Sale 1199 — Gem-Quality United States Stamps
Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 1-2 May, 2019
Category — 1867-68 Grilled Issue (Scott 79-101)
VERY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL COVER WITH AN UNUSUAL USE OF THE ONE-CENT 1861 ISSUE AND RARE 1868 2-CENT D GRILL TO PAY THE 3-CENT RATE.
With 2003 P.S.E. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A MAGNFICENT USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT Z GRILL, GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E.
The plates used to print the Black Jacks did not provide enough space between subjects for the large 12-gauge perf holes. Consequently, most Black Jack stamps have perfs touching the design on one or two sides. This scarcity of four-margined copies multiplies exponentially when the Z Grill is factored into the equation. Only a small quantity of 2c sheets were grilled during the period when the Z device was active -- after the D Grill (Scott 84), the Z is the rarest of Black Jack grilled stamps.
Ex Merlin. With 2008 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $12,000.00). Only two have graded higher (at 98).
EXTREMELY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT Z GRILL WITH A BLUE CANCEL
The 2c Z Grill is normally found with black cork cancels. This example, with choice centering and a colored cancel is very desirable.
With 1995 and 2003 P.F. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE. A BEAUTIFUL LIGHTLY-CANCELLED EXAMPLE OF THE RARE 1868 3-CENT Z GRILL.
The 3c Z Grill was in production for only a short period of time before the device was replaced with the F Grill. Only a small number of 3c sheets were fed thru the Z Grill, which accounts for the rarity of surviving examples. Our review of past auctions, including Power Search, found precious few sound copies with anything above Very Fine centering.
Ex Kantor and Zoellner. With 1965, 1988, 2004 and 2006 P.F. certificates (VF-XF 85)
EXTREMELY FINE JUMBO USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 12-CENT Z GRILL. SCARCE WITH SUCH ENORMOUS MARGINS.
Ex Sheriff and Drucker. With 1983 and 2002 P.F. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THE 1868 ONE-CENT E GRILL IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT STAMPS OF THE SERIES TO OBTAIN WITH SUCH CHOICE CENTERING AND IN SUCH PRISTINE CONDITION. THIS IS GRADED SUPERB 98 -- IT IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED, AND THIS STAMP IS ONE OF ONLY THREE TO ACHIEVE IT.
Ex "Tahoe", Merlin and Curtis. With 2003 P.F. and 2008 and 2014 P.S.E. certificates (Superb 98; SMQ $13,000.00). This is the highest grade awarded and only two others shares it.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT E GRILL. AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT STAMP TO FIND WITH SUCH HUGE MARGINS AND IN SUCH PRISTINE CONDITION. AN EXTRAORDINARY STAMP WHICH MAY WELL BE THE FINEST IN EXISTENCE -- GRADED SUPERB 98 JUMBO BY P.S.E., THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED AND THE ONLY EXAMPLE TO ACHIEVE IT.
Ex "Tahoe" and Merlin. With 2003 P.F. and 2008 P.S.E. certificates (Superb 98 Jumbo; SMQ $5,750.00). This is the highest grade awarded, and this is the only example to achieve it. The next highest grade is two at 95J.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 10-CENT E GRILL IS GRADED SUPERB 98 JUMBO BY P.S.E. -- IT IS CLEARLY ONE OF THE FINEST IN EXISTENCE. THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED AND IT IS SHARED BY ONLY ONE OTHER.
Ex Merlin. With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98 Jumbo; SMQ $9,500.00). This is the highest grade awarded and it is shared by only one other.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 12-CENT E GRILL, GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 JUMBO BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADED SCOTT 90 WITH A COLORED CANCEL. ONLY ONE STAMP HAS GRADED HIGHER.
With 1996, 2002 P.F. and 2006 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95 Jumbo; SMQ $5,750.00). This is the only Scott 90 graded XF-Superb 95 Jumbo by P.S.E. Only one has graded higher -- the Superb 98 stamp offered in our 2016 sale of the "Hanover" collection. That stamp has a black cancel. Power Search does not list another stamp cancelled in red in our auctions in any P.S.E. grade (we have sold one stamp graded VF-XF 85 by the P.F. with a red cancel).
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A BEAUTIFUL USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 12-CENT E GRILL. DIFFICULT TO FIND IN SUCH SUPERB CONDITION.
Ex Merlin. With 2011 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $3,500.00). Only two have graded higher (at 95J and 98)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A STUNNING USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT F GRILL, GRADED SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E. -- THIS IS THE HIGHEST GRADE AWARDED AND IT IS SHARED BY ONLY TWO OTHERS.
With 2012 P.S.E. certificate (Superb 98; SMQ $6,750.00)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 2-CENT F GRILL.
Ex Bowman. With 1996, 2015 P.F. (XF-Superb 95) and 2007 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,900.00). Only five grade higher (highest is 98)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. ONE OF THE FINEST 1868 5-CENT F GRILL STAMPS EXTANT AND CERTAINLY THE BEST QUALITY EXAMPLE OF THE BLACK BROWN SHADE WE HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED.
The 5c F Grill is known in Brown, Dark Brown and Black Brown. The first two are in the same color family (listed as Scott 95). The Black Brown is distinctly darker and is given its own sub-letter designation, Scott 95a. The Dark Brown is sometimes mistaken by collectors for the Black Brown shade, but a side-by-side comparison illustrates the significant difference between the two. On the Black Brown the engraved lines are especially clear, it has a proof-like appearance, and is significantly scarcer than the other shades.
With 1993 P.F. and 2016 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $10,000.00). This is the highest grade awarded and the only Black Brown stamp to receive this grade, with the next highest at XF 90 (ex Hansen and "Natalee Grace").
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A GORGEOUS USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 10-CENT F GRILL, GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E. -- ONLY ONE HAS GRADED HIGHER AND TWO OTHERS SHARE THIS DESIRABLE GRADE.
With 1986 and 2003 P.F. and 2014 P.S.E. certificates (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $2,600.00). Only one has graded higher (at 95J, we have never offered it) and only two others share this grade.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. THIS MAGNIFICENT STAMP IS THE SOLE 1868 15-CENT F GRILL TO ACHIEVE THE ULTIMATE GRADE OF GEM 100 FROM P.S.E. UNDENIABLY THE PERFECT STAMP, POSSESSING EVERY QUALITY ONE COULD POSSIBLY HOPE FOR -- CENTERING, IMPRESSION, STRONG GRILL, FULL PERFORATIONS AND A LIGHT CANCEL.
We created Power Search for occasions like this, when superlatives fail to do justice to an extraordinary stamp. To see the centering, margins and cancellations on typical used examples of the 15c Lincoln -- ungrilled or not -- please use our website's Power Search feature to find Scott 77, 91 and 98. You will see that the 15c Lincoln is almost always a stamp of compromise. Great centering and margins, but heavy cancel. Light or colored cancel, but small margins or not quite centered. Great looking, but small faults. Then, look at past "name" sales and see which 15c Lincoln stamps were included. No one -- and there are great collector names on this list -- managed to obtain this stamp or one even remotely like it.
When numerical grading started, the 15c Lincoln was on our list of "Try to Find a 100" stamps. We did not believe one existed. When this 15c F Grill was presented to us, we knew it was perfect without even looking at the grade. The Gem 100 grade confirmed our gut reaction.
The ungrilled version of this issue was released in April 1866, one year after President Lincoln was assassinated. It is regarded by many to be America's first commemorative issue, memorializing the martyred president as the nation started to heal from the wounds of the Civil War. In 1868 it was issued with two grill types: the E Grill (Scott 91) and F Grill (Scott 98). 15c usually paid the registration fee on domestic mail or the U.S.-French treaty rate. The 15c stamps used on transatlantic mail passed through foreign-mail exchange offices, where clerks were zealous about cancelling high-value stamps. For this reason, the 15c Lincoln usually has a heavy cancel or large cancel over the portrait. This stamp, with its light target cancel, is the rare exception.
Ex "Hanover". With 2012 P.S.E. certificate (Gem 100; SMQ $21,500.00). This is the highest grade awarded and the only example to achieve this grade. Working our way down the grading chart, only one other has graded higher than a 95.
EXTREMELY FINE USED EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 24-CENT F GRILL.
With 1988, 2002 and 2006 P.F. certificates (XF 90). With 2007 P.S.E. certificate (XF 90; SMQ $3,500.00). Only five grade higher (all at 95)
EXTREMELY FINE. AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLE OF THE 1868 24-CENT F GRILL.
With 2009 P.S.E. certificate (XF 90; SMQ $3,500.00). Only five grade higher (highest is 95)