FINE APPEARANCE. THE ONLY RECORDED UNUSED BLOCK OF THE 1857 PERFORATED ONE-CENT SHOWING THE “BIG CRACK” IN PLATE 2. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PERFORATED ONE-CENT MULTIPLES IN EXISTENCE. A MAGNIFICENT SHOWPIECE.
The fracture on Plate 2 began above Position 2 on the left pane and continued downward in a “lightning bolt” jagged line across Positions 12-13L, 23L and at a later stage just into 33L (as seen in this block). It was probably caused by an inherent flaw created during the manufacture of the steel plate.
Regarding this block, Ashbrook wrote (personal letter to Neinken): “It is not only very rare but so far as I am aware it is unique... In all my years with the One-Cent I never even heard of a block of four which included any of the Plate 2 crack positions.” It is also described and illustrated by Morris Fortgang in his article “The One Cent Stamp of 1857: Types–Varieties–Rarities” (1957 Congress Book, p. 126) and by Neinken in his book (p. 196).
Ex Neinken and Wagshal. Position 2L2 with 1978 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF THE EXTREMELY RARE PERFORATED ONE-CENT 1857 ISSUE FROM POSITION 99R2.
On Plate 2, 198 of the 200 positions were Type II. Position 100R was Type II in the early stage of the plate, but as wear began to weaken the bottom line, it became Type IIIa with a small break at bottom. Positions 89R and 99R on Plate 2 have been the focus of special attention, because of their unusual nature. Ashbrook states: “A study of the double transfers of 89R2 and 99R2 is most interesting, because here in a vertical pair of positions we have two distinct varieties... The 99R2 stamp is a fresh entry that was short transferred both at top and bottom over an original entry that had been erased... The stamp, 89R2, is a re-entry, but not in the proper sense of this term, because the re-entry on the lower part of this position was an error, as it was not made to correct an existent fault of the original 89R transfer.”
Plate 2 stamps were issued imperforate from December 1855 through June 1857. Beginning in July 1857 stamps from Plates 1 Late, 2 and 4 were issued with perforations, and Plates 2 and 4 continued to produce stamps through late 1857. Plate 2 stamps are rarer perforated than in imperforate form; conversely, Plate 4 stamps are rarer imperforate than in perforated form. However, perforated 99R2 stamps are of extreme rarity.
Our census, which incorporates the records of noted student Jerome S. Wagshal, The Philatelic Foundation, the Levi records and our own work, is available at our website at https://siegelauctions.com/census/us/scott/21-99R2 . Only two unused examples are known--the better known is in a block of nine in our 2019 William H. Gross Multiples sale. 13 used singles are recorded, as are three on covers and two in strips, for a total of 20 known in any form. Virtually all have faults or are very off-center--only three off-cover singles and one on cover are confirmed as sound and not all have decent centering.
Census no. 21(99R2)-CAN-04. Ex Wagshal. With 1986 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE EXAMPLE OF THE 1857 ONE-CENT TYPE Ia WITH WIDE-SPACED PERFORATIONS. EXAMPLES WITH WIDE-SPACED PERFORATIONS ARE EXTREMELY RARE AND DESIRABLE.
The exceptions to the normal cut-into condition of top-row and bottom-row Plate 4 stamps are those with wide-spaced perforations. It has been assumed for years that the pins of the bottom row of the perforator were reset to create more space, but some students of the 1851-57 Issue have begun to reexamine this aspect of Plate 4 production to seek alternative explanations for wide-spaced perforations. Whatever the cause, wide-spaced stamps are extremely rare and highly desirable, because they exhibit all of the features that define their respective types.
Ashbrook states: “I consider perforated Type Ia stamps that are not touched by perforations as the rarest stamps in the 1857 perforated issue.” (Neinken book, p. 279). The Scott Catalogue contains a footnote to the basic price quotes: “Copies of this stamp exist with perforations not touching the design at any point. Such copies command very high prices.”
Illustrated in Neinken book (p. 281). Ex Neinken and Wagshal. With 2011 P.F. certificate. Scott Retail for normal Type Ia