Sale 1216 — The Ambassador J. William Middendorf II Collection
Sale Date — Tuesday, 25 February, 2020
Category — 3c-90c 1857 Perforated Issue
EXTREMELY FINE. A SCARCE SOUND AND CENTERED EXAMPLE OF THIS BETTER 3-CENT 1857 TYPE, WHICH HAS RECUT INNER LINES.
With 2012 P.F. certificate (VF-XF 85). By way of comparison, P.S.E. has awarded only seven grade 85’s for Scott 25A -- the highest grade awarded
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN IMPRESSIVE FRANKING INCLUDING THE 5-CENT BRICK RED TO PAY THE DOUBLE 30-CENT PRUSSIAN CLOSED MAIL RATE TO PRUSSIA.
With 2014 P.F. certificate
FINE-VERY FINE APPEARANCE. A SCARCE AND HIGHLY-EXHIBITABLE ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF 20 OF THE 1857 10-CENT TYPE V.
The largest known multiple is a block of 42 from the bottom left of Plate 2, followed by a block of 40 from the right pane of the plate (with no selvage). Blocks of nine and twelve are also known. The block of 20 offered here is one of the largest multiples.
Ex Frelinghuysen. Several with Colson backstamp. Scott Retail as four blocks of four and two pairs does not adequately convey the rarity of this large multiple
EXTREMELY FINE. A RARE AND BEAUTIFUL UNUSED BLOCK OF SIX OF THE 1860 90-CENT ISSUE.
The 90c stamp was issued in 1860, along with the 24c and 30c values, all of which were needed to prepay high international letter rates established by various postal treaties. When supplies of current postage stamps were declared invalid in the South and ultimately demonetized by the Federal government, the 90c had been in use for only one year. Most unused multiples probably come from supplies recovered from Southern post offices.
Since the breakup of the Caspary block of 21, the largest recorded multiple is a block of nine (three known).
Scott Retail as original-gum block of four and pair $81,250.00.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THE CELEBRATED RECONSTRUCTED USED BLOCK OF FIVE OF THE
90-CENT 1860 ISSUE.
The 90c stamp was issued in 1860, along with the 24c and 30c values, all of which were needed to prepay high international letter rates established by various postal treaties. The basic 24c and 30c rates to England, France and Germany created a large volume of mail franked with those values. However, the 90c saw much more limited use, partly due to the rates in effect, but more because of the American Civil War. When supplies of current postage stamps were declared invalid in the South and ultimately demonetized by the Federal government, the 90c had been in use for only one year. For this reason, genuinely cancelled copies and covers bearing the 90c are extremely rare.
This reconstructed block has a fascinating history. The top strip of three was originally in the collection of Henry C. Needham where it was marked as “used from Shanghai,” but on what basis we do not know. The strip then passed into the collection of Representative Ernest Ackerman, and in 1922 it was purchased by Stanley B. Ashbrook. In the summer of 1940, the bottom pair was discovered in the stock of noted dealer Philip Ward, who had owned it for some years after acquiring it from George Walcott. Ashbrook purchased the pair from Ward and rejoined the two multiples.
Based on the start of the wavy-line manuscript cancel partway through the stamps and the straight edge at right, Ashbrook did not think that any other stamps were part of this multiple as used on the original package. If no other stamps were present, this would have paid ten-times the 45c rate by British Mail via Marseille. The block on piece offered in Siegel Sale 1000 (lot 1036) has a Hong Kong backstamp, which corroborates Ashbrook’s theory about this block.
The strip ex Needham and Ackerman. The pair ex Walcott. The reconstructed block ex Ashbrook, Neinken, Ishikawa and DuPuy. With 1971 and 1993 P.F. certificates. Accompanied by Ashbrook’s original album page as well as his explanation of its history.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE LARGEST RECORDED PIECE BEARING THE 90-CENT 1860 ISSUE. AN EXCELLENT ALTERNATIVE TO A FULL COVER.
The highest value of the 1851-60 series--the 90c stamp with a portrait of the youthful George Washington in military uniform--was issued in 1860 (earliest recorded use is September 11). Its use was limited by the high denomination and the stamp’s relatively short life, due to the demonetization of all United States stamps in August 1861, a measure designed to preclude the sale of stamps originating in rebel states’ post offices. There are just seven recorded complete covers with the 90c 1860 (see Sale 1211, lot 333, for a list of the seven covers).
The total postage present on this piece is $1.21. We believe an additional 1c stamp was originally on the cover, making a $1.22 quadruple 33c rate, and probably addressed to Edwin Howland at the Cape of Good Hope.
Signed and dated by Ashbrook (Dec. 19, 1955). With 1956 and 2011 P.F. certificates. Ex Krug, Haas, Rose and DuPuy.