Sale 1034 — The Merlin Collection of Superb United States Stamps
Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 28-29 November, 2012
Category — 1861-66 Issue (Scott 62B-78)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS STAMP IS, IN OUR OPINION, THE FINEST USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 10-CENT FIRST DESIGN EXTANT.
The 10c 1861 First Design (or Type I) was printed from Plate 4, which left very little space between the stamps for the 12-gauge perforation holes. Examples of Scott 62B (or 58) are rarely seen with margins framing the design on all sides. The stamp offered here is the rare exception, and it is even more remarkable as a used copy, free of faults, clearly cancelled in red (and face-free). As a measure of the 10c First Design's rarity in used high grades, the latest P.S.E. Population Report lists three used examples graded XF 90, this and one other graded XF-Superb 95, and none higher than 95.
With 1987 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $13,000.00). This is the highest grade awarded and only one other shares it -- the stamp cancelled with black "Paid" that was offered in our recent Natalee Grace sale.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 3-CENT PINK.
With 2007 P.S.E. certificate (XF 90; SMQ $3,000.00). Only two have graded higher and five others share this grade.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 5-CENT BUFF IN THE FINEST CONDITION ATTAINABLE. THIS STAMP HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E., WHICH IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED.
Due to narrow spacing on the 5c plate, it is very difficult to find centered copies with the perforations clear of the design on all sides. The stamp offered here, with its choice centering, fresh color and attractive cancel is a condition rarity.
With 2011 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $6,500.00). This is the highest grade awarded and only three others share it. Considering the standard narrow margin width of the 5c 1861, we would assign the Jumbo appellation to this stamp.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB JUMBO USED EXAMPLE OF THE 12-CENT 1861 ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 JUMBO BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED.
Although the 12c 1861 plate provided ample space between the subjects, the 12-gauge perforation holes use up much of that space, and the lines of perforations were rarely applied in a way that created four balanced margins around the design. This stamp is a one-in-a-million example of perforating outside the normal boundary line on all four sides.
Ex Senchuk. With 1980 P.F. and 2009 P.S.E. certificates (Superb 98 Jumbo; unpriced in SMQ above the grade of 98, SMQ $2,750.00 as 98). This is the highest grade awarded and only two others share it.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 24-CENT BROWN LILAC FEATURING HUGE EVEN MARGINS, FRESH COLOR, SHARP IMPRESSION AND COLORED CANCEL. THIS MAGNIFICENT STAMP HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 JUMBO BY P.S.E., WHICH IS THE SECOND-HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED TO DATE.
Ex Tahoe. With 2002 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95 Jumbo; SMQ $3,000.00 as 95, $7,400.00 as 98). Only one has graded higher (Superb 98, offered in our Kirke sale), and this is the only example to achieve a P.S.E. 95J grade.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1861 30-CENT ORANGE. THIS BEAUTIFUL STAMP HAS BEEN GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 JUMBO BY P.S.E.
The 30c is known used very early after the series was issued; the earliest documented use is August 20, 1861. The narrowly-spaced 30c 1861 plate left very little room for the 12-gauge perforations between stamps. Brookman notes "coupled with the fact it is very hard to find a well-centered copy, this color, which always cancels badly, makes a truly superb used copy almost a rarity. I consider it the most difficult stamp of the 1861 Series to obtain in choice used condition". Scott Catalogue also acknowledges the difficulty of obtaining this issue in better condition, stating "Values for No. 71 are for examples with small margins, especially at sides. Large-margined examples sell for much more".
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95 Jumbo; SMQ $2,000.00 as 95, $5,550.00 as 98). Only three have graded higher and none share this lofty grade.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A PHENOMENAL EXAMPLE OF THE 90-CENT 1861 ISSUE, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.
With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $14,000.00). Only one has graded higher and two others share this desirable grade.
FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 3-CENT SCARLET CANCELLED BY A BARRED OVAL DUPLEX CANCELLATION.
As documented by Jerome S. Wagshal in a series of Chronicle articles (Nos. 56, 60, 61 and 62), Carl F. Rothfuchs, a Washington D.C. stamp dealer, obtained a supply of the 3c Scarlet in 1893 -- probably from the Post Office Department in exchange for his assistance with the Columbian Exposition -- and sold them with pen marks and original gum. A small number were also used by J. W. Scott, who posted letters with some of his supply to validate his claim that these stamps were legitimate postage. Today, there are perhaps five copies cancelled in this manner. We offered one in 2001 (Twigg-Smith collection), and another in our recent sale of the Natalee Grace collection.
Ex Wagshal. With 1968 P.F. and 2010 P.S.E. certificates. Unpriced with this handstamped cancel (Scott Retail $5,500.00 with pen lines)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS IS EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST USED EXAMPLES OF THE 1866 15-CENT LINCOLN IN EXISTENCE. THIS STAMP HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED.
The 1866 15c Lincoln is one of the most difficult denominations to obtain in such choice used condition. The most common barrier to a high grade is the size of the side margins, which are often narrow. The stamp offered here is the exception. It has wide and balanced margins on all four sides, a strong impression, and a neat cancel which leaves the entire design clearly visible.
With 2010 P.F. and 2011 P.S.E. certificates (Superb 98; SMQ $3,900.00). This is the highest grade awarded and one of only two to achieve this grade.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A PHENOMENAL USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1863 24-CENT LILAC, WHICH HAS BEEN GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.
With 2011 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $7,150.00). Only one has graded higher (at 98J and offered in our Kirke sale) and one other shares this grade.