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Sale 1173 — The Grant Inman Collection, Part 7: Private Die Medicine Stamps

Sale Date — Wednesday, 20 December, 2017

Category — James and William Swain

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
2165
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2165, James and William SwainJames Swaim, 6c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut, Manuscript Signature (RS231a), James Swaim, 6c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut, Manuscript Signature (RS231a)James Swaim, 6c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut, Manuscript Signature (RS231a). Vibrant color, few faults including small pieces out at left and right plus usual creases and thin spots

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 6-CENT ORANGE DIE CUT JAMES SWAIM ISSUE WITH MANUSCRIPT SIGNATURE. ONLY NINE ARE RECORDED, AND ALMOST ALL HAVE FAULTS.

The Aldrich book records only nine examples of the 6c on old paper. It is not known on any other paper. It is believed the price for Swaim's Panacea was raised to $2 per bottle in early 1864, requiring the use of 8c stamps. The book notes that three are sound, but we have been unable to locate these in our extensive records.

Ex Turner and Himpsl.

6,500
2,900
2166
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2166, James and William SwainJames Swaim, 6c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS231af), James Swaim, 6c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS231af)James Swaim, 6c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS231af). Large margins all around, radiant color, few faults including tears, creases, thin spots and slight soiling

THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE 6-CENT ORANGE JAMES SWAIM ISSUE WITHOUT SIGNATURE. ONE OF THE KEYS TO A COMPLETE COLLECTION OF THE SWAIM ISSUES, AND OFFERED TO THE MARKET FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 1991 JOYCE SALE.

The Swaim stamps were printed by Butler & Carpenter in James Swaim's home town of Philadelphia. The stamps were printed in sheets of 16 (2 x 8). They are very unusual, in that the stamps were run through the press a second time to apply the facsimile signature (no inverted signatures are known until William Swain took over -- see lot 2176 in this sale).

Two orders were placed for the 6c stamps; the first, in April 1863, was for 9,185. The second order, in November of the same year, was for 8,768 stamps. It is believed the price for Swaim's Panacea was raised to $2 per bottle in early 1864, making the 6c stamps obsolete and requiring the use of 8c stamps.

Apparently some of the 6c and 8c stamps did not go thru the press the second time for the facsimile signature. The 8c is known with manuscript signature -- these are extremely rare -- in both imperforate and die cut format. The 8c stamp without signature on old paper is listed in Scott under William Swain, Scott 234ak, and is also unique. It is offered in this sale as lot 2171. This 6c is the sole example of the James Swaim issue without signature.

Ex Joyce and offered to the market for the first time since 1991. With 1991 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail of $5,000.00 is hopelessly outdated.

E. 10,000-15,000
18,500
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2167
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2167, James and William SwainJames Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate (RS232a), James Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate (RS232a)James Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate (RS232a). Large margins to full, radiant color, vertical creases, small hole at center between "a" and "c" of "Panacea"

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SCARCE EXAMPLE OF THE 8-CENT JAMES SWAIM IMPERFORATE ISSUE ON OLD PAPER. ONLY 14 ARE RECORDED.

A small supply was issued in imperforate form. The Aldrich book records 14 copies and notes half are sound, but we have been unable to locate any without at least a crease.

3,000
2,000
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2168
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2168, James and William SwainJames Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut, Manuscript Signature (RS233ah), James Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut, Manuscript Signature (RS233ah)James Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut, Manuscript Signature (RS233ah). Rich color, distinctive manuscript signature which is easily distinguishable from the printed version, few faults including creases, thin spots and small tears

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 8-CENT JAMES SWAIM DIE CUT ISSUE WITH MANUSCRIPT SIGNATURE. PERHAPS NINE ARE RECORDED.

Of the nine examples recorded in the Aldrich book, not a single one is sound, with creases and tears the norm. A seriously defective example offered as RS233ah in a 2012 Harmer Schau sale subsequently received a certificate as Scott RS233e on experimental silk paper, so the number known may be reduced by one.

4,500
2,100
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2169
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2169, James and William SwainJames Swaim, 8c Orange, Experimental Silk Paper, Die Cut (RS233e), James Swaim, 8c Orange, Experimental Silk Paper, Die Cut (RS233e)James Swaim, 8c Orange, Experimental Silk Paper, Die Cut (RS233e). Showing several of the tell-tale short blue silk fibers, few creases, thins and tears

FINE CENTERING. AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 8-CENT JAMES SWAIM ISSUE ON EXPERIMENTAL SILK PAPER. THIS IS ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL SWAIM ISSUES.

The Aldrich book lists only one example, which is ex Joyce. The Joyce copy was described in that 1991 catalogue as "a rare new discovery", and had the corners clipped at right. The online records of the P.F. contain two others, including one that appears to be partly hand trimmed, bringing the total count of this rarity known to us up to four copies. The example offered here has the nicest margins of any of the four, all of which have faults.

With 2009 P.F. certificate. Scott Catalogue is woefully underpriced for a rarity such as this.

3,000
1,900
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2170
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2170, James and William SwainWilliam Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate (RS234a), William Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate (RS234a)William Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate (RS234a). Huge margins all around including bottom left corner sheet margins, deep rich color, light natural paper wrinkles at bottom right in margin only, faint vertical crease at right center

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THE IMPERFORATE 8-CENT WILLIAM SWAIM ISSUE ON OLD PAPER IS ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL SWAIM ISSUES -- PERHAPS TWO ARE KNOWN -- THIS VIRTUALLY SOUND CORNER SHEET-MARGIN EXAMPLE IS SPECTACULAR .

The Aldrich book notes that two are known, and when this was sold in Joyce it was described as "believed to be the only known example on old paper". The April 1959 Siegel auction of the Gordon S. Dills Collection contained one, but we are unsure of its whereabouts, and it no doubt needs to be examined again for authenticity.

Ex Joyce and offered to the market for the first time since 1991. Scott Retail of $9,000.00 is hopelessly outdated. We have placed what we think is a conservative estimate on this great rarity.

E. 10,000-15,000
19,000
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2171
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2171, James and William SwainWilliam Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS234ak), William Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS234ak)William Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS234ak). Large margins all around, vibrant color, faint indentation at center of no consequence

EXTREMELY FINE AND THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE 8-CENT SWAIM STAMP ON OLD PAPER WITHOUT SIGNATURE. ONE OF THE GREATEST REVENUE RARITIES, AND ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE INMAN MEDICINE COLLECTION.

The 8c Swaim stamp on old paper without signature is listed in Scott Catalogue under the William Swaim section. It is not known when or how the plates and use of the stamps were transferred from James to William. The 6c without signature is listed in Scott (offered as lot 2166 in this sale), which can definitely be attributed to James, since that denomination was never used by William.

The Swaim stamps were printed in sheets of 16 (2 x 8). They are very unusual, in that the stamps were run through the press a second time to apply the facsimile signature (no inverted signatures are known until William Swain took over -- see lot 2176 in this sale). A single 8c on silk paper without signature is also known (offered as lot 2173 in this sale), which must come from the William Swaim period, since silk paper was never used to print the James Swaim stamps.

Ex Colonel Green and Joyce. Offered to the market for the first time since 1991. Scott Catalogue value of $10,000.00 is low. We have placed what we think is a conservative estimate on this great rarity.

E. 10,000-15,000
17,500
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2172
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2172, James and William SwainWilliam Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Imperforate (RS234b), William Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Imperforate (RS234b)William Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Imperforate (RS234b). Large margins, significant number of long silk threads easily visible, especially at top right, brilliant color, edges of corners clipped, light vertical crease at center where also two tiny ink spots

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 8-CENT WILLIAM SWAIM ISSUE ON SILK PAPER. ONLY NINE ARE RECORDED.

The Aldrich book notes only nine examples of this issue on silk paper, including a rejoined pair from the Joyce sale. Most have faults. The example offered here, with a light vertical crease, may be considered one of the most desirable.

Ex Joyce and Himpsl.

6,000
3,500
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2173
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2173, James and William SwainWilliam Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS234bk), William Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS234bk)William Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Imperforate, Without Signature (RS234bk). Large margins all around including "(CA)RPENTER PHILADELPHIA" of imprint at right, rich color, small tear at bottom, light vertical crease at right near denomination

EXTREMELY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF THE 8-CENT SWAIM ISSUE ON SILK PAPER WITHOUT SIGNATURE. ONE OF THE GREAT RARITIES OF THE ISSUE.

One example without signature on old paper and one on silk paper is known for the 8c Swaim stamp. It is not known when or how the plates and use of the stamps were transferred from James to William. The silk paper was never used by James Swaim, so this can positively be attributed to the William Swaim time period. Old paper was used by both James and William, so there is no way to determine whether the sole example on old paper without signature was issued during the James or William time period. The unique 6c without signature can be attributed to James, since this denomination was never used by William.

Ex Van Derlip, Colonel Green and Joyce. Offered to the market for the first time since 1991. Scott Catalogue value of $10,000.00 seems very low to us, we have placed what we think is a conservative estimate on this great rarity.

E. 10,000-15,000
18,000
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2174
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2174, James and William SwainWilliam Swaim, 8c Orange, Watermarked Paper, Imperforate (RS234d), William Swaim, 8c Orange, Watermarked Paper, Imperforate (RS234d)William Swaim, 8c Orange, Watermarked Paper, Imperforate (RS234d). Large margins to clear, deep rich color, clear watermark, light vertical crease, small thin spot, appears Very Fine, scarce, only 35 examples are recorded in the Aldrich book, ex Tolman

2,600
1,500
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2175
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2175, James and William SwainWilliam Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut (RS235a), William Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut (RS235a)William Swaim, 8c Orange, Old Paper, Die Cut (RS235a). Vibrant color, usual creases, small thin at left

VERY FINE AND CHOICE APPEARANCE. THIS IS ONE OF THE FINEST EXAMPLES OF THE DIE CUT 8-CENT WILLIAM SWAIM ISSUE ON OLD PAPER IN EXISTENCE.

The Aldrich book records only 17 examples, and notes only two are sound. We would like to see those, as every example we have encountered has faults, including several that are repaired.

Ex Bulkley. With 2012 P.F. certificate

2,250
2,600
Back to Top
2176
 
Sale Number 1173, Lot Number 2176, James and William SwainWilliam Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Die Cut, Inverted Signature (RS235bk), William Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Die Cut, Inverted Signature (RS235bk)William Swaim, 8c Orange, Silk Paper, Die Cut, Inverted Signature (RS235bk). Rich color, few faults including staining

FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF THREE RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE 8-CENT WILLIAM SWAIM WITH INVERTED SIGNATURE. A WONDERFUL INVERT RARITY.

The Swaim stamps were printed in sheets of 16 (2 x 8), and were put through the press twice. The second pass through the press applied the signature facsimile. The inverted signature is only known on silk paper -- it is not known on any of the previous James Swaim issues, or on old paper or watermarked paper. The Aldrich book records three examples. One of the three was offered in our 2006 auction of the Tolman collection.

Ex Deats, Eagle, Colonel Green and Joyce. Offered to the market for the first time since the 1991 Joyce sale.

16,000
17,000
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