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Sale 1211 — The William H. Gross Collection: United States Postal History

Sale Date — Tuesday-Wednesday, 29-30 October, 2019

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*A buyer’s premium of 18% of the winning bid will be added as part of the total purchase price on all lots in this sale. Buyers are responsible for applicable sales tax, customs duty and any other prescribed charges. By placing a bid you agree to the terms and conditions of sale.

Category — 20th Century Issues

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
551°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 551, 20th Century Issues, The finest example of the 1908 5¢ Imperforate on cover--only three covers are recorded

5¢ Blue, Imperforate (315), horizontal pair, huge margins all around including right sheet margin, tied by "Boston Mass." oval cancels on 2¢ Carmine on Oriental Buff entire with typewritten address to New York City, purple "Boston Mass. Registered Apr. 10, 1909" double-circle datestamp struck on experimental registry label (Form 1549-A), red New York receiving datestamps on back (April 11), immaculate condition

Extremely Fine. This is the finest example of the 1908 5¢ Imperforate, Scott 315, on cover and one of the great rarities of early 20th century United States philately.

According to Johl, only 29 sheets of 400 of the 5¢ were issued imperforate. Most were sent to Indianapolis, and the majority was used by manufacturers of private coils. Only three are recorded on cover, and of these only two are used in the correct time period:

1 Vertical pair, December 20, 1908, from Indianapolis with 2¢ vertical coil, Scott 321, 10¢ registry fee plus 2¢ postage; the pair was separated from the cover some time after 1954 and has recently been reunited; the 5¢ pair has few tiny surface scrapes on the top stamp and the 2¢ has a tear and a crease

2 Horizontal pair, April 10, 1909, registered cover from Boston to New York, 10¢ registry fee plus 2¢ postage, ex Wagner and Ainsworth, the cover offered here

3 Horizontal pair, April 20, 1917 (out of period use), with two pairs of 2¢ Hudson-Fulton, 5¢ pair partly lifted and one thinned with diagonal crease, yeardate of backstamp altered

Ex A. Wagner and William Ainsworth. Scott Catalogue value on cover $70,000.00.

E. 30,000-40,000
Future Sale
552°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 552, 20th Century Issues, The earliest of the three recorded covers with the 10¢ on Bluish Paper

10¢ Yellow, Bluish (364), vibrant color on blued paper, straight edge at bottom, used with 2¢ Carmine (332), straight edge at top, tied by unusual fancy geometric crossroads cancels on small registered cover from Staten Island to Brooklyn, New York, purple "Stapleton (Sta. No. 2) N.Y. Registered Feb. 3, 1910" double-circle datestamp on back, red "New York N.Y. Rec'd (22) 2-3 1910" oval datestamp on back, red receiving double-circle datestamp of the same day

Very Fine appearance; 10¢ stamp small scrape and small crease at top left, small cover edge tears not noted on certificate.

This is the earliest documented use of the 10¢ Bluish Paper. Only three covers with this denomination on Bluish Paper are recorded.

Our census of Scott 364 used is available at our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/364. It contains three covers and 13 used off-cover stamps. Apart from the 1¢ and 2¢ values, which were widely distributed, the Bluish Paper stamps are extremely difficult to find on cover--one is known for the 3¢, two for the 5¢ (following the reversal of a prior certificate), and none is known for the 4¢, 6¢, 8¢ and 15¢ values.

Ex Alan Berkun ("Alpha" collection). With 1992 P.F. and 1998 A.P.S. certificates.

E. 5,000-7,500
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553°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 553, 20th Century Issues, A remarkable set of nine picture postcards depicting the life of Abraham Lincoln, each with First Day dated cancel

2¢ Lincoln (367), nine picture postcards, each with different multicolor design showing various events in the life of Abraham Lincoln, including one with different portraits from 1846 through 1865, one showing Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address, another showing his assassination, a colorful railsplitter design, several partly embossed, each with single stamp on face, tied by bold "Boston Mass. Feb. 12, 10AM 1909" circular datestamp on First Day of Issue

Extremely Fine--a magnificent and unique "set" of Lincoln First Days.

E. 3,000-4,000
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554°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 554, 20th Century Issues, An especially choice example of the 3¢ Orangeburg coil on cover

3¢ Deep Violet, Orangeburg Coil (389), remarkably well-centered for this difficult issue, deep rich color, tied by "Orangeburg N.Y. May 22 5PM 1911" wavy-line machine cancel on light bluish gray cover with "Bell & Company Incorporated Manufacturing Chemists" corner card, typewritten address to a doctor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Very Fine and choice stamp on a cover with usual minor edge wrinkles.

A beautiful example of the rare 3¢ Orangeburg coil on cover. Only 13 covers have been certified as genuine by The Philatelic Foundation.

The Orangeburg coil was made by the Post Office Department in 1911 specifically for use by the Bell Pharmaceutical Company. The 3¢ coil stamps were used to send samples of their products to physicians. Due to the quantity of mail, they were put through the first-class cancelling machine at Orangeburg, New York. The Orangeburg coil stamps' use on third-class mail, and the fact that philatelists were generally unaware of their production accounts for their rarity.

Ex Robert Zoellner. Signed on back by Ezra D. Cole. With 1987 P.F. certificate.

E. 10,000-15,000
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555°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 555, 20th Century Issues, The only recorded 50¢ Perf 12 Double-Line Watermarked Issue, Scott 422, on cover

50¢ Violet (422), bright color, choice centering, tied by "Vera Cruz, Mexico, U.S. Mail Agency" boxed handstamp on green registered cover to Manchester, England, two clear strikes of purple "Vera Cruz, Mex., U. S. M. Ag. Registered Oct. 31, 1914" double-circle datestamp on back, Vera Cruz registry handstamp, "New York Rec'd (8) For'gn 11-7 1914" double-oval datestamp on back, missing part of top flap, stamp lifted from cover to confirm watermark identification and hinged back in place, Very Fine, this is the only recorded example of Scott 422 on cover, a marvelous use from the U.S. occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico to England, the occupation lasted from April to early November 1914, ex Berkun ("Alpha" collection), with 2000 P.F. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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556°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 556, 20th Century Issues, The largest recorded multiple of the 10¢ Franklin coil, Scott 497, on a First Day cover

10¢ Orange Yellow, Coil (497), strip of four, choice centering, tied by clear strikes of "Washington D.C. Jan. 31 8PM 1922" duplex datestamps on First Day cover prepared by Hammelman and sent to William Siebold in Washington D.C., marked "Special Delivery" by sender and with "Washington D.C. Special Delivery Jan. 31 8PM 1922" duplex datestamp on back, Extremely Fine, very few First Day covers are known for Scott 497, this was the last Washington-Franklin stamp introduced (except for the sheet waste experiment, Scott 544) before the start of the 1922 Issue, Hammelman is the only known source of the First Day covers for this issue, ex Berkun ("Alpha" collection), with 2003 A.P.S. certificate

E. 2,000-3,000
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557°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 557, 20th Century Issues, The only recorded cover with the 2¢ Type II Rotary Perf 11 x 10, Scott 539, an issue which is extremely rare in used condition

2¢ Carmine Rose, Type II, Rotary Perf 11 x 10 (539), radiant color, wide margins and choice centering for this difficult issue, tied by "New York, N.Y. Grand Central Sta. Jun. 30 10PM 1919" wavy-line machine cancel on cover to Dr. B. D. Spence at 659 West 183rd Street in New York City, sender's 106 West 78th Street return address on top flap

Very Fine. The only recorded Scott 539 on cover and one of the great cover rarities of 20th century United States philately. Only 14 singles, a block of four and this cover are recorded in used condition.

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 devised an economical plan to salvage this waste by converting the leftovers from coil stamps into sheet stamps. This was accomplished by cutting the sheets into panes and running them through the flat-plate perforator for the horizontal perforations, giving the stamps perforations on all sides. The Type III design was far more plentiful (producing Scott 540) but a small number of Type II (Scott 539) was also produced.

Since Scott 539 was put through two different perforating machines (perforated 10 vertically on the rotary perforator during the coil part of production and then perforated 11 on the flat plate perforator), most of the stamps are off-center. The rotary press sheets also had a natural tendency to curl, making perforating on the flat plate perforator especially difficult.

Our census of Scott 539, available at our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/539, records only fourteen used singles, one used block of four and this sole example on cover. Most are off-center--only two off cover have decent centering and are confirmed as sound. The stamp on the cover offered here is the only recorded example on cover, and it is in sound well-centered condition.

Ex Alan Berkun ("Alpha" collection). Census no. 539-COV-01. With 1994 P.F., 1997 P.S.E. and 1998 A.P.S. certificates. Scott value on cover is $60,000.00.

E. 15,000-20,000
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558°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 558, 20th Century Issues, 5¢ Rose Perf 11 error, Scott 505, in a block of nine on a registered cover to Holland

5¢ Rose, Error (505), single error at center of block of nine, bright color, tied by "Cincinnati, Ohio, Stockyards Sta. Jun. 8 11AM 1922" duplex datestamps on large registered cover to Leiden, Holland, purple "Registered" handstamp with pencil registry number, New York (June 9) datestamps on back, Leiden receiving datestamp on back (June 20), top right 2¢ stamp light corner crease, few edge tears and edgewear, Very Fine, a rare and desirable cover to Holland with the 5¢ Rose Perf 11 error, especially desirable as a block of nine--according to the updated census of 5¢ Red error covers published by Kevin G. Lowther in 2012 in The United States Specialist, only three No. 505 covers to foreign countries are recorded, and only four or five with blocks of nine containing the single error are known on covers (this is no. 102), no covers are known with the double error, illustrated in September 1984 The United States Specialist (p. 423)

E. 2,000-3,000
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559°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 559, 20th Century Issues, A superb example of Scott 544 on a postcard used five days after the earliest documented use

1¢ Green, Rotary Perf 11 (544), unusually choice centering, tied by "Cleveland, Ohio Dec. 22 2:30PM 1922" slogan machine cancel on multicolored Christmas postcard to Tracy, California, Extremely Fine, a superb used example of Scott 544 on a pristine postcard, used just five days after the earliest documented use, with 1977 P.F. certificate, Scott value on "cover" is $7,500.00

E. 2,000-3,000
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560°
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Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 560, 20th Century Issues, A rare example of the 1¢ Rotary Perf 11, Scott 594, on a postcard--only three postcards and two covers are recorded for this rotary coil waste issue

1¢ Green, Rotary, Perf 11 (594), tied by "Grand Cent. Sta. N.Y., Oct. 17 11-AM 1924" slogan machine cancel on multicolored postcard showing the Vanderbilt Hotel, to Owensville, Indiana, stamp centered to top right

Fine--an extremely rare example of Scott 594 on a postcard. Our census contains only three postcards and two covers with this issue, which is one of the rarest of all 20th century non-error U.S. postage stamps.

The 1¢ Green, Scott 594, is waste from a horizontal rotary printing used to make coils. At the beginning or end of a coil-stamp print run from the 170-subject rotary plates, some leading or trailing paper was produced that was too short for rolling into 500-stamp rolls. In 1919 the Bureau devised a plan to salvage this waste by perforating and cutting the sheets into panes. They were put through the 11-gauge flat-plate perforator in use at the time, giving the sheets full perforations on all sides. In 1923 coil waste from the new 1¢ and 2¢ rotary production was turned into stamps later classified as Scott 578-579 and 594-595. These were the last of the coil-waste issues. The existence of Scott 594 was not reported until four months after the final sheets were delivered, and the 1¢ Rotary Perf 11 was soon recognized as one of the rarest United States stamps.

There are today approximately 100 confirmed examples of Scott 594. The first major find of this stamp was made in 1934 by Ernest E. Fairbanks, who retrieved nine pairs (18 stamps, one or two damaged) on nine separate covers that were returned by the post office years earlier from a bulk mailing. All were postmarked at New York City on October 4, 1924. The nine Fairbanks covers were cut down into pieces, and today there are perhaps five or six of these pieces intact. Our census of Scott 594 used is available at https://siegelauctions.com/census/US/Scott/594.

Census

no. 594-COV-03. With 1980 P.F. certificate. Scott value on "cover" is $18,000.00.

E. 7,500-10,000
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561°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 561, 20th Century Issues, An immaculate First Day cover of the Graf Zeppelin issue, flown to Germany and back

65¢-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15), rich colors, choice centering, tied by easily readable "Washington D.C. Apr. 19 5PM 1930" duplex datestamps on First Day cover to Chicago, red and purple cachets, "Friedrichschafen am Bodensee 6.VI.30" datestamp on back, green "New York N.Y. Jun. 18 8:30AM 1930" duplex datestamp with Zeppelin illustration on back, Extremely Fine, a superb small-format First Day cover, with 1980 Friedl certificate

E. 4,000-5,000
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562°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 562, 20th Century Issues, Rare use of 1930 Graf Zeppelin set on Balbo flight cover

65¢-$2.60 Graf Zeppelin (C13-C15), bright colors, tied by "New York N.Y. Varick St. Annex Jul. 23 3PM 1933" duplex datestamps on registered legal size cover to Rockville Centre N.Y., manuscript "BY ITALIAN AIR CRUISE NEW YORK - ROME", purple "Italian Air Cruise New York - Roma" illustrated cachet, additional blue cachet, backstamps include Rome (August 12), Torino (August 14), New York (August 22), and Rockville Centre (August 23), fresh and Very Fine, a very unusual use

E. 2,000-3,000
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