Sale 1048 — 2013 Rarities of the World

Sale Date — Tuesday, 25 June, 2013

Category — 1894-98 Bureau Issues

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
326°
ogbl
Sale 1048, Lot 326, 1894-98 Bureau IssuesBureau Issue Early Plate Numbers. Four items with early Bureau of Engraving and Printing plate numbers, including Plates 1 (2), 2 and 3, comprising Mint N.H. No. 247 bottom imprint and plate no. 2 block of twelve, No. 248 Mint N.H. imprint and plate no. 1 block of six, No. 249 imprint and plate no. 1 block of six, last is No. 248 top imprint and plate no. 3 block of six, rich colors

VERY FINE. A WONDERFUL GROUP OF EARLY BUREAU-PRINTED PLATE BLOCKS, WITH PLATE NUMBERS 1, 2 AND 3.

Scott Retail with no premium for the low (and desirable) plate numbers.

6,715
7,500
327°
og
Sale 1048, Lot 327, 1894-98 Bureau Issues3c-10c 1894 Unwatermarked Bureau Issue, Imperforate (253a, 254a, 255b, 258a). Imprint and plate number strips of three, large margins, all four original gum, 3c h.r. and vertical crease at center, 10c thin spot on right stamp and in selvage

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE COMPLETE SET OF IMPRINT AND PLATE NUMBER STRIPS OF THREE OF THE IMPERFORATE 1894 UNWATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE.

Only four denominations of the unwatermarked set are known imperforate. This set may be unique, as we have never encountered another 15c. Unlisted as imprint and plate number strips in Scott. The set of four plate blocks of six catalogues $34,000.00

E. 2,000-3,000
4,750
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328°
ng
Sale 1048, Lot 328, 1894-98 Bureau Issues1c-$5.00 1895 Issue, Imperforate (264a-278a). Complete set of 1895 Imperforates in imprint and plate number strips of three, 13 total, 6c and 8c are strips of five, the 1c and 5c-10c original gum, others unused (no gum), large margins, rich colors

VERY FINE. A RARE SET OF IMPRINT AND PLATE NUMBER STRIPS OF THREE OF THE THIRTEEN DENOMINATIONS OF THE IMPERFORATE 1895 WATERMARKED BUREAU ISSUE.

In Brookman Volume III, pages 128-129, a complete account of the origin of the 1895 Imperforates is quoted from a column by George B. Sloane. We provide excerpts:

"At the time they appeared, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had, but a short time previously, taken over the stamp printing contract from the American Bank Note Co. and were unfamiliar with and inexperienced in quantity production of postage stamps. Gilbert E. Jones, one of the owners of the New York Times, had rendered the Bureau invaluable technical advice and assistance in the organization of their facilities, and the Bureau desired to reward him in some way for his services. Mr. Jones was well-known collector, interested only in stamps in imperforate pairs, and when the subject was broached he suggested that, while he desired no recompense, if the Bureau could give him an imperforate pair or block of each of the stamps then in current use, for his collection, he would feel more than amply repaid."

Sloane then explains that the Bureau was restricted from presenting him with stamps from stock, but did allow him to buy regular perforated stamps on sale at the post office and exchange them for imperforates. Although the Scott Catalogue at first did not recognize the imperforates as regularly-issued stamps, from 1916 they inserted a statement "All denominations of this issue exist imperforate but they were not regularly issued in that condition".

In recent years, the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue moved the 1895 Imperforates to the Proof section. We feel strongly that these stamps belong with their regular-issue counterparts. Our reasoning is that the Bureau itself was responsible for releasing the stamps. The Scott Catalogue should not classify these stamps any differently than they classify other stamps released through official channels, but not regularly issued at a post office. For example, the 4c Pan-American Invert, which was never sold at the post office, but traded by the government for stamps they needed for the National Stamp Collection. As another example, the rare 4c and 8c Bluish Paper stamps were "released" at the post office in an illegal conspiracy between Joseph A. Steinmetz and Arthur M. Travers, an official with the Post Office Department, both of whom were indicted and convicted for their crimes. We see no difference in the historical circumstances behind the release of the 1895 Imperforates and the other examples cited.

The Sloane article also provides the original quantities of 1895 Imperforates released: 1c--900; 2c--500; 3c to 8c--300 each; 10c--400; 15c to $5.00--100 each. The vast majority of stamps have been divided into pairs over the years. This offering is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire a set of all denominations of imprint and plate number strips of these major 19th Century rarities, which we believe will eventually earn their way back to the front of the Scott Catalogue, where they belong.

Scott Retail as with original gum $43,050.00. Our 2009 Whitpain sale contained a lot with 19 imprint and plate number strips of three (complete for every plate number used), which realized $42,500 hammer.

E. 15,000-20,000
28,000
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329°
nh
Sale 1048, Lot 329, 1894-98 Bureau Issues2c Light Red, Booklet Pane of Six, "Specimen" Ovpt. Inverted (279BjSa-E). Mint N.H. booklet pane, all six positions with inverted overprints, bright fresh color

FINE. THIS 2-CENT BOOKLET PANE WITH SIX INVERTED "SPECIMEN" OVERPRINTS IS BELIEVED TO BE UNIQUE.

Despite a review of the literature on booklet panes and the assistance of noted specialist Lewis Kaufman, we were unable to find information on the nature of this error or when it was discovered. While there are known booklet covers with the inverted "Specimen" overprint, this pane with six stamps and the pane in the following lot with a single stamp are the only recorded booklet panes with inverted overprints.

Normal pane accompanies

E. 7,500-10,000
10,500
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330°
nh
Sale 1048, Lot 330, 1894-98 Bureau Issues2c Light Red, Booklet Pane of Six, "Specimen" Ovpt. Inverted (279BjSa-E). Mint N.H. booklet pane, Position 2 with inverted overprint, vibrant color and attractive centering

VERY FINE. THIS 2-CENT BOOKLET PANE SHOWING POSITION 2 WITH INVERTED "SPECIMEN" OVERPRINT IS BELIEVED TO BE UNIQUE.

Despite a review of the literature on booklet panes and the assistance of noted specialist Lewis Kaufman, we were unable to find information on the nature of this error or when it was discovered. While there are known booklet covers with the inverted "Specimen" overprint, this pane with a single stamp and the pane in the previous lot with all six stamps are the only recorded booklet panes with inverted overprints

E. 7,500-10,000
10,500
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