VERY FINE. A FRESH AND SCARCE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 12-CENT E GRILL.
Ex Caspary (as a pair). With 2015 P.F. certificate for pair (left stamp)
FINE-VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED 1868 15-CENT E GRILL MULTIPLE WITH IMPRINT AND PLATE NUMBER. AN IMPORTANT CLASSIC PLATE NUMBER MULTIPLE.
This 1868 15c E Grill strip of four is not listed in John C. Chapin's A Census of United States Classic Plate Blocks, nor does the Chapin census record any plate number multiple for this issue. Our own records of classic multiples confirm that this is the only 15c E Grill multiple with the plate number.
The bottom edge of the back of the selvage has a small "W.H.C." handstamp below each stamp, which was applied by Warren H. Colson, one of the preeminent dealers of the early 20th century. In his 33-page booklet Colson of Boston and The Duckwall Collection, published in 1929 to document the collection formed by Herbert R. Duckwall of Indianapolis, Colson specifically mentions this strip: "In beauty alone we might award the palm to an exquisite mint strip of four of the fifteen cents 11 x 13 with imprint and plate number." We have no additional information about the provenance of this strip before or after Colson's 1929 publication. There is a pencil "SG £36/c" notation on the back of the righthand selvage tab, which indicates this strip was traded in England at one point in the distant past. We checked the auction catalogues of the Worthington, Waterhouse, Hind and Crocker sale, as well as the list of Duveen's United States rarities, but the strip was not present in any of these collections.
Without any meaningful Scott Catalogue value to cite, we are simply providing the total value for four singles with no gum
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS REMARKABLY FRESH AND COMPLETELY SOUND BLOCK IS, WITHOUT QUESTION, THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM MULTIPLE OF THE 1868 10-CENT F GRILL IN EXISTENCE. A WONDERFUL GEM CLASSIC BLOCK THAT HAS MIRACULOUSLY SURVIVED INTACT SINCE THE LEGENDARY 1956 CASPARY SALE.
The few well-centered 1868 10c F Grill blocks from past auctions have, for the most part, been broken to feed market demand for singles. The block offered here is the second largest surviving multiple, but it is in far superior condition to the block of fifteen illustrated in Brookman. To the best of our knowledge, this block last appeared in the November 19-21, 1956, H. R. Harmer sale of the Alfred H. Caspary collection (lot 282), where it was described as "extremely fine... a magnificent block of the greatest rarity and a marvelous showpiece." In the Caspary sale it realized $2,100 versus its then-current Scott Catalogue value of $800.00. We have been unable to trace its provenance prior to Caspary, and it is quite possible that it was acquired by the European Connoisseur at or shortly after the 1956 auction.
With 2015 P.F. certificate as "genuine, previously hinged." Scott Catalogue value for two blocks of four
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE SOUND AND ALMOST PERFECTLY-CENTERED ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 1868 12-CENT F GRILL. VERY FEW BLOCKS EXIST IN ANY CONDITION, AND THIS IS PERHAPS THE FINEST.
Our records contain only six original-gum blocks of the 12c F Grill. Some of these have probably been broken to feed collector demand for singles, and therefore the number of surviving multiples may be smaller. Blocks of four are the largest surviving multiples, since the Caspary block of eight has been broken.
Ex Caspary, where in 1956 it realized $650 against its then-current Scott Catalogue value of $250. With 2015 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 12-CENT F GRILL AND PROBABLY THE FINEST EXAMPLE OF THE DOUBLE TRANSFER VARIETY.
VERY AND CHOICE. THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW SOUND AND WELL-CENTERED ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE 1868 30-CENT F GRILL IN EXISTENCE. ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT OF ALL CLASSIC UNITED STATES STAMPS TO OBTAIN IN SUCH SUPERB CONDITION.
There are several reasons why the 30c 1861-68 Issue stamps -- Scott 71 (to a lesser extent) and Scott 100 -- rank as two of the most difficult classic U.S. stamps to find in such pristine condition. Due to narrow spacing of the plate, the 30c 1861-68's are usually found with narrow margins, especially at sides. When one margin is large, it usually means that the other side will have perforations impinging on the design. Due to certain elements in the inks used to print the 30c, the stamps are prone to sulphurizing and color-change over time. The stamp offered here, with excellent centering and fresh color, is a condition rarity.
A careful review of auction catalogues in our extensive library and using Power Search produced no more than six other original-gum examples of the 30c F Grill in grades of Very Fine or Extremely Fine.
Ex Caspary. With 2015 P.F. certificate