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

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

Category — 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
251°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 251, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), A spectacular imperforate block of 36 with the double 5¢ Carmine transfer errors from the upper left quadrant of the sheet

DESCRIPTION

5¢ Carmine, Imperforate, Error (485), Positions UL 74/84 Plate 7942, double error in a block of 36 with left sheet margin and full arrow, the errors are Mint N.H., one stamp in the surrounding block of 12 lightly hinged, very fresh

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1991)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$28,000.00 as two Mint N.H. singles

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The Wrong Value Produced the Wrong Color

During the course of production of the normal 2¢ plate--Plate 7942--three subjects were noted to be weakly transferred: Positions 74 and 84 in the upper left quadrant, and Position 18 in the lower right. The plate was sent back to the siderographer, who burnished out the three entries and re-entered them. Instead of the 2¢ transfer roll, he mistakenly used the 5¢ transfer roll for the 2¢ plate. The sheets were printed in the normal 2¢ Red color, but three stamps in each sheet of 400 were 5¢ stamps, which were normally printed in blue--that is how the 5¢ Red errors came to be.

The misentered plate and the sheets produced from it passed unnoticed, and the 5¢ error stamps were issued to the public. The largest number of sheets to reach collectors were perforated 11 (Scott 505). A smaller number were perforated 10 (Scott 467). The rarest of the errors are the imperforate stamps (Scott 485). On May 2, 1917, the Third Assistant Postmaster General sent out a printed notice informing postmasters of the error and recalling the "mis-printed" sheets, but by then the red cats were out of the bag.

The largest group of sheets discovered at one time were all imperforate, but they never made it to collectors. 755 imperforate sheets of 400 stamps (2,265 errors) were on their way to a company for private perforating when they were found in the Chicago post office and returned to Washington, D.C., for destruction. Three of the Chicago sheets were kept for the National Philatelic Collection.

Philip H. Ward, Jr. later reported that he bought two sheets from John Klemann, a New York dealer, who said he acquired them from Joseph Leavy, curator of the national collection, but Klemann may have been lying about his source, since he was involved in the purchase and sale of the New York find of imperforate sheets--48 sheets of 400, also intended for private perforating. The hoard was found in a New York post office and bought in two stages (25 and 23) by Edgar Nelton, a stamp dealer. He and a partner named George Tuttle sought financing from Klemann and accepted becoming one-quarter partners (whether it was one-quarter each or together is unclear). Sometime later, Klemann reported to his partners that he sold most of the sheets to Col. Edward H. R. Green. Years later, Nelton's account reflected his bitterness over what he considered to be a poor financial outcome from the discovery and Klemann's role in the sale. It does not take much imagination to see that Klemann told his partners one thing and did another, taking more than his share by underreporting profits.

An excellent series of articles on the 5¢ error by Kevin Lowther was published in 2012 in the U.S. Specialist and is available online to members. We recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about this fascinating episode of philatelic history--and we recommend this block as an impressive example of the double error in a large multiple.

May, 2, 1917, official notice from Third Assistant Postmaster General recalling 5¢ errors

E. 10,000-15,000
25,000
252°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 252, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), Full top plate block of the 2¢ Deep Rose, Type Ia

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Deep Rose, Type Ia (500), full top plate number 10208 block of six, lightly hinged, deep rich color, attractive margins and centering

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine centering; top right stamp small picked out inclusion at bottom

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$2,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Full top plate blocks of Scott 500 from the experimental Type Ia plate are very rare. We have offered a couple dozen top plate blocks, as well as complete panes, and nearly all have narrow selvage and are typically off center.

E. 750-1,000
700
Back to Top
253°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 253, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550)Wide top plate block of the $1, Wide top plate block of the $1Wide top plate block of the $1.00 Perf 11 Issue

DESCRIPTION

$1.00 Violet Brown (518), wide top "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number A 5782 block of six, five stamps Mint N.H., bottom right stamp and selvage lightly hinged, well-centered with wide margins, bright and fresh

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine and choice

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$1,300.00

Errata: Bottom right stamp lightly hinged. Scott Retail does not change

E. 500-750
1,400
Back to Top
254°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 254, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), Rare 1917 2¢ Double-Line Watermarked Perf 11 Plate Block

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Carmine (519), bottom "BUREAU, ENGRAVING & PRINTING" imprint and plate number 4848 block of six, four stamps Mint N.H., center stamps hinge remnant, rich color, attractive margins

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1977)

CONDITION NOTES

Fine-Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$3,500.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

This stamp was created in 1917 when a small excess supply of the imperforate, double-line watermarked Scott 344 was returned by the New York City post office to the BEP for credit. Rather than issue a credit, the BEP perforated the sheets, using the then current Perf 11 gauge and returned them to the New York City post office for sale.

E. 1,000-1,500
1,400
Back to Top
255°
nhbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 255, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550)Mint Never-Hinged full top plate block of the $2, Mint Never-Hinged full top plate block of the $2Mint Never-Hinged full top plate block of the $2.00 Orange Red & Black

DESCRIPTION

$2.00 Orange Red & Black (523), Mint N.H. full top plate numbers 8179/8177 and arrow block of eight, choice centering and margins

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine; some slight oxidation, natural crease in selvage

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$22,500.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The $2.00 and $5.00 1918 Issue are the first bicolored dollar denominated postage stamps issued by the United States. Both were released just three months after the famous 1918 24¢ Inverted Jenny, but the early printings were issued in small quantities, since stocks of the earlier $2.00 and $5.00 issues were still on hand.

According to Johl, the $2.00 Orange Red & Black was a color error on the part of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The official description and order for the bicolor stamps specified “Red and Black” for the $2.00. When subsequent printings appeared in 1920 and philatelists brought the matter to the attention of the Bureau, they were told "this stamp has always been this color" (Johl, p. 306). From studies of Bureau and Post Office records, it is clear that the originally intended color was not issued until November 1920 (Scott 547), and that the earlier Orange Red stamps were mistakes. The quantity issued has been variously estimated at between 47,000 and 68,000

E. 4,000-5,000
11,500
Back to Top
256°
nhbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 256, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550)Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the $5, Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the $5Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the $5.00 Deep Green & Black Franklin Issue

DESCRIPTION

$5.00 Deep Green & Black (524), Mint N.H. top plate numbers 8179/8178 and arrow block of eight, deep rich colors, much better centering than typically seen in this issue

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$5,500.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The $2.00 and $5.00 1918 Issue are the first bicolored dollar denominated postage stamps issued by the United States. Both were released just three months after the famous 1918 24¢ Inverted Jenny, but the early printings were issued in small quantities, since stocks of the earlier $2.00 and $5.00 issues were still on hand.

According to Johl, the $2.00 Orange Red & Black was a color error on the part of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The official description and order for the bicolor stamps specified “Red and Black” for the $2.00. When subsequent printings appeared in 1920 and philatelists brought the matter to the attention of the Bureau, they were told "this stamp has always been this color" (Johl, p. 306). From studies of Bureau and Post Office records, it is clear that the originally intended color was not issued until November 1920 (Scott 547), and that the earlier Orange Red stamps were mistakes. The quantity issued has been variously estimated at between 47,000 and 68,000

E. 1,500-2,000
2,700
Back to Top
257°
nhbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 257, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), Mint Never-Hinged wide top plate block of the 2¢ Carmine Type V Imperforate Offset Issue

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Carmine, Ty. V, Imperforate (533), Mint N.H. wide top plate number 11893 block of six, vivid color, large margins all around

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine Gem plate block

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$1,800.00

E. 1,000-1,500
1,200
Back to Top
258°
nhbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 258, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), Mint Never-Hinged top plate blocks of the 1¢ and 2¢ Rotary Perf 11 x 10 Issue, Imperforate Horizontally

DESCRIPTION

1¢ Green, 2¢ Carmine Rose, Rotary Perf 11 x 10, Vertical Pair, Imperforate Horizontally (538a, 540a), Mint N.H. top plate nos. 13611 and 13740 blocks of six, vivid colors, wide margins and well-centered

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

1¢ Extremely Fine; 2¢ Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$2,625.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

In 1919 a plan was launched to salvage the leading or trailing scraps left over from rotary press printings by turning them into sheet stamps for distribution. Coil waste was perforated 10 in one direction on the rotary press perforator. It was then perforated 11 in the other direction, using the line perforator normally used for flat-plate printings, producing Scott 538, 539 and 540. The unfinished horizontally imperforate sheets (Scott Nos. 538a and 540a) were acquired by Edward C. Worden, who sold them through J. M. Bartels in 1922.

E. 1,000-1,500
1,400
Back to Top
259°
ogbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 259, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), Top plate block of the 2¢ Carmine Rose Type II, Rotary Perf 11 x 10 Issue

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Carmine Rose, Type II, Rotary Perf 11 x 10 (539), top plate number 7463 and "S20" block of four, lightly hinged, rich color, centered to left but with perfs clear, virtually all Scott 539 stamps are off center and most more severely than this block

PROVENANCE

Max L. Simon, Siegel Auction Galleries, 10/27-28/1965, Sale 292, lot 583

Dr. J. Paul Wampler, Shreves Philatelic Galleries, 4/24-25/1998, lot 290, to William H. Gross

CERTIFICATION

The Philatelic Foundation (1963)

CONDITION NOTES

Sound and Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$17,500.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

Valuable Stamp Waste

At the beginning or end of a coil-stamp print run from the 170-subject rotary plates, some leading or trailing paper was left over that was too short for rolling into 500-stamp rolls. In 1919 the Bureau of Engraving and Printing devised an economical plan to salvage this waste by converting the leftovers from coil stamps into sheet stamps.

This was accomplished by creating panes with perforations from the coil perforator in one direction and applying perforations in the other direction on the line perforator normally used for flat-plate sheet and booklet stamps. Fully perforated rotary waste stamps have either compound gauge perforations--in this case, 11 by 10--or are Perforated 11 all around.

The 2¢ Type III design was produced on the rotary press in large quantities. The Type II is scarce as a Perf 10 horizontal coil (Scott 491), and the sheet stamps made from the Type II horizontal coil waste (Scott 539) are also quite rare.

Achieving a precisely perforated product was difficult since coil waste sheets were put through two different perforating machines and the coil waste had a natural tendency to curl. Plate blocks of Scott 539 are very rare and invariably off center. We located four with Power Search, and none of them were centered.

E. 7,500-10,000
7,000
Back to Top
260°
nhbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 260, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the 2¢ Carmine Rose Type III, Rotary Perf 11 Issue

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Carmine Rose, Ty. III, Rotary Perf 11 (546), Mint N.H. top plate number 13657 block of four, vivid color, well-centered

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$1,450.00

Errata: This is Scott 546. Catalogue value and estimates are correct

E. 500-750
400
Back to Top
261°
nhbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 261, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the 2¢ Carmine Rose Type III, Rotary Perf 11 Issue

DESCRIPTION

2¢ Carmine Rose, Ty. III, Rotary Perf 11 (546), Mint N.H. top plate number 14031 and star block of six, interpane margin at left with joint line, glowing color, well-centered

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

Very Fine

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$1,960.00 as a plate block of four and two singles

Errata: This is Scott 546. Catalogue value and estimates are correct

E. 500-750
375
Back to Top
262°
nhbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 262, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550)Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the $2, Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the $2Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the $2.00 Carmine & Black Franklin Issue

DESCRIPTION

$2.00 Carmine & Black (547), Mint N.H. top plate nos. 8179/8177 block of eight, deep rich colors, outstanding centering with wide margins

PROVENANCE

Paul Cheyney (collection sold privately to Mr. Gross)

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine Gem plate block; natural gum creases

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$6,000.00

E. 3,000-4,000
6,500
Back to Top
263°
nhbl
Sale Number 1200, Lot Number 263, 1922-23 Issues (Scott 485-550), A superb Mint Never-Hinged top plate block of the 5¢ Pilgrim Tercentenary

DESCRIPTION

5¢c Pilgrim Tercentenary (550), Mint N.H. top plate number F 12427 block of six, outstanding centering with wide margins, deep rich colors, post office fresh in every respect

PROVENANCE

James H. Gray, Jr., Shreves sale, 9/30/2005, lot 84, to Mr. Gross

CONDITION NOTES

Extremely Fine Gem plate block

SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)

$675.00

E. 1,000-1,500
3,500
Back to Top
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