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Sale 1034 — The Merlin Collection of Superb United States Stamps

Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 28-29 November, 2012

Category — 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
271
nh
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 271, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)1c Trans-Mississippi (285), 1c Trans-Mississippi (285)1c Trans-Mississippi (285). Mint N.H., mathematically perfect centering with Jumbo margins, intense shade and proof-like impression, long and full perforations

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE ONE-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI HAS BEEN AWARDED THE PERFECT GRADE OF GEM 100 JUMBO BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE THIS GRADE.

With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100 Jumbo; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $2,100.00 as 98). This is the highest grade possible on the grading chart and the only example to achieve this grade. The next highest is a 98J (one awarded).

72
8,500
272
nh
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 272, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)2c Trans-Mississippi (286), 2c Trans-Mississippi (286)2c Trans-Mississippi (286). Mint N.H., Jumbo margins and perfect centering, rich color and proof-like impression on bright paper

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A MAGNIFICENT TWO-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI STAMP, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 JUMBO BY P.S.E -- THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED.

Ex Beverly Hills. With 2011 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98 Jumbo; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $2,650.00 as 98). This is the highest grade awarded and only three others share this grade.

72
3,500
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273
og
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 273, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)4c Trans-Mississippi (287), 4c Trans-Mississippi (287)4c Trans-Mississippi (287). Original gum, brilliant color, Jumbo margins and outstanding centering, Extremely Fine Gem, a superb stamp in every respect, with 2007 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, Superb 98 Jumbo; SMQ $880.00 as 98, unpriced in higher grade), this is the highest grade awarded in any condition category and only two other hinged stamps have equaled this grade

110
1,200
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274
og
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 274, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)5c Trans-Mississippi (288), 5c Trans-Mississippi (288)5c Trans-Mississippi (288). Original gum, lightly hinged, beautiful color on bright paper, choice centering with wide and balanced margins, Extremely Fine Gem, with 2004 P.S.E. certificate (OG, XF-Superb 95; SMQ $425.00)

100
225
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275
nh
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 275, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)8c Trans-Mississippi (289), 8c Trans-Mississippi (289)8c Trans-Mississippi (289). Mint N.H., deep rich color and proof-like impression on crisp paper, gorgeous centering with unusually wide and balanced margins

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- ONLY TWO HAVE GRADED HIGHER AND ONLY FOUR OTHERS SHARE THIS DESIRABLE GRADE.

Collectors in pursuit of superb 19th Century commemorative stamps are well aware of the challenge in locating the 8c Trans-Mississippi with wide margins and choice centering. An examination of 8c multiples will reveal the fact that the space between horizontal rows was narrower than the space between vertical columns. Wide top and bottom margins that match the sides could only occur when the horizontal perforations were misapplied to a row, thereby impinging on the space allocated to the rows above and below.

With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $19,000.00).

450
8,000
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276
nh
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 276, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)10c Trans-Mississippi (290), 10c Trans-Mississippi (290)10c Trans-Mississippi (290). Mint N.H., perfect centering with wide margins, rich color and proof-like impression on bright white paper

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SPECTACULAR MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 10-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE IN THE FINEST ATTAINABLE CONDITION.

With 2010 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $11,750.00). This is the highest grade awarded in any condition category (Mint N.H., hinged or used) and only six others share this grade

450
5,500
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277
og
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 277, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)50c Trans-Mississippi (291), 50c Trans-Mississippi (291)50c Trans-Mississippi (291). Original gum, lightly hinged, deep rich color and proof-like impression, perfectly centered with unusually wide and balanced margins, long and full perforations all around

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. AN ABSOLUTELY STUNNING ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 50-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.

With 2010 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, Superb 98; SMQ $4,000.00). This is one of only four examples to achieve this desirable grade. None has graded higher in any condition category.

625
2,800
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278
nh
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 278, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)$1.00 Trans-Mississippi (292), $1.00 Trans-Mississippi (292)$1.00 Trans-Mississippi (292). Mint N.H., detailed impression on crisp paper, unusually wide and balanced margins, long and full perforations

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. AN ABSOLUTELY STUNNING MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO A MINT NEVER-HINGED COPY. THIS IS WIDELY REGARDED AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL UNITED STATES COMMEMORATIVE STAMP EVER ISSUED..

The $1.00 Trans-Mississippi is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful designs in U.S. philately. According to Brookman, the picture is supposed to portray cattle in the American West and is labelled "Western Cattle In Storm" at bottom. However, the subject of the original painting by J.A. MacWhirter, who specialized in romantic landscapes and first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy at the age of 14, was of cattle in the West Highlands of Scotland.

With 2010 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $75,000.00). This is the highest grade awarded and only one other shares this grade.

3,500
60,000
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279
og
Sale Number 1034, Lot Number 279, 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)$2.00 Trans-Mississippi (293), $2.00 Trans-Mississippi (293)$2.00 Trans-Mississippi (293). Original gum, barest trace of hinging, intense shade and proof-like impression on post-office fresh paper, perfectly centered with unusually wide margins for this difficult issue, long and full perforations all around

EXTREMELY FINE GEM. EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE $2.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE IN EXISTENCE. THIS STUNNING STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE ONLY EXAMPLE IN ANY CATEGORY TO ACHIEVE THIS DESIRABLE GRADE.

The design of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi depicts the Eads bridge, which spans the Mississippi River at St. Louis. The original engraving was used on the admission ticket to the Republican Convention of 1896, which nominated McKinley as candidate for president. The stamp, issued during the McKinley Administration, illustrates the natural boundary between East and West and so was appropriate for the Trans-Mississippi issue.

All of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi stamps were printed in a single day's run on June 3, 1898. The $2.00 was printed in sheets that have narrower spacing between the horizontal rows than between the vertical columns. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to obtain stamps with top and bottom margins that equal the sides. This stamp essentially achieves that unnatural effect, which could only occur when the horizontal perforations were applied in such a way that the holes impinged on the space allocated to the rows above and below.

With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, Superb 98; SMQ $16,800.00). This is the highest grade awarded in any category and it is the only example to achieve this grade. The next-highest grade is a 95 -- knowledgeable collectors know how difficult it is to find the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi in such superb condition. SMQ does not price the 98 in Mint N.H. condition, as it may not even exist.

1,900
8,500
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