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Sale 1200 — The William H. Gross Collection: U.S. Stamp Multiples

Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 8-9 May, 2019

Category — 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
74°
ngbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 74, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), A beautifully centered unused block of the 3¢ Rose A Grill with part imprint in selvage

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Rose, A. Grill (79), unused block of four (no gum) from the right pane with "NOTE CO. NEW YORK" portion of side imprint at right, unusually well-centered and perforations much more intact than usual for this experimental grilled issue, pale shade as often

PROVENANCE

Discovered in NYC circa 1948 as part of a block of 20 and described in 11/15/1948 Mekeel's article by Philip H. Ward, Jr.; divided into four blocks of four and four singles; this block acquired by Ward

Philip H. Ward, Jr. (bought in 1948, estate sold to Weills in 1963; this block is not listed in B. D. Phillips inventory, probably sold to Lilly)

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 74, to Weill

Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8/1974, Sale 459, lot 236

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1979 Rarities of the World, 4/4/1979, Sale 544, lot 80

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 496, to Hagendorf/Columbian; sold privately to Mr. Gross, 2004

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1979)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine for the issue; faint stains mostly on back

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$55,000.00 for a block of four with gum; catalogue notes "Values for No. 79 are for Fine-Very Fine examples with minor perf faults"

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Grilled All Over--The 1867 Experiment

The August 1867 3¢ experimental A Grill was the first grilled issue, using a machine patented by Charles F. Steel. It was soon learned that the all-over female grill weakened the paper and interfered with perforating and separating, resulting in rough perforations and pieces torn out of the margins when split apart. Within two months of A Grill production the apparatus was modified by dividing the embossed area into small rectangular units within each stamp (C Grill). Eventually the female A/C grill device was replaced by male grilling rollers that had grills sized well within the dimensions of the stamp. All stamps produced during the regular grilling period, starting January 1, 1868, were grilled on the machines using the male rollers.

Multiples of Scott 79 are extremely rare. This block was part of a block of 20 described as a new find in an article by Philip H. Ward, Jr., published in Mekeel's 11/15/1948. Ward wrote, "The new find which was located in New York City consisted of a block of twenty, five horizontal by four vertical... There is a right sheet margin with part of imprint on margin of upper stamp. Until this large block was located, possibly two and certainly not more than three blocks were known. Fortunately, the new block is very well centered and fresh, although is without gum. The piece has been broken into four blocks of four and four singles.... We are pleased to announce that one block goes into our collection as it was one of about half dozen of known blocks of main varieties missing in our own collection." A digital reconstruction of four blocks is shown below--at least one block has been broken up.

The Weills purchased the Ward estate in 1963, but apparently did not sell this block to their principal client, Benjamin D. Phillips, because it does not appear in his inventory. The earliest auction offering of this block was in our 1968 sale of the Lilly collection. It was offered again by our firm in 1974 and in the 1979 Rarities sale, where it was bought by Ryohei Ishikawa for his Grand Prix 1847-69 exhibit. Mr. Gross purchased it after the 1993 Ishikawa auction.

Reconstruction of 16 of the 20 stamps in the discovery block—the block at bottom right has definitely been divided into singles (shade variation does not reflect actual stamp colors)

E. 15,000-20,000
20,000
75°
Pbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 75, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), Extremely rare imprint and plate number block of the imperforate 3¢ All-Over "Biscuit Grill" essay

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Rose, Imperforate, All-Over "Biscuit Grill" Essay, Points Up (79-E15c), block of eight with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 52 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, bottom row Mint N.H., top row has two small hinge remnants, large margins, bright color

PROVENANCE

Probably Col. Edward H. R. Green, Part 25, Costales sale, 2/18-21/1946, as a plate block of 12 (later reduced to 8)

H. R. Harmer sale, 6/15/1953, lot 84

John A. Fox sale, 3/26/1957, lot 320

"The Brothers Collection," Siegel Auction Galleries, 6/13-14/1961, Sale 241, lot 213

"Ambassador" collection, 4/27-28/1966, Sale 300, lot 113, to Weill (for Phillips)

Benjamin D. Phillips (Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1975 Rarities of the World, 3/25/1975, Sale 468, lot 79, to Chapin

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

Chapin census no. 277 as Scott 79a

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1954) as 3¢ Rose A Grill Imperforate (formerly Scott 79a)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine

E. 4,000-5,000
6,750
Back to Top
76°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 76, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), This superb original-gum block is the finer of two recorded imprint blocks of the 1867 3¢ Rose C Grill-- a rare and gem-quality classic multiple from the Caspary, Phillips, Bechtel and Zoellner collections

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Rose, C. Grill (83), block of four from the top of the sheet with "NATIONAL BANK NOTE CO. NEW YORK" imprint at top, original gum, beautiful rich color in the distinctive Rose shade, exceptionally fresh, remarkably choice centering, especially for this grilled issue

PROVENANCE

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lot 243, to Weill (for Phillips)

Benjamin D. Phillips (Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr., purchased from Weills, March 1970 (collection sold privately in 1993; block sold privately to Zoellner)

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 218, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

ANPHILEX 1996 Invited Exhibits (Zoellner)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1969)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine; neat pencil "Tiffany" on back, John K. Tiffany (1842-1897) was a pioneering 19th century philatelist

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$30,000.00 for an ordinary block of four

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The C Grill Experiment

The August 1867 3¢ experimental A Grill was the first grilled issue, using a machine patented by Charles F. Steel. It was soon learned that the all-over female grill weakened the paper and interfered with perforating and separating, resulting in rough perforations and pieces torn out of the margins when split apart. Within two months of A Grill production the apparatus was modified by dividing the embossed area into small rectangular units within each stamp (C Grill). Eventually the female A/C grill device was replaced by male grilling rollers that had grills sized well within the dimensions of the stamp. All stamps produced during the regular grilling period, starting January 1, 1868, were grilled on the machines using the male rollers.

Multiples of the 3¢ C Grill, Scott 83, are extremely rare. This block has a notation indicating the possibility it was owned or handled by John K. Tiffany, which would date its discovery to sometime prior to his death in 1897. Its earliest auction appearance was in the 1956 Caspary sale, where it sold to the Weills, on behalf of their closely-guarded client, Benjamin D. Phillips. After the Weills purchased the Phillips collection in 1968 for $4.07 million, they sold the block to another major client, Stephen D. Bechtel, whose notation "Weill March '70" appears on the accompanying Philatelic Foundation certificate issued to Raymond H. Weill Co. on October 6, 1969. When the Bechtel collection was sold privately in 1993, the block was purchased by Robert Zoellner. Mr. Gross acquired it in the Zoellner sale held by our firm in 1998.

There is only one other imprint block of the 3¢ C Grill, a left margin block of four that was part of the Lozier and Sinkler collections, then reappeared in our 2012 sale of the Frelinghuysen collection (Sale 1021, lot 240). The block offered here is the better centered of the two.

E. 20,000-30,000
30,000
Back to Top
77°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 77, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), This original-gum block of the 12¢ Z Grill is the only recorded unused multiple of this rare grilled issue

DESCRIPTION

12¢ Intense Black, Z. Grill (85E), block of four, original gum, deep shade characteristic of all 12¢ Z Grill stamps, strong grills

PROVENANCE

As block of 9: Joseph T. Lozier (sold privately by Ward)

Wharton Sinkler, Eugene Klein sale, 5/17/1940, Sale 117, lots 111-114, divided after sale (Ward acquired block of four)

As block of 4: Philip H. Ward, Jr. (estate sold to Weills in 1963)

Benjamin D. Phillips (bought from Weills out of Ward estate, 1964; Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1970 Rarities of the World, 3/24/1970, Sale 371, lot 68

Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions, 5/7-9/2004, lot 639, to Mr. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (2004)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine appearance; small hinge reinforcements, right vertical pair has very slight crease

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

The block of four is listed, but unpriced; $100,000.00 is the total value for four singles, but an original-gum single realized $42,500 hammer in our 2018 Wingate sale (Sale 1180, lot 136)

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Unique (Shrinking) 12¢ Z Grill Block

The Z Grill is significant in the study of grill production for several reasons. First, the grill itself is unlike all other grills used on United States stamps. The top of each pyramidal point in a grill has a ridge that runs across the grill point. Some collectors call this the "rooftop." Only on the Z Grill is the rooftop line horizontal--all others have either an X-shaped point or a vertical ridge. The Z and E Grills are the same size, but the distinctive horizontal ridge on each Z Grill point is its identifying feature. The Z Grill was labelled "Z" because William L. Stevenson, who classified the grills in the early part of the 20th century, could not place this type in the scheme of grill production. Today, much of the Z Grill's history still remains a mystery. There are no contemporary grill-production logs, and philatelic classification (Z, D, E) was never applied to Stamp Agent delivery records, so those dates and figures do not establish beginning and ending dates for the different types of grills. Educated guesswork, based on earliest recorded uses, Stamp Agent records, relative scarcity and observations made of the material itself, is the only way to answer questions about grill production.

The Z Grill was the first grill put into regular production after the experiments with the A and C Grills. We know the Z Grill was an early creation, because it is found on essays and experimental papers from 1867. When grilling entered the contract phase on January 1, 1868, it most certainly was Charles F. Steel--the grill's inventor and the National Bank Note Company employee responsible for grilling--who chose the Z as the grill for the job. The Z Grill probably went into production during the first week of January 1868 and was used exclusively until the D Grill machine was added to the process two weeks later. Soon after, the Z and D grilling rollers were replaced with the E and F grills.

Based on the earliest documented use of the 12¢ Z Grill (2/12/1868), E Grill (3/3/1868), and F Grill (5/27/1868), our theory is that the first 12¢ sheets were grilled in January 1868, using the Z Grill machine. They probably come from less than a day's production, which coincided with high-volume 2¢ and 3¢ grilling, and with the few sheets of 1¢, 10¢ and 15¢ stamps put through the Z Grill machine. The 12¢ stamps were finished with perforations and distributed in time to be used no later than February 12, 1868. All of the 12¢ Z Grill stamps are a consistent shade of Intense Black.

Additional 12¢ stamps were produced in late February, after one of the two grilling machines was refitted with the E Grill roller. These were available by March 3, 1868 (EDU). No more 12¢ stamps were grilled until May, when the second machine was refitted with the F Grill roller. These 12¢ F Grill stamps were available by May 27, 1868 (EDU).

Unused or original-gum examples of the 12¢ Z Grill are rare. Only one block survives--the block of four offered here--but prior to 1940 this block was part of a block of nine, which was owned by Joseph T. Lozier and Wharton Sinkler. According to Ward, it was broken into a block of four (bought by Ward), strip of three and pair at the time of the 1940 Sinkler sale. The top strip of three was still intact in 1962 when it was certified by The Philatelic Foundation (PFC 15569). Singles from that strip and the lower left pair have appeared in the market, confirming that they no longer survive as multiples.

Photo of the intact block of 9 from 5/17/1940 Eugene Klein sale of the Wharton Sinkler collection--the block was divided after this sale

E. 75,000-100,000
65,000
Back to Top
78°
ng
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 78, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), An outstanding 2¢ E Grill imprint and plate number multiple with the major double transfer-- no plate blocks are known

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Black, E. Grill (87), unused horizontal strip of four (no gum) with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 29 Plate." plate number at bottom, right stamp has major double transfer of top left corner, including numeral "2", circle around it, acanthus leaf below the circle and the scroll above it, and in the letters "US", well-centered for this issue

PROVENANCE

"Country Gentleman," Siegel Auction Galleries, 11/29-30/1972, Sale 422, lot 221

Steven Metzger, Matthew Bennett Inc., 3/23/2002, lot 195

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 281

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$9,750.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Chapin census records more than 30 plate number multiples for Scott 73, 87 and 93. However, only seven come from Plate 29, and of those, only four are plate blocks. More significantly, only three plate number multiples of the E Grill (Scott 87) are recorded, and none are blocks. This strip includes the major double transfer position, which is present on the imprint positions of only one side of Plate 29.

E. 3,000-4,000
3,750
Back to Top
79°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 79, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), One of two recorded plate number blocks of the 1868 3¢ E Grill

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Rose, E. Grill, Thin Paper (88), block of eight from the bottom of left pane of Plate 36 with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 36 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, centered to right

PROVENANCE

As pane of 100: Siegel Auction Galleries, 12/13/1999, Sale 818, lot 604

As plate block: John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 286 as full pane of 100

CONDITION NOTES

Very Good; tiny tears at edge of selvage, slight crease at bottom right

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$13,000.00--only $1,000.00 more than value of two ordinary blocks

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Boiling down the 8 Chapin census listings of Scott 88 to just plate blocks, there are just two (both Plate 36). The pane listed as no. 286 was sold in Siegel Sale 818 (lot 604) and then divided into smaller units, including this block. The only other full plate block of eight was part of the pane listed as no. 287, which was in the Col. Green collection (Costales 2/19/1945, lot 15, no photo).

E. 5,000-7,500
10,000
Back to Top
80°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 80, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), A beautiful original-gum block of the 10¢ E Grill-- this might be the largest block to survive

DESCRIPTION

10¢ Green, E. Grill (89), vertical block of six, original gum, remarkably choice centering, rich color, sharp impression, strong grills

PROVENANCE

As block of 18:

George H. Worthington, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 8/21-23/1917, lots 352-354

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lot 254, to Weill (for Phillips)

Benjamin D. Phillips (collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

As block of 6 (righthand block):

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1981 Rarities, 4/29/1981, Sale 579, lot 139, to Ishikawa

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 546, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1993)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine-Extremely Fine; bottom left vertical pair with light gum staining

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$36,500.00 as a block and pair

E. 20,000-30,000
18,500
Back to Top
81°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 81, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), This beautifully centered original-gum block of six is the largest recorded unused multiple of the 12¢ E Grill

DESCRIPTION

12¢ Black, E. Grill (90), horizontal block of six with interpane margin at left, original gum, remarkably choice centering, deep shade, sharp impression, strong grills

PROVENANCE

Possibly Benjamin D. Phillips (inventory lists a block of six with straight edge, but at right, not left--perhaps in error)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1983 Rarities of the World, 4/23/1981, Sale 618, lot 112

Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions, 5/7-9/2004, lot 643, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (2004)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; certificate notes trivial gum adherences

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$47,500.00 as a block and pair

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Blocks of the 12¢ E Grill are much rarer than multiples of the 10¢ or 15¢ E Grill, or the F Grills up through the 15¢. Not one block of the 12¢ E Grill was included in the massive classic collections formed by Caspary, Crocker, Eno, Lilly, Moody, West or Ishikawa. The Green collection had two off-center blocks, and the Klein collection had one off-center block (all with original gum).

E. 40,000-50,000
50,000
Back to Top
82°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 82, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), A choice original-gum block of four of the 15¢ E Grill, which is the largest unused multiple extant

DESCRIPTION

15¢ Black, E. Grill (91), block of four, original gum, deep shade and impression, strong grills, well-centered for this issue and very fresh

PROVENANCE

T. Charlton Henry, Harmer, Rooke sale, 12/14-16/1960, lot 296

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1981, 1985, 1989 and 1991 Rarities of the World sales

President's Sale, Ivy, Shreve & Mader, 12/4/1993, lot 286, to William H. Gross

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Our records contain only three or four other unused blocks of four of the 15¢ E Grill, and no larger multiples. The Zoellner block of four was broken into singles after the sale. This block is not from the Caspary block of eight, which went into the Phillips collection and was later divided into two blocks of four (and possibly further divided). The similarity in centering among the known blocks suggests they originated from one sheet. #

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1994)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$75,000.00

E. 15,000-20,000
15,000
Back to Top
83°
ngbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 83, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), This is the only recorded imprint and plate number multiple of the 1¢ F Grill

DESCRIPTION

1¢ Blue, F. Grill (92), unused block of six (no gum) with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY (OF NEW YORK)" part imprint and "No. 27 Plate." plate number at bottom, beautiful bright shade, well-centered, strong grills

PROVENANCE

Philip H. Ward, Jr. (estate sold to Weills in 1963)

Benjamin D. Phillips (bought from Weills out of Ward estate, 1964; Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1980 Rarities of the World, 4/5/1980, Sale 560, lot 120, to Ishikawa

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 560, to Mr. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

Chapin census no. 289; Evans U.S. 1¢ 1861-68, fig. 3-20, p. 51

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; pulled perf in bottom left stamp, light selvage creases

E. 10,000-15,000
21,000
Back to Top
84°
og
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 84, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), Probably the finest of the few 2¢ F Grill imprint and plate number multiples with original gum

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Black, F. Grill (87), horizontal strip of four with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 30 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, exceptionally well-centered for this issue

PROVENANCE

T. Charlton Henry, Harmer, Rooke sale, 12/14-16/1960, lot 299

Dr. Joseph F. Rorke, Christie's Robson Lowe, 3/16/1988, lot 594

Ivy, Shreve & Mader sale, 12/9/1988, lot 470, to Chapin

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS CERTIFICATION

Chapin census no. 291 The Philatelic Foundation (1988)

CONDITION NOTES SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

Very Fine and choice $6,500.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Chapin census records more than 30 plate number multiples for Scott 73, 87 and 93, but there are only seven strips of the F Grill (Scott 93), and no plate blocks outside of the two recorded panes of 100. One pane is believed to remain intact following its sale in 2002 (Metzger collection, Matthew Bennett Inc.). The other was part of the Maryette B. Lane Black Jack collection that was stolen decades ago, but was not contained in the recovered material.

E. 5,000-7,500
5,500
Back to Top
85°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 85, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), A spectacular plate number block of nine of the 3¢ Red F Grill

DESCRIPTION

3¢ Red, F. Grill (94), block of nine with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY (OF NEW YORK)" part imprint and "No. 32 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, beautiful brilliant shade, exceptionally well-centered

PROVENANCE

Arthur Hind, Phillips-Kennett sale, 11/20-24/1933, lot 339

Walter C. Klein, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/27/1988, lot 248, to Zoellner

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 21, to William H. Gross

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 306

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine appearance; slight gum disturbance, bottom row creased

E. 3,000-4,000
3,500
Back to Top
86°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 86, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), The only recorded plate number multiple of the 5¢ F Grill

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Brown, F. Grill (95), block of six with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK (NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK)" part imprint and "No. 17 (Plate.)" plate number at bottom, original gum, centered to upper left, rich color

PROVENANCE

Col. Edward H. R. Green, Part 24, Irwin Heiman sale, 1/8-10/1946, lot 163

Bought privately from Larry Bustillo (Suburban Stamp Co.)

CENSUS

Chapin census no. 308

CONDITION NOTES

Very Good appearance; top right and bottom row stamps creased, short perfs at right mostly in selvage, tiny hinge reinforcements

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Unused blocks of the 5¢ 1861-68 Jefferson stamps, in any shade, grilled or ungrilled, are rare. The only ungrilled plate number multiples are a plate block of eight of Scott 76 with "Specimen" overprint, a Scott 76 plate strip of four (Siegel Sale 422, lot 204), and the strip offered in lot 71. This is the only recorded plate number multiple of the 5¢ F Grill (Scott 95).

E. 10,000-15,000
6,250
Back to Top
87°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 87, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), 5¢ F Grill block in fresh original-gum condition

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Brown, F. Grill (95), block of four, original gum, warm rich color, centered to top but nicely balanced at sides

PROVENANCE

Walter C. Klein, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/27/1988, lot 249, to Zoellner

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 252, to Mr. Gross

CONDITION NOTES

Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$17,000.00

E. 2,000-3,000
2,700
Back to Top
88°
og
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 88, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), This is the only recorded 10¢ Grilled Issue plate number multiple--a superb strip and of great significance in classic United States philately

DESCRIPTION

10¢ Green, F. Grill (96), horizontal strip of four with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 15 Plate." plate number at bottom, original gum, deep shade and intense impression, choice centering

PROVENANCE

Benjamin D. Phillips (bought from Warren H. Colson, 1955; Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Order of U.S. Trust Company, H. R. Harmer sale, 2/17-19/1970, lot 430, to Irwin Weinberg

Siegel Auction Galleries, 8/27/1977, Sale 516, lot 730

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

John C. Chapin, A Census of United States Classic Plate Blocks 1851-1882, census no. 309 (illustrated on page 30)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1970)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine; a few negligible gum soaks in grill points

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$29,000.00 for this strip, which is the only one recorded, but it has not sold publicly for 42 years

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Unique 10¢ Grilled Issue Plate Number Multiple

When the National Bank Note Company won the contract to print stamps, they had already designed the 1861 Issue, engraved the dies and made eight plates for each denomination, and printed sheets of "sample labels" to submit as part of the competitive bidding process.

The First Designs (1¢, 3¢, 5¢, 10¢, 12¢ and 90¢) and First Colors (24¢ and 30¢) were followed by a second set of stamps made from modified dies and plates. The differences between the first and second designs are very noticeable on the 3¢ and 12¢, but more subtle for the other four denominations. The 24¢ Dark Violet and 30¢ Red Orange colors are unlike any of the issued stamps. All were printed on a thin semitransparent stamp paper--some were gummed with a dark brownish gum and perforated. Only the 10¢ First Design (also known as Type I) was issued through post offices. The others from the trial printing were distributed through other channels.

Four plates were made to print 10¢ stamps, each with a plate number. The first, Plate 4, was entered from the First Design die (Type I, Scott 62B)--only one block with a Plate 4 number is recorded (sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale). The 1861-68 10¢ Type II stamps, both ungrilled and grilled, were printed from two plates--Plates 15 and 26--but only Plate 15 is represented by stamp multiples with the number. There is the unique plate block of Scott 68 offered in this sale (lot 63) and one plate block with "Specimen" overprint. Plate 59 was made for the 1875 Re-Issue (Scott 106).

Beginning in January 1868, the 10¢ stamps were grilled, using the machines patented by Charles F. Steel and starting with the Z Grill (Scott 85D), followed by the E and F Grills (Scott 89 and 96). The only known plate number multiple among the three grilled issues is this original-gum strip of four with the full Plate 15 imprint and number.

The earliest report of this strip's existence we can find is an entry in the Benjamin D. Phillips inventory indicating it was purchased from Warren H. Colson in February 1955. After the Weills purchased the entire Phillips collection for $4.07 million in 1968, the strip appeared in auctions before selling to John C. Chapin. In 2002 the entire Chapin collection was acquired by the Shreves in a sealed bidding process and then sold privately to Mr. Gross.

E. 30,000-40,000
42,500
Back to Top
89°
ng
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 89, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), This beautiful strip of four is the only recorded 12¢ 1861-68 multiple with the full imprint and plate number--an important classic piece of great beauty and quality

DESCRIPTION

12¢ Black, F. Grill (97), unused horizontal strip of four (no gum) with "ENGRAVED BY THE NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY CITY OF NEW YORK" imprint and "No. 16 Plate." plate number at bottom, crisp shade and impression, nearly perfect centering

PROVENANCE

"Country Gentleman," Siegel Auction Galleries, 11/29-30/1972, Sale 422, lot 239

John C. Chapin (collection sold privately to Shreves and then to William H. Gross, 2002)

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

John C. Chapin, A Census of United States Classic Plate Blocks 1851-1882, census no. 310

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1983)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine; a few negligible perf separations noted on certificate

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$50,000.00 for this strip, which is the only one recorded, but it has not sold publicly for decades

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Unique 12¢ 1861-68 Full Imprint and Plate Number

When the National Bank Note Co. won the contract to print stamps, they had already designed the 1861 Issue, engraved the dies and made eight plates for each denomination, and printed sheets of "sample labels" to submit as part of the competitive bidding process. The differences between the 12¢ First and Second Designs are significant. The First Design die was used to make Plate 5, and that plate was only used for the trial printing. The Second Design stamps issued from 1861 through 1868 were printed from one plate, Plate 16. Another plate, Plate 60, was made for the 1875 Re-Issue (Scott 107). Beginning in January 1868, the 12¢ stamps were grilled, using the machines patented by Charles F. Steel and starting with the Z Grill (Scott 85E), followed by the E and F Grills (Scott 90 and 97).

12¢ stamp multiples with the plate number are extremely rare, and the Chapin census is probably inaccurate. Our records show three examples (all bottom positions):

1) Scott 69, Chapin no. 249, pair, o.g., part imprint and number, ex dos Passos (Robbins 9/22/1981, lot 751)

2) Scott 69, Chapin no. 250, pair, o.g., part imprint and number, ex Lilly, Frelinghuysen (Sale 1021, lot 216; we wrongly said it was an addition to the record)

3) Scott 97, Chapin no. 310, strip of 4, no gum, full imprint and plate number, offered in this sale

The Chapin no. 251 entry lists a Scott 69 strip of four in the Hind sale (Phillips-Kennett, 11/20/1933, lot 266), but the description for that strip reads "part imprint and plate No., perfs close at bottom." In our opinion, that strip was reduced to the pair listed in Chapin as no. 250 (#2 in the list above). A plate block of eight with "Specimen" overprint was altered prior to 1940 by removing the overprint. According to Ashbrook's indexed notes, it was offered by Klemann to Moody, but Colson determined it had the overprint removed--its current whereabouts is not known.

Therefore, based on the above careful analysis, this strip of four is the only known 12¢ 1861-68 stamp multiple with the full imprint and plate number. It was part of the Chapin collection, which Mr. Gross acquired in 2002 in a private transaction.

E. 30,000-40,000
40,000
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90°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 90, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), Attractive 12¢ F Grill block in original-gum condition

DESCRIPTION

12¢ Black, F. Grill (97), block of four, original gum, double transfers of framelines at top or bottom, spaces between stamps show plate bruises, deep shade and fresh

PROVENANCE

T. Charlton Henry, Harmer, Rooke sale, 12/14-16/1960, lot 310

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 578, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1976 and 1993)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$50,000.00

E. 5,000-7,500
5,500
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91°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 91, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), A well-centered 15¢ F Grill block with original gum

DESCRIPTION

15¢ Black, F. Grill (98), block of four, original gum, crisp shade and well-centered

PROVENANCE

Barrett G. Hindes, H. R. Harmer sale, 1/23/1968, lot 217

Walter C. Klein, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/27/1988, lot 253, to Zoellner

Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 259, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

ANPHILEX 1996 Invited Exhibits (Zoellner)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine appearance; faint crease in top left stamp, tiny grill thin in bottom left stamp, faint brown spots on gum

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$35,000.00

E. 5,000-7,500
5,500
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92°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 92, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), This superb block of fifteen is the largest recorded multiple of the 24¢ F Grill and contains several of the finest examples known of the issue

DESCRIPTION

24¢ Gray Lilac, F. Grill (99), block of fifteen, original gum, three stamps appear to be Mint N.H. (row 2--stamps 2-3-4), no trace of hinging on four others (row 1--stamp 2, and row 3--stamps 1, 2 and 4), magnificent centering, rich color and sharp impression

PROVENANCE

As part of complete right pane of 100: Frederick de Coppet, J. W. Scott Co. sale, 4/24/1893, lot 1944

As block of 15: Joseph T. Lozier (sold privately by Ward)

Philip H. Ward, Jr. (bought from Lozier, estate sold to Weills in 1963)

Benjamin D. Phillips (bought from Weills out of Ward estate, 1964; Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Order of U.S. Trust Company, H. R. Harmer sale, 5/27-28/1969, lot 376

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1984 Rarities of the World, 4/14/1984, Sale 632, lot 270

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1989 Rarities of the World, 4/15/1989, Sale 708, lot 180, to Stanley J. Richmond

Siegel Auction Galleries, 1992 Rarities of the World, 10/3/1992, Sale 745, lot 507, to Christopher Rupp (sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1989)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine-Extremely Fine; a flawless block which we believe contains Mint N.H. stamps (as noted above), but certificate states "previously hinged"

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$152,500.00 as two blocks of four, three pairs and one single

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Finest Block in Existence

The 24¢ 1861-68 was printed from one plate, Plate 6, which was used for the trial printing in Dark Violet (First Color) and for all subsequent printings. In 1868 a supply of sheets was grilled with the F Grill roller (Scott 99), using the machine patented by Charles F. Steel.

This block of 15 and the plate number block of eight sold in the Gross U.S. Treasures sale originated from the same pane of 100, which was sold in one of the early major "name" stamp auctions--the Frederick de Coppet collection--held by J. W. Scott Co. in New York City in April 1893. This auction featured a British Guiana 2¢ Cotton Reel, which sold for $1,000, a record price at the time. Lot 1944 was described as "24¢ VIOLET, entire sheet with perfect margins, original gum, fine in every way, probably unique, 100 (stamps)." The pane was sold for $300.

Following the 1893 de Coppet sale, the 24¢ F Grill pane was divided into smaller units. The plate block and a few other blocks were acquired by the Cleveland tycoon George H. Worthington, and the block of 15 became part of automobile magnate Joseph T. Lozier's collection. A large block of 18 from the upper right corner eventually found a place in Colonel Edward H. R. Green's collection. When it was sold in Part 23 of the Green sales (Barr 10/15-18/1945), it was immediately divided into smaller blocks, as documented in a note from Philip H. Ward, Jr., who wrote "[the block] was broken... in New York yesterday so that my Lozier block of 15, which is well centered, is the largest block now known to me" (Ashbrook index files).

Ward's block passed to the Weills in 1963, when they bought his estate, and one year later to their principal client, Benjamin D. Phillips. After a few appearances in auctions, it was bought in the 1992 Rarities of the World sale by Christopher Rupp, who sold it privately to Mr. Gross.

Digital reconstruction of the de Coppet pane of 100, sold in 1893 and divided into smaller blocks. The block of 15 is shown in its approximate position. The block of 18 at upper right was divided after the Green sale.

E. 100,000-150,000
90,000
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93°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 93, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), The largest recorded multiple of the 30¢ F Grill--each of the two blocks of six which have been reunited in this sheet-margin block of 12 are the only known intact unused blocks

DESCRIPTION

30¢ Orange, F. Grill (100), block of twelve--two blocks of six rejoined along center row--with left sheet selvage showing extra grill impressions from roller, original gum, beautiful bright color on fresh white paper, centered slightly to left but overall well-centered for the issue

PROVENANCE

As block of 12: George H. Worthington, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 8/21-23/1917, lot 393, to Lozier

Joseph T. Lozier (sold privately by Ward)

Wharton Sinkler, Eugene Klein sale, 5/17/1940, Sale 117, lots 129-132

Philip H. Ward, Jr. (estate sold to Weills in 1963)

Benjamin D. Phillips (bought from Weills out of Ward estate, 1964; Phillips collection sold privately to Weills, 1968)

Left margin block: Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr. (collection sold privately in 1993; block sold privately to Zoellner)

Right block: Siegel Auction Galleries, 1981 Rarities of the World, 4/29/1981, Sale 579, lot 145, to Ishikawa

Right block: Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 590, to Zoellner

Block of 12 (rejoined): Robert Zoellner, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/8-10/1998, Sale 804, lot 262, to William H. Gross

CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES

Philip H. Ward, Jr., "United States Early Unused Blocks 1847-1869," 1960 Congress Book

New York International Philatelic Exhibition 1913 (Worthington)

ANPHILEX 1996 Invited Exhibits (Zoellner)

CERTIFICATION

Left margin block: The Philatelic Foundation (1970)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine overall; top row creased and small thins in two stamps at top

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$138,000.00 as two blocks and two pairs

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Reunited as the Largest Known Multiple

The 30¢ 1861-68 was printed from one plate, Plate 6, which was used for the trial printing in Red Orange (First Color) and for all subsequent printings. In 1868 a supply of sheets was grilled with the F Grill roller (Scott 100), using the machine patented by Charles F. Steel.

Unused blocks of the 30¢ F Grill are extremely rare. In fact, no other intact unused block was found by us after a careful search of auction and certification records. The Philatelic Foundation has certified the left margin block offered here and only one other, the ex-Lilly block of four that was certified as "severed and rejoined."

For the first 100 years of their existence, the two blocks in this multiple were joined together. As a block of twelve, it passed from Worthington to Lozier to Sinkler and then to Ward after the 1940 Klein auction of the Sinkler collection. The Weills bought the Ward estate in 1963 and kept the block intact for their principal client, Benjamin D. Phillips, who acquired it in 1964 along with large parts of the Ward collection.

The Weills bought the entire Phillips collection for $4.07 million in 1968, and divided the block of twelve into two blocks of six. The left sheet-margin block was sold to Stephen D. Bechtel, who had it certified in 1970. At the 1981 Rarities of the World sale, the right block was purchased by Ryohei Ishikawa for his Grand Prix award-winning 1847-69 exhibit. The right block was bought by Robert Zoellner in the 1993 Ishikawa sale--one month before that sale, he had acquired the left sheet-margin block from the Bechtel collection in a private transaction. After 23 years, the two blocks were reunited in his collection and sold as one unit to Mr. Gross in the 1998 Zoellner sale held by our firm.

E. 30,000-40,000
19,500
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94°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 94, 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101), One of two original-gum blocks of the 90¢ F Grill, which originated from the same sheet and for the past century have stood their ground as the only extant unused blocks of this rare issue

DESCRIPTION

90¢ Blue, F. Grill (101), block of four, original gum, hinge marks, beautiful deep shade

PROVENANCE

Probably George H. Worthington, J. C. Morgenthau sale, 8/21-23/1917, lot 396 (no photo)

Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 11/19-21/1956, lot 297, to Cole (for Lilly)

Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 94, to Sam Pinchot

Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 594, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1993)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine appearance; faint horizontal crease in bottom pair (noted on certificate), minor reinforced perf separations (not noted)

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$75,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Only Two Unused 90¢ F Grill Blocks for a Century

The design of the 90¢ 1861 adopted the previous issue's Trumbull portrait of a youthful General Washington in uniform, but added "90" numerals to make the denomination more obvious. The same deep blue color was chosen for the top value, but the perforation gauge was changed from 15 to 12, and the holes were enlarged. Two 90¢ plates were made: Plate 8 from the First Design die, and Plate 18 from the modified die. In 1868 a supply of sheets from Plate 18 was grilled with the F Grill roller (Scott 101), using the machine patented by Charles F. Steel.

There are approximately ten original-gum blocks of the 90¢ 1861 without grill, but only two unused F Grill blocks have been documented. Both have original gum, identical centering and shade, and undoubtedly originated from the same area of the same sheet. The ownership history of the two blocks has been confused by the absence of photographs in the 1917 Worthington and 1933 Hind auction catalogues, and by the similar appearance and condition of the blocks. We have concluded that the block offered in this sale, which was definitely Caspary's, probably came from the Worthington collection.

The other block, sold most recently in our sale of the Richard Drews collection (Sale 1195, lot 406), is definitely the Sinkler block (Klein sale, 5/17/1940, lot 133), and it was described in that sale as ex Ackerman. In our opinion, the Sinkler block passed from Ackerman to Hind to Lozier and then Sinkler. One compelling piece of evidence supporting this conclusion is a copy of the 1933 Hind catalogue in our library that was Warren H. Colson's personal marked copy. He represented Caspary in that sale and did not buy the block for him, probably because Caspary already owned the Worthington block at that point.

The block offered here passed from Caspary to Lilly and eventually to Ishikawa. In the 1993 Ishikawa sale, Mr. Gross acquired it for his collection.

E. 20,000-30,000
30,000
Back to Top
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