FRESH AND FINE. A RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 1923 ONE-CENT ROTARY PERF 11, SCOTT 544. PROBABLY FEWER THAN TEN EXIST IN MINT NEVER-HINGED CONDITION.
A small quantity of 1c Rotary Press stamps was perforated 11 at the end of 1922, using remainder sheets from the earlier experimental printings that were normally perforated in 10 gauge or 10/11 compound gauge. Its existence as a Perf 11 variety was discovered in 1936, and the stamp received its Scott Catalogue listing in 1938.
Most of the recorded copies of Scott 544 are off-center or have been damaged -- the result of poor production standards and mis-handling.
With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (F 70; SMQ $52,000.00).
VERY FINE FOR THIS ROTARY WASTE ISSUE. ONLY THIRTEEN EXAMPLES ARE RECORDED, AND EIGHT OF THESE HAVE THE KANSAS CITY PRECANCEL. ONE OF THE GREATEST RARITIES OF 20TH CENTURY UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
The Rotary Perf 11 rarities (Scott 544, 594, 596 and 613) were created during an attempt by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to salvage waste from the end of the paper during rotary press printings. The rotary press, first used for printing coil stamps in 1915, was a new printing method designed for rapid production. Rather than print stamps on a flat plate one sheet at a time, the rotary press was fitted with a cylindrical plate that continuously applied impressions to long rolls of paper.
Rotary press stamps have dimensions that differ slightly from their flat plate counterparts, due to the curvature of the cylinder. If the plate is wrapped around the cylinder from top to bottom (endwise) then the design is slightly longer; if wrapped around from side to side (sidewise) then the design is slightly wider.
At the beginning or end of rotary press printings, there was some leading or trailing paper that was too short for either rolling into coil rolls, or for perforating for 400-subject sheets. In 1919, the Bureau devised a plan to salvage this waste by perforating and cutting the sheets into panes. These were put through the flat-plate perforating machine in use at the time, giving the stamps full perforations on all sides.
Our updated census of Scott 596 (http://siegelauctions.com/dynamic/census/596/596.pdf) records thirteen used stamps. There are no known unused examples. Eight are precancelled at Kansas City Mo.
Census No. 596-CAN-10. With 1994 and 2002 P.F. certificates and 2009 P.S.E. certificate (F 70; SMQ $170,000.00)
VERY FINE AND CHOICE EXAMPLE OF THE 2-CENT HARDING ROTARY PERF 11 ISSUE. ONLY 44 SINGLES ARE RECORDED IN OUR CENSUS.
Our census of the 2c Harding Rotary Perf 11 (available on our website at www.siegelauctions.com/dynamic/census/613/613.pdf) records 43 used singles (one faintly cancelled, if at all), one used pair and a used strip of three. Of the singles, approximately 30 are sound, but of these only six rate a grade of Very Fine or Extremely Fine.
The 2c Harding Rotary Perf 11 stamp was discovered in 1938 by Leslie Lewis of the New York firm, Stanley Gibbons Inc. Gary Griffith presents his hypothesis in United States Stamps 1922-26 that rotary-printed sheets of 400 were first reduced to panes of 100 and then fed through the 11-gauge perforating machine normally used for flat plate sheets. This method distinguishes sheet-waste stamps -- Scott 544, 596 and 613 -- from the coil-waste stamps and explains the existence of a straight-edge on Scott 613.
Census No. 613-CAN-41. With 2007 and 2009 P.S.E. certificates (VF 80; SMQ $87,200.00)