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Sale 1160 — The Grant Inman Collection, Part 5: Match and Other Private Die Stamps

Sale Date — Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

Category — Match Stamps, Maryland thru San Francisco

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
864
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 864, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoMaryland Match Co., 1c Blue, Watermarked Paper (RO131d), Maryland Match Co., 1c Blue, Watermarked Paper (RO131d)Maryland Match Co., 1c Blue, Watermarked Paper (RO131d). Showing clear "U" of watermark inverted in relation to orientation of the stamp, deep rich color, expert small repair at top

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THE CELEBRATED UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF THE ONE-CENT MARYLAND MATCH COMPANY STAMP ON WATERMARKED PAPER. THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE INMAN PRIVATE DIE MATCH STAMP COLLECTION AND OFFERED AT AUCTION FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 26 YEARS.

The complete story of the discovery of the Maryland Match Co. stamp on watermarked paper is told in Private Die Match Stamps by Christopher West, the non-de-plume of Elliott Perry. Maryland Match Co. was the successor to the Excelsior Match Co., and the stamps are based on the die used by the former with some alterations. Stamps for the new firm were first issued in 1872 and last issued in 1874, and were printed on silk paper.

The records of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing show that between Sep. 5, 1882, and Feb. 12, 1883, the firm Titlebaum & Macklin ordered just over one million one-cent stamps of this design, all of which were printed on the Bureau's watermarked paper. The watermarked stamps were delivered to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, but apparently were destroyed, except for this sole copy. They may never have been delivered to the match company, since a supply of the silk paper was still on hand.

The story of the discovery of the Maryland Match Co. watermarked stamp is told by Edward Phelps, the first owner of this rarity, who started collecting stamps around 1880 at the age of 12 in Worcester, Massachusetts. His parents were also collectors in non-philatelic fields. His father took a position with the Agriculture Department in Washington starting in 1882, leaving his wife and son in Worcester. Around 1884 or 1885, his father became acquainted with the clerk at the Bureau of Internal Revenue who was in charge of the stamp vaults and destroying obsolete remainders. The clerk told his father that he was in the habit of taking one stamp from each sheet to be destroyed and saving them in an envelope. This envelope was also the source of the unissued Caterson, Brotz & Co, playing card stamp (Scott RU1 -- see lot 918 in this sale). The clerk sold the envelope full of stamps to Phelps's father for $25, who then immediately sold the RU1 stamp to a collector for $50. The elder Phelps mounted some on 1874-edition Scott album pages and left some in the original envelope.

In 1891 Edward Phelps visited his father in Washington and took back the stamps with him. He was acquainted with the authors of The Boston Revenue Book, which was published in 1899 and was largely compiled from official records. About a year after the book was published, Phelps came across the addenda in the back of the book detailing the printing by the Bureau on watermarked paper; the book states no copies are known. Phelps checked the stamps obtained by his father from the clerk, and discovered that the Maryland Match Co. stamp was printed on watermarked paper. Phelps also notes that when his collection was sold in 1906, an assistant at the auction company damaged the stamp at top, which has since been repaired.

Ex Edward Phelps, Colonel Green, Clarence Eagle and Morton Dean Joyce. Offered at auction for the first time since the 1991 Joyce sale.

40,000
37,500
865
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 865, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoNew York Match Co., 1c Blue, Old Paper (RO136a), New York Match Co., 1c Blue, Old Paper (RO136a)New York Match Co., 1c Blue, Old Paper (RO136a). Bright color, faint horizontal creases, Very Fine appearance, ex Tolman and "Scarsdale", less than eight of the 34 recorded in the Aldrich book are sound, with 2012 P.F. certificate

1,000
375
Back to Top
866
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 866, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoNew York Match Co., 1c Vermilion, Silk Paper (RO137b), New York Match Co., 1c Vermilion, Silk Paper (RO137b)New York Match Co., 1c Vermilion, Silk Paper (RO137b). Radiant color, numerous silk fibers readily visible from front, small thin spot, sealed tear at bottom center, few short perfs at top right

FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONE-CENT VERMILION NEW YORK MATCH CO. ON SILK PAPER IS ONE OF THE RAREST OF ALL PRIVATE DIE MATCH STAMP ISSUES.

Of the 8 examples recorded in the Aldrich book he notes that 6 are faulty. This stamp from the Joyce collection is by far the finer of the two offered in that sale (the other was reperfed on all four sides).

Ex Joyce and Tolman. Signed "E. Stern". With 2007 P.F. certificate

11,000
2,700
Back to Top
867
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 867, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoNew York Match Co., 1c Vermilion, Experimental Silk Paper (RO137e), New York Match Co., 1c Vermilion, Experimental Silk Paper (RO137e)New York Match Co., 1c Vermilion, Experimental Silk Paper (RO137e). Beautiful vivid color, perfectly centered, thins at top and left (one filled), reperfed at right, Extremely Fine appearance, ex "Scarsdale", with 2012 P.F. certificate

190
450
Back to Top
868
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 868, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoNew York Match Co., 5c Blue, Silk Paper (RO139b), New York Match Co., 5c Blue, Silk Paper (RO139b)New York Match Co., 5c Blue, Silk Paper (RO139b). Deep rich color, detailed impression, small fault at left is barely noticeable, Very Fine appearance, this is one of the finest examples we have ever encountered, only 22 are recorded in Aldrich book and of these at least 15 have faults, all of the four copies in the Joyce collection were faulty

1,500
550
Back to Top
869
ngbl
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 869, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoN. & C. (Newbauer & Co.), 4c Green, Silk Paper, Imperforate (RO140bi), N. & C. (Newbauer & Co.), 4c Green, Silk Paper, Imperforate (RO140bi)N. & C. (Newbauer & Co.), 4c Green, Silk Paper, Imperforate (RO140bi). Block of four, unused (no gum), large margins, pretty color, faint horizontal crease at top, Very Fine appearance, Scott Retail as two pairs

2,000
700
Back to Top
870
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 870, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoOrono Match Co., 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO141u), Orono Match Co., 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO141u)Orono Match Co., 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO141u). Rich color in the true Ultramarine shade, wide margins to clear at top, small corner crease and small closed tear at left, otherwise Very Fine example of this scarce shade variety, we have offered only one other since keeping computerized records, ex "Scarsdale", with 2006 P.F. certificate

950
950
Back to Top
871
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 871, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoPark City Match Co., 1c Green, Experimental Silk Paper (RO142e), Park City Match Co., 1c Green, Experimental Silk Paper (RO142e)Park City Match Co., 1c Green, Experimental Silk Paper (RO142e). Deep rich color, detailed impression, several small silk fibers clearly visible, thin spot at right, Very Fine appearance, a great rarity, this was lacking from the Tolman and "Scarsdale" collections and this is the first we have offered since keeping computerized records, none was offered in the 1991 Joyce sale, ex Bulkley, with 2012 P.F. certificate

700
950
Back to Top
872
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 872, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoPierce Match Co., 1c Green (RO145a), Pierce Match Co., 1c Green (RO145a)Pierce Match Co., 1c Green (RO145a). Deep rich color, few faults including thinned and small tear

FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE ONE-CENT PIERCE "VOLCANO" MATCH STAMP.

The striking volcano design of this stamp makes it one of the most popular and unusual Private Die issues. It is all but impossible to find sound, with 16 of the 21 recorded in Aldrich faulty.

4,000
2,900
Back to Top
873
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 873, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoV. R. Powell, 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO148u), V. R. Powell, 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO148u)V. R. Powell, 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO148u). Radiant color, tiny faults at top left and top right, two tiny gum spots on face, otherwise Very Fine, scarce, we have offered only one other since keeping computerized records, ex Himpsl, with 2011 P.F. certificate

1,000
700
Back to Top
874
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 874, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoV. R. Powell, 1c Black, Buff Wrapper, Uncut (RO149a), V. R. Powell, 1c Black, Buff Wrapper, Uncut (RO149a)V. R. Powell, 1c Black, Buff Wrapper, Uncut (RO149a). 120 x 100mm, some light wrinkling as always associated with this fragile paper, few small paper flaws are not very noticeable but free from the stains that can plague this issue#

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF THE FINEST EXAMPLES OF THE ONE-CENT V. R. POWELL ON UNCUT BUFF WRAPPER IN EXISTENCE. PERHAPS FIVE OR SIX UNCUT ARE RECORDED.

According to Private Die Match Stamps by Christopher West, the nom-de-plume of Elliott Perry, this was produced by the American Phototype Company, and a die proof was approved by Commissioner Lewis on May 6, 1865. A few months later legal proceedings were brought against V. R. Powell, because they were being used to wrap matches in such a way that the wrapper would not be rendered unusable in the future. Perry notes the suit was likely dropped when Powell agreed not to use the wrappers. In an interesting end to the story, sometime around 1900 noted dealer H. F. Colman learned that a room in Powell's home in Troy N.Y. was papered with these wrappers. He went to the home and found that the room was indeed papered with these valuable wrappers, but it was impossible to remove them.

Only four examples on the full wrapper are recorded in the Aldrich book (more are cut down from full size). Eric Jackson is aware of at least one additional example. Of the five full wrappers, all but one are faulty, due to the fragile nature of the paper. Small handstamps at left corners

7,000
3,250
Back to Top
875
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 875, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoV. R. Powell, 1c Black, Buff Wrapper, Cut to Shape (RO150a), V. R. Powell, 1c Black, Buff Wrapper, Cut to Shape (RO150a)V. R. Powell, 1c Black, Buff Wrapper, Cut to Shape (RO150a). Intense shade, large margins, usual faults associated with this fragile paper but not clearly evident

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF THE V. R. POWELL BUFF WRAPPER CUT TO SHAPE, SCOTT RO150a. THIS IS ONE OF THE FINEST WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED.

The Aldrich census records 21 examples that are cut to shape, of which at least 15 are faulty to some degree. A review of our records shows most have margins cutting into the design. The example offered here is one of the finest we have encountered.

Ex Tolman and "Scarsdale"

2,750
2,200
Back to Top
876
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 876, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoV. R. Powell, 1c Black, White Wrapper, Cut to Shape (RO151a), V. R. Powell, 1c Black, White Wrapper, Cut to Shape (RO151a)V. R. Powell, 1c Black, White Wrapper, Cut to Shape (RO151a). Large margins, clear impression on fresh paper, minor soiling at bottom

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A RARE EXAMPLE OF THE V. R. POWELL ONE-CENT ON WHITE WRAPPER.

The Aldrich census records only 16 of the White Wrapper variety. At least ten have faults.

4,500
2,300
Back to Top
877
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 877, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoD. M. Richardson, 1c Red, Old Paper (RO154a), D. M. Richardson, 1c Red, Old Paper (RO154a)D. M. Richardson, 1c Red, Old Paper (RO154a). Bright color, fresh and Fine, a surprisingly scarce stamp, ex "Scarsdale", with 2012 P.F. certificate (VG-F 60)

175
550
Back to Top
878
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 878, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoH. & W. Roeber, 1c Blue, Experimental Silk Paper (RO160e), H. & W. Roeber, 1c Blue, Experimental Silk Paper (RO160e)H. & W. Roeber, 1c Blue, Experimental Silk Paper (RO160e). Several easily noticeable small silk fibers, rich color, few faults including thin and small tears, Fine appearance, surprisingly scarce, this is the first we have offered since keeping computerized records

475
425
Back to Top
879
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 879, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoH. & W. Roeber, 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO160u), H. & W. Roeber, 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO160u)H. & W. Roeber, 1c Ultramarine, Old Paper (RO160u). Pretty color, tear at right, thin spot at bottom right, appears Fine, ex "Scarsdale", with 2012 P.F. certificate

400
275
Back to Top
880
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 880, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoWilliam Roeber, 1c Blue, Watermarked, Rouletted (RO162d), William Roeber, 1c Blue, Watermarked, Rouletted (RO162d)William Roeber, 1c Blue, Watermarked, Rouletted (RO162d). Vertical pair, choice centering, rich color, Very Fine and choice, scarce in such pristine condition and as a multiple, Scott Retail as singles

250
600
Back to Top
881
 
Sale Number 1160, Lot Number 881, Match Stamps, Maryland thru San FranciscoSan Francisco Match Co., 12c Blue, Silk Paper (RO165b), San Francisco Match Co., 12c Blue, Silk Paper (RO165b)San Francisco Match Co., 12c Blue, Silk Paper (RO165b). Deep rich color, many easily discernible long silk paper fibers, tiny perf thin and corner perf crease at top right, Very Fine appearance, scarce in such choice condition as most of these large-format stamps are off-center or faulty, the Aldrich census records 71 copies of which perhaps a third are sound

700
3,250
Back to Top
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