from sheets of 100 consisting of one pane. In December 1878 Continental merged with American Bank Note Company, which assumed production for United States stamps early in 1879, including the Officials. As with the regular Bank Note issues, the Officials printed by American can be distinguished by the use of soft, porous paper. Philip Ward recorded only four blocks of four. This is the only one with selvage we were able to locate. A pair with plate number is also known.
Ex Weill and illustrated on the front cover of the December 14, 1989 Christie's catalogue. Offered to the market for the first time since that 1989 sale. With 1989 P.F. certificate. This is the first multiple we have offered since 1990.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $2.00 1895 UNWATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE.
With 2010 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, XF-Superb 95 Jumbo; SMQ $4,650.00 as 95, unpriced in SMQ as 98). Only two have been graded thus far and this stands alone as the highest grade awarded to date. This is also one of the finest we have ever encountered.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. AN OUTSTANDING HUGE MARGINED 50-CENT PARCEL POST STAMP WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 JUMBO BY P.S.E.
The 50c and $1.00 stamps are the key values to the set of 1913 Parcel Post stamps and the 50c is regarded as the most challenging to find in superb condition. This stamp, with its wide margins and centering, would be a key addition to a superb collection of never-hinged stamps.
With 2011 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98 Jumbo; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $7,000.00 as 98). This is the only example to achieve this grade. One has graded higher, at Gem 100, but the Jumbo margins on this example make it equally striking
EXTREMLY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 PARCEL POST, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E..
With 1990 and 1993 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (Superb 98; SMQ $8,250.00). Only two have graded higher to date (both 98J) and only four others share this grade.