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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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Category — 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
167°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 167, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, A beautiful sheet-margin example of Scott 5--Position 7R1E--cancelled in blue on a petite and immaculately preserved cover

1¢ Blue, Type I (5), Position 7R1E, mostly full to huge margins including top sheet margin, full design at bottom except left ball just touched by tiny nick and minute sealed pre-use tear, rich Plate 1 Early color and impression, tied by blue grid cancel, used with vertical pair of 1¢ Blue, Type II (7), Positions 90/100R1E, huge margins to slightly in, diagonal pre-use crease in bottom stamp, also tied by blue grids with matching "Springfield Ill. Mar. 4" (1852) circular datestamp on a small attractive cover to Keene, Kentucky

Very Fine--a remarkably beautiful cover with a sheet-margin example of the rare 1¢ Type I, Position 7R1E, postmarked in blue.

The example on the cover offered here is especially desirable because it shows almost all of the essential elements of Type I, the top and bottom ornamentation, and it has a sheet margin at top. The cover also has the added attraction of blue cancellations.

Ex William West, Harold W. Stark, George H. Alten and "Sevenoaks." Wagshal census no. 5-COV-077. See our census, available at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/5 . Signed by Stanley B. Ashbrook and with his 1955 letter and notes. Scott value of No. 5 on cover is $85,000.00.

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The 1¢ Type I Imperforate--One in a Thousand

The 1¢ 1851 stamp, with a bust of Franklin based on Caffieri's sculpture, was one of the workhorses of postage stamps issued during the decade it was current. To print enough 1¢ stamps to meet demand, twelve steel plates were made--one was never used (Plate 6), and the first plate was reworked to add life to it (thus, the Early and Late states). Only Plates 1 through 4 were used to print stamps that were issued imperforate. All stamps from Plates 5 through 12 are perforated. When we refer to a specific position, the position number is shown first (1 to 100), followed by the pane (R for right and L for left) and the plate number (1 to 12).

The original 1¢ 1851 design has an elaborate ornamental border on all four sides. The changes to this ornamental border produced the different types. Ashbrook's type system is based on the premise that Type I should be a printed design that comes closest to the original die design. The presence of the top ornaments, the bottom plumes and scrolls, and the side ornaments is a requirement for Type I. For imperforate stamps, Ashbrook found only one position among the 1,000 entries on Plates 1E, 1L, 2, 3 and 4 that met this requirement: Position 7R1E. The fact that only one position met the Type I criteria is why Scott 5, a Type I imperforate stamp, is so rare. The Wagshal census of Scott 5 contains nearly 100 unduplicated records of stamps in singles and multiples, on and off cover. Therefore, Scott 5 is the rarest of all United States regular issues prior to the 1868 Grills, and fewer than 20 covers survive.

Because of the significance attached to the outer portions of the 1¢ 1851 design, rare types that have been carefully cut apart, so as not to impinge on any part of the design, are extremely desirable. Time has also not been kind to the surviving population, as very few examples of Scott 5 are sound.

E. 20,000-30,000
Future Sale
168°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 168, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, A gorgeous 1¢ 1851 Type I--Position 7R1E--used on a printed circular

1¢ Blue, Type I (5), Position 7R1E, large margins, just touched at lower right plume, wonderful early color and impression, few faint toned specks in margin have been removed, tiny sealed pre-use margin tear at lower left, tied by "Pittsburgh Pa. Aug. 13" (1852) circular datestamp on blue printed circular for wholesale dry goods dealer dated August 1852, to Harrisonville, Ohio, Very Fine appearance, an attractive and rare use of the 1¢ 1851 Type I, Position 7R1E, on a printed circular--our census, available at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/5 , contains only eight examples on circulars, ex Margaret Woodson Fisher and Hackmey, Wagshal census no. 5-COV-071, signed Ward, with clear 1995 P.F. certificate, Scott value $85,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The 1¢ Type I Imperforate--One in a Thousand

The 1¢ 1851 stamp, with a bust of Franklin based on Caffieri's sculpture, was one of the workhorses of postage stamps issued during the decade it was current. To print enough 1¢ stamps to meet demand, twelve steel plates were made--one was never used (Plate 6), and the first plate was reworked to add life to it (thus, the Early and Late states). Only Plates 1 through 4 were used to print stamps that were issued imperforate. All stamps from Plates 5 through 12 are perforated. When we refer to a specific position, the position number is shown first (1 to 100), followed by the pane (R for right and L for left) and the plate number (1 to 12).

The original 1¢ 1851 design has an elaborate ornamental border on all four sides. The changes to this ornamental border produced the different types. Ashbrook's type system is based on the premise that Type I should be a printed design that comes closest to the original die design. The presence of the top ornaments, the bottom plumes and scrolls, and the side ornaments is a requirement for Type I. For imperforate stamps, Ashbrook found only one position among the 1,000 entries on Plates 1E, 1L, 2, 3 and 4 that met this requirement: Position 7R1E. The fact that only one position met the Type I criteria is why Scott 5, a Type I imperforate stamp, is so rare. The Wagshal census of Scott 5 contains nearly 100 unduplicated records of stamps in singles and multiples, on and off cover. Therefore, Scott 5 is the rarest of all United States regular issues prior to the 1868 Grills, and fewer than 20 covers survive.

Because of the significance attached to the outer portions of the 1¢ 1851 design, rare types that have been carefully cut apart, so as not to impinge on any part of the design, are extremely desirable. Time has also not been kind to the surviving population, as very few examples of Scott 5 are sound.

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
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169°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 169, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, One of two vertical strips on cover with Scott 5, Position 7R1E

1¢ Blue, Types I/IIIA/II (5/8A/7), Positions 7/17/27R1E, vertical strip of three, top Type I, middle Type IIIA, bottom Type II, large margins at top and left including sheet margin at top and part of adjoining stamps, just in at bottom, cut in at right, tied by three strikes of "Saint Louis Mo. Nov. 6" (1851) circular datestamp on blue folded cover to New York City, 1851 docketing on flap, Fine, a desirable strip on cover containing the rare Type I, Position 7R1E--one of only two recorded examples on cover in a vertical strip of three, ex Waud and Hackmey, Wagshal census no. 5-COV-088 (available at https://siegelauctions.com/ census/us/scott/5 ), with 2006 P.F. certificate, Scott value $85,000.00

HISTORY AND COMMENTARY

The 1¢ Type I Imperforate--One in a Thousand

The 1¢ 1851 stamp, with a bust of Franklin based on Caffieri's sculpture, was one of the workhorses of postage stamps issued during the decade it was current. To print enough 1¢ stamps to meet demand, twelve steel plates were made--one was never used (Plate 6), and the first plate was reworked to add life to it (thus, the Early and Late states). Only Plates 1 through 4 were used to print stamps that were issued imperforate. All stamps from Plates 5 through 12 are perforated. When we refer to a specific position, the position number is shown first (1 to 100), followed by the pane (R for right and L for left) and the plate number (1 to 12).

The original 1¢ 1851 design has an elaborate ornamental border on all four sides. The changes to this ornamental border produced the different types. Ashbrook's type system is based on the premise that Type I should be a printed design that comes closest to the original die design. The presence of the top ornaments, the bottom plumes and scrolls, and the side ornaments is a requirement for Type I. For imperforate stamps, Ashbrook found only one position among the 1,000 entries on Plates 1E, 1L, 2, 3 and 4 that met this requirement: Position 7R1E. The fact that only one position met the Type I criteria is why Scott 5, a Type I imperforate stamp, is so rare. The Wagshal census of Scott 5 contains nearly 100 unduplicated records of stamps in singles and multiples, on and off cover. Therefore, Scott 5 is the rarest of all United States regular issues prior to the 1868 Grills, and fewer than 20 covers survive.

Because of the significance attached to the outer portions of the 1¢ 1851 design, rare types that have been carefully cut apart, so as not to impinge on any part of the design, are extremely desirable. Time has also not been kind to the surviving population, as very few examples of Scott 5 are sound.

E. 10,000-15,000
Future Sale
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170°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 170, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, A superb 1¢ corner-margin strip from Plate 1 Early with the rare Type Ib, Position 3R1E

1¢ Blue, Types II-II-Ib (7-7-5A), Positions 1-3R1E, horizontal strip of three, left two Type II, right Type Ib, Position 1R1E with double transfer, ample to huge margins including top sheet margin and left interpane margin, wonderful bright Plate 1 Early color and sharp impression, nicely complemented by red grid cancels, matching "Newburgh N.Y. Jul. 4" (1851) circular datestamp on small cover to Kingston, New York, Extremely Fine, an absolutely phenomenal strip from the top row of the right pane of Plate 1 Early, ex Mason, Newbury, Ishikawa, Grunin and Hackmey, described in Ashbrook's article on the Newbury collection--"This little gem is ex-Mason collection, an item long prized by its former owner"--with 1982 P.F. certificate, Scott value for Type Ib-II pair is $12,000.00 off cover

E. 15,000-20,000
Future Sale
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171°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 171, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, Fabulous 1¢ corner-margin strip from Plate 1 Early with two of the rare Type Ib, Positions 8-9R1E

1¢ Blue, Types Ib-Ib-II (5A-5A-7), Positions 8-10R1E, horizontal strip of three with huge top right corner sheet margins, comprising two Type Ib stamps (left and center) and Position 10R1E at right--the distinctive Type II with complete design at top--lefthand Type Ib (8R1E) clear to huge margins (traces of Position 7R1E at left), creased at bottom, Type Ib-II (9-10R1E) slightly in at bottom, scissors cut between left stamps, vertical crease touches center stamp, small tear in sheet margin, wavy-line manuscript cancel, tied by lightly struck "St. Vermilionville La. Apr. 30" (1853) circular datestamp on blue folded letter in French from Lafayette Parish to New Orleans, faint toning, a wonderful cover bearing a spectacular corner sheet-margin strip of the 1¢ 1851 Issue from the top row of Plate 1 Early, ex Richey, Alten, Sheriff, Dr. Martin and Hackmey, with 2005 P.F. certificate, Scott value for Type Ib pair is $16,000.00 off cover

E. 7,500-10,000
Future Sale
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172°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 172, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, Extraordinary early use of 1851 Issue on cover to France with three 1¢ Type Ib stamps

1¢ Blue, Type Ib (5A), three different positions of Type Ib--Positions 4R, 5R and 8R1E--used with 1¢ Blue, Type II (7), Position 1R1E with double transfer, and two 3¢ Orange Brown, Type II (10A), each 1¢ stamp has top sheet margin, large side margins and bottom margin that is clear to just touching, 3¢ stamps clear to touching, tied by multiple strikes of grid cancel, red "New-York Dec. 3" (1851) circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Lyon, France, sender's ship-name directive "Pr. Africa"--carried on that Cunarder from New York to Liverpool, departing December 3, 1851, and arriving at Liverpool December 14--smudged Calais arrival datestamp, manuscript "16" indicates weight in grams, manuscript "24" decimes due marking, London (December 15) and Lyon datestamps on back

Very Fine--an extraordinary 1¢ 1851 issue franking for the double 5¢ shore-to-ship rate, comprising three rare Type Ib stamps, including Position 8R1E, one of the two best examples of the type.

The top row of the right pane of Plate 1 Early furnished several of the most desirable 1¢ 1851 stamps sought by collectors. Position 7R1E, Type I (Scott 5), is the rarest and most desirable. Next in line are the adjoining Positions 6R and 8R, both Type Ib (Scott 5A). Three other positions (3R, 4R and 5R) furnished Type Ib stamps that show slightly less of the design at bottom.

On this transatlantic cover to France, which required a double 5¢ shore-to-ship rate due to weight, the 10¢ postage was paid by two 3¢ and four 1¢ stamps, an unusual franking in any event. Remarkably, the 1¢ stamps were carefully cut from the top row of the right pane of Plate 1 Early, just five months after the 1851 Issue was first placed on sale. From left to right, top to bottom, the positions are 4R, 5R, 8R and 1R1E. The first three stamps are Type Ib, and Position 8R1E is one of the two best examples of the type. The fourth stamp at lower right is Position 1R1E, Type II, which has a clear double transfer.

Ex Philip G. Rust (1987 Rarities of the World sale) and Joseph Hackmey. With 1963 and 1987 P.F. certificates. Total Scott value for three No. 5A stamps off cover is $25,000.00.

E. 10,000-15,000
Future Sale
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173°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 173, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, A rare and beautiful strip of the 1¢ 1851 from Plate 1 Early and the earliest recorded use of the 1¢ 1851 Issue from the West Coast

1¢ Blue, Types II-IIIa-II-IIIa-IIIa-IIIa (7-8A-7-8A-8A-8A), Positions 14-19R1E, horizontal strip of six, first and third stamps from left Type II, other four Type IIIa, large margins to just in at one or two spots, beautiful Plate 1 Early "Robin's Egg" Blue color and impression, cancelled by non-standard 8-bar open grid, matching "San Francisco Cal. 1 Oct." (1851) circular datestamp on brown cover to Sing Sing, New York, strip tied by pencil "Oct. 1st 1851" docketing at left

Very Fine; cover with small tears at right, top flap mostly complete and tucked under other flaps.

This is an extremely rare use of the 1¢ 1851 Issue paying the new July 1851 6¢ prepaid rate for distances over 3,000 miles, and it was mailed on the first sailing from San Francisco to Panama after the new issue arrived.

The arrival of the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. Oregon on September 18, 1851, brought the first shipment of 1851 Issue stamps to California. The earliest recorded use of the new issue from the West Coast is a cover with a pair of 3¢ Orange Brown postmarked at Sacramento on September 30, 1851 (Sale 1072, lot 86). Eastbound mail postmarked in San Francisco on October 1, 1851, was carried on the return trip of the Oregon, departing on that day and arriving in Panama on October 20. The mail crossed the isthmus and was carried from Chagres to New York on the U.S. Mail Steamship Co. Ohio, departing October 25, and arriving November 5. This cover was part of that mail. It is unlikely an earlier use of the 1¢ 1851 in California exists. Ashbrook considered this cover and other 1851 Issue covers with the same postmark date to be "first day" uses from California.

Ex Edgar B. Jessup, Dr. W. Scott Polland, Louis Grunin, George J. Kramer and Joseph Hackmey. With 2003 P.F. certificate.

E. 10,000-15,000
Future Sale
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174°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 174, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, 1¢ 1851 strip of six from Plate 1 Early paying the 6¢ rate to the West Coast

1¢ Blue, Types IIIa-IIIa-II-II-II/II (8A-8A-7-7-7/7). Positions 51-55 and 61R1E, L-shaped combination strip of six, top two left stamps Type IIIa, others Type II, huge margins showing left interpane margin and part of seven adjoining stamps, slightly in at top on left pair of upper stamps and at right, tied by neat strikes of grid cancel and "New York Sep. 26" (1851) ocean-mail circular datestamp on September 23, 1851, blue folded letter to San Francisco--carried from New York to Panama on the U.S. Mail Steamship Co. Georgia, departing September 26, 1851, then by Pacific Mail Steamship Co. Panama, departing around October 17 and arriving at San Francisco November 4--discreet receipt docketing at left "recd. Nov. 5/51 pr 'Panama' mail"

Very Fine; tiny scuff in left margin of Position 52R, cover has a few negligible bleached spots.

A beautiful and extremely rare combination strip of 1¢ Blue Types II and IIIa from Plate 1 Early paying the 6¢ prepaid transcontinental rate to California--the more common method of franking was a pair of 3¢ stamps.

Ex Ryohei Ishikawa and Joseph Hackmey.

E. 5,000-7,500
Future Sale
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175°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 175, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, A beautiful 1¢ 1851 corner-margin centerline strip from Plate 1 Early cancelled in blue on cover

1¢ Blue, Type II (7), Positions 98-100L1E, horizontal strip of three from bottom right corner of left pane of Plate 1 Early with corner interpane margins and centerline at right, just touched at top, beautiful bright shade and early impression, tied by two perfect strikes of blue "Charleston S.C. Paid Dec. 2" (1851) circular datestamp on blue folded letter to Camden, South Carolina, file fold clear of strip, Very Fine, a rare interpane-margin strip from Plate 1E Left, scarce and desirable in this wonderful quality, ex Malcolm, Grunin, Dr. Martin and Hackmey, with 2005 P.F. certificate

E. 1,500-2,000
Future Sale
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176°
c
Sale Number 1211, Lot Number 176, 1851 1¢ Blue—Plate 1 Early, A striking 1¢ 1851 forwarded advertising cover with 3¢ paid and 5¢ unpaid rates

1¢ Blue, Type II (7), three singles from Plate 1 Early, large margins to just in, center and right stamps light toning spots at top right and bottom right respectively, tied by black grid cancels, blue "Buffalo N.Y. Feb. 24" circular datestamp on J. Sage & Sons' Piano Forte and Music Store illustrated advertising cover to Syracuse, New York, where forwarded to Cortland, New York, blue "Syracuse N.Y. Mar. 1" circular datestamp, matching "5" and "FORWARDED" handstamps, Very Fine, the 3¢ postage paid the rate to Syracuse, 5¢ charged for forwarding, ex Rogers and Hackmey, with 2005 P.F. certificate

E. 1,000-1,500
Future Sale
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