Sale 1174 — The J. R. Helton, Jr. Collection of Used United States Stamps
Sale Date — Wednesday, 7 March, 2018
Category — 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E. -- ONLY FOUR EXAMPLES HAVE BEEN GRADED HIGHER.
The $1.00 Trans-Mississippi has been called the most beautiful stamp in United States philately. With 2001 and 2012 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $4,000.00). Only four have graded higher.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THE $2.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN IN SUCH SUPERB CONDITION. THIS REMARKABLE STAMP, WITH GORGEOUS COLOR, CHOICE CENTERING, UNOBTRUSIVE CANCEL AND OVERALL FRESHNESS, IS WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE FINEST IN EXISTENCE.
The design of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi depicts the Eads bridge, which spans the Mississippi River at St. Louis. The original engraving was used on the admission ticket to the Republican Convention of 1896, which nominated William McKinley as candidate for president. The stamp, issued during the McKinley Administration, illustrates the natural boundary between East and West and so was appropriate for the Trans-Mississippi issue.
All of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi stamps were printed in a single day's run on June 3, 1898. The $2.00 was printed in sheets that have narrower spacing between the horizontal rows than between the vertical columns. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to obtain stamps with top and bottom margins that equal the sides. This stamp essentially achieves that unnatural effect, which could only occur when the horizontal perforations were applied in such a way that the holes impinged on the space allocated to the rows above and below.
Brookman notes "the $2.00 is not easy to obtain well-centered as many of these stamps seem to be perforated close to the top and its color is such that it cancels rather badly. This combination makes fine used copies difficult to obtain. I consider it more difficult to obtain in choice used condition than any of the high values of the Columbian issue."
Ex Rubin and "Natalee Grace". With 1997 and 2009 P.F. certificates. With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $8,750.00). This is the highest grade awarded and only five others shares this grade.