VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 3-CENT ORANGE BROWN ON A COVER TO CHINA. THIS IS THE FIRST WE HAVE OFFERED SINCE KEEPING COMPUTERIZED RECORDS.
The 6c postage must have been intended to pay the 3c domestic postage plus 2c shore to ship fee. It was first marked "Due 39" to make up the 45c rate via Southampton (technically it should have been treated as completely unpaid). It was then sent from Newport but returned after receiving the "Returned for Postage" handstamp. This marking matches one used in New York (See Bernard Faust collection, Siegel Sale 1181, lot 1603). Both the handstamp and the 39c payment notation were crossed out at the same time as the "70" notation was made. However, there is no indication this was actually mailed -- it lacks any New York or Boston exchange office or other markings. The cover may have been put into another envelope to avoid confusion, or the contents could have been shifted to another envelope.
EXTREMELY FINE AND FLAWLESS EXAMPLE OF THIS RARE TRIAL COLOR PROOF FOR THE 10-CENT 1855 ISSUE.
Neinken notes in his book on the 10c stamp that it is likely that design and production of the 10c 1855 was rushed. The new 10c rate went into effect on April 1, 1855, and the new stamps were not placed into use until May. The die proof shows slips of the engraver's tool, and the overall layout is slightly skewed.
The only die proof trial color is Black, and our sale records contain four different full-size Black die proofs: 1) 46 x 58mm, ex Finkelburg (Sale 816, lot 1093); 2) 62 x 77mm, ex Finkelburg (Sale 816, lot 1092); 3) 42 x 49mm, Sale 909, lot 1052; and 42 x 48mm, the proof offered here. We also record one cut-to-shape Black die proof.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE EARLIEST DOCUMENTED USE OF A GOVERNMENT PERFORATED STAMP IN THE UNITED STATES. ONLY THREE ARE RECORDED FROM FEBRUARY 28, 1857, AND THIS IS THE MOST DESIRABLE OF THE THREE, AS IT IS THE ONLY COVER TO SHOW THE YEAR IN THE DATESTAMP.
The first experimentally perforated stamps were delivered to the U.S. government on February 24, 1857. Seven cities were chosen for distribution. According to the North American and United States Gazette of February 27, "...Ninety thousand were ordered for the cities of Philadelphia and New York, and thirty thousand for New Orleans and other cities of the South and West." The earliest documented use of a perforated stamp is Saturday, February 28, 1857, based on one cover from Philadelphia and two from New York. The experimental period continued until June 10, 1857, when the original six-year contract with Toppan, Carpenter expired. It was renewed on April 8, 1857, effective June 10, from which point all stamps were perforated as mandated by the new contract terms.
We record three February 28, 1857 uses as follows: 1) Philadelphia Feb. 28, 1857, ex Hulme, Siegel Sale 964 (lot 223) and 2013 Rarities Sale (lot 245); 2) New York Feb. 28, 1857, ex Hahn and Hulme, 1976 Rarities Sale (lot 63) and Siegel Sale 964 (lot 222); 3) New York Feb. 28, 1857 with year date in circular datestamp, the cover offered here.
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE SOUND, ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE 1858 5-CENT BRICK RED.
Many collectors know this issue by type and shade, but few are aware of the order of production (or release). This state of confusion is partly due to the Scott Catalogue. The distinctive Brick Red shade of the 5c 1857 Issue comes first in the series of Scott-listed perforated 5c issues, but its true release date comes later in the sequence.
Based on dated covers, the 5c Type I shades were released in the following order: 1) Red Brown, Scott 28, EDU 8/23/1857; 2) Indian Red, Scott 28A, EDU 3/31/1858; 3) Brick Red, Scott 27, EDU 10/6/1858; and 4) Brown, Scott 29, EDU 3/21/1859, almost certainly the last printing from the first 5c plate. The second 5c plate was made from a new six-relief transfer roll with the design projections cut away at top and bottom, to varying degrees. The Type II Brown was issued first (Scott 30A, EDU 5/4/1860), and the Orange Brown printing from the same plate followed about one year later (Scott 30, EDU 5/8/1861).
After surveying dozens of classic United States sale catalogues, we found approximately twenty examples of Scott 27 with original gum, allowing for duplicate offerings and excluding the one known original-gum block. Of the stamps we counted, about half had perfs touching on two sides or were deeply cut into on one side. Almost two-thirds had stains or small faults. This sound example is a rarity among rarities.
With 1958 A.P.S. certificate. With 1974 and 2015 P.F. certificates
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN IMPRESSIVE FRANKING INCLUDING THE 5-CENT BRICK RED TO PAY THE DOUBLE 30-CENT PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL RATE TO PRUSSIA.
With 2014 P.F. certificate
FRESH AND VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL SOUND VERTICAL STRIP OF THREE OF THE 1858 5-CENT INDIAN RED ON COVER TO FRANCE. RARE IN THIS CHOICE CONDITION.
This cover from the Garnier correspondence was carried on the Cunarder Niagara from Boston on August 25, 1858, arriving Liverpool September 4.
With 2017 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB LIGHTLY-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 5-CENT TYPE II 1860 ISSUE.
Unlike its Orange Brown counterpart, the 5c Type II in Brown was not on hand in post offices when the 1861 demonetization order took effect. Therefore, original-gum examples of Scott 30A are far scarcer than Scott 30. The narrow spacing between subjects on the plate, as well as Toppan Carpenter's imprecise perforating, leaves collectors with very few well-centered original-gum examples.
Ex Drucker and "Scarsdale". With 1985, 2002 P.F. and 2018 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $11,500.00). Only one unused stamp in any gum condition has been graded higher -- a single original gum example at 95J
EXTREMELY FINE USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1857 10-CENT TYPE IV.
Ex Senchuk. With 2016 P.F. certificate (VF-XF 85)
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE UNIQUE PROGRESSIVE DIE ESSAY OF AN EARLY STATE OF THE FRAME USED FOR THE 24-CENT DENOMINATION OF THE 1857 ISSUE, WITH A COMPLETE DESIGN STRUCK ALONGSIDE AT TOP.
We have encountered two other examples of the frame-only progressive die essay (from our "Lake Shore" and Hulme sales), but neither had the complete design in a trial color as this example does. Joseph E. Ralph of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is known to have distributed similar die proofs of varying denominations in 1910.
With 2015 P.F. certificate. Listed in Scott with a footnote about the dual essay, but unpriced
VERY FINE. A SCARCE COMPLETE SET OF THE 1860 IMPERFORATE ISSUE. THIS IS A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE ALL THREE VALUES OF THIS IMPERFORATE VARIETY AT ONCE.
According to Brookman, the 24c, 30c and 90c 1860 Imperforates come from a trial printing of the finished designs submitted to the Postmaster General for final opinion. The designs and colors match the regular issues (unlike essays and trial color proofs). For many years these were listed in the front of Scott Catalogue. A complete set of three is rare as there exist only a handful of the 90c. Only one set of pairs is known to exist as the 90c is unique as a pair. That set realized $70,000 hammer in our Sale 1000.
30c with 1952 P.F. and 90c with 1972 P.F. certificates
VERY FINE. A SCARCE USE OF THE 24-CENT 1860 ISSUE AND THE ONE-CENT 1857 ISSUE, PAYING THE 25-CENT RATE VIA BREMEN-HAMBURG MAIL TO GERMANY.
Ex Dr. LeBow
VERY FINE AND EXTREMELY RARE ESSAY OF THE 30-CENT 1860 ISSUE.
Scott Catalogue lists this essay as cut to stamp size. This essay, with generous borders, is very desirable.
Ex "Lake Shore". With 2005 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE. A RARE AND UNUSUAL USE OF A CUTOUT 3-CENT POSTAL STATIONERY ENTIRE ON A PART-PAID ENTIRE TO PRUSSIA.
Carried on the NGL Steamer New York which arrived in Bremen May 3. Ex Jarrett. With 1990 P.F. certificate