Sale 1239 — 2021 Rarities of the World
Sale Date — Thursday, 24 June, 2021
Category — 1893 Columbian Issue
OVERALL VERY FINE. A RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED COMPLETE SHEET OF 100 OF THE 3-CENT COLUMBIAN ISSUE. THIS FORMAT WAS AVAILABLE ONLY THROUGH THE PHILATELIC AGENCY IN WASHINGTON D.C.
For the Columbian series, all of the 1c stamps and most but not all of the 2c stamps were printed from 200-subject plates, with horizontal guide arrows between the two panes of 100. The perforating machine simultaneously applied horizontal perforations and cut the 200-stamp sheets into panes of 100, normally leaving a trace of the guide arrow on the straight edge of each pane. Some of the 2c stamps and all of the 3c-$5.00 stamps were printed on smaller presses from plates of 100 subjects, with no guide arrows. When the perforating machine applied horizontal perforations to sheets from the 100-subject plates, the cutting blade, in the same position, removed either the top or bottom sheet margin (and plate number), depending on how the sheet was fed into the perforator, reducing by half the potential number of Columbian plate blocks that might have been available to collectors. This is also why so many Columbian stamps are reperforated at top or bottom rather than at the sides--10 stamps from every 100-subject sheet (or pane) would have a straight edge at either top or bottom. The 100-subject sheets were then divided into panes of 50 for distribution and sale at post offices. The undivided full sheets of 100, as offered here, were only available from the Philatelic Agency in Washington D.C.
Scott value as two Mint N.H. plate blocks and 84 singles
FINE ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE RARE 4-CENT COLUMBIAN ERROR OF COLOR.
The 4c Columbian color error was caused by the use of a wrong batch of ink, and spectrographic analysis has shown that the blue inks of the 4c error and 1c Columbian have the same components. Stamps from at least two panes reached collectors, and the few cancelled examples indicate that stamps used by the public came from other panes. It is likely that a number of full sheets were printed using the wrong ink, and most of the stamps have simply been lost to philately.
With 1980 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE-EXTREMELY FINE. A SPECTACULAR MINT NEVER-HINGED SELVAGE BLOCK OF FOUR OF THE 4-CENT COLUMBIAN ERROR OF COLOR, WITH TWO EXTREMELY FINE STAMPS AT BOTTOM. THIS IS THE FINEST MINT NEVER-HINGED BLOCK WE HAVE OFFERED IN AT LEAST 30 YEARS.
The 4c Columbian color error was caused by the use of a wrong batch of ink, and spectrographic analysis has shown that the blue inks of the 4c error and 1c Columbian have the same components. Stamps from at least two panes reached collectors, and the few cancelled examples indicate that stamps used by the public came from additional panes. It is likely that a number of full sheets were printed using the wrong ink, and most of the stamps have simply been lost to philately.
A review using Power Search found only six other Mint N.H. blocks of Scott 233a offered in our sales since 1993. Each of those blocks had Fine or Fine-Very Fine centering and a couple had a small fault. The centering on this block is the best among that small population we have offered. Even considering Mint N.H. singles, the two bottom stamps in this block are unsurpassed among examples listed in Power Search.
With 1992 P.F. and 2018 P.S.E. certificates
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A BEAUTIFUL MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 15-CENT COLUMBIAN.
With 1998 and 2021 P.F. certificates (XF-Superb 95)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB LIGHTLY-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 COLUMBIAN ISSUE.
With 2020 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, XF-Superb 95; SMQ $3,750.00). Only three unused stamps grade higher (all hinged, at 98)
VERY FINE-EXTREMELY FINE ORIGINAL-GUM BLOCK OF THE $1.00 COLUMBIAN ISSUE.
With 2021 P.F. certificate
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. A RARE AND REMARKABLY FRESH SOUND ORIGINAL-GUM PLATE BLOCK OF THE $1.00 COLUMBIAN.
According to Brookman, only 55,050 copies of the $1.00 Columbian were issued. It was sold out before all of the other dollar values, probably because it was the most affordable of the dollar-value stamps. Speculation soon drove the price to $5.00 but it quickly fell again, to about $1.50.
The theme of the stamp, Isabella pledging her jewels to finance Columbus's voyage, is known to most fifth-grade students who study the voyage of Columbus. However, the offer was never accepted, as financing was found elsewhere. Perhaps a dozen plate blocks of eight exist for the $1.00 Columbian.
Ex "Lake Shore". With 1998 and 2008 P.F. certificates. Scott value $85,000.00
FRESH AND VERY FINE MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $2.00 COLUMBIAN.
With 2016 P.F. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $2.00 COLUMBIAN.
With 1997 and 2021 P.F. certificates (XF-Superb 95)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $3.00 COLUMBIAN.
With 2000 A.P.S. and 2020 P.S.E. certificates (OGh, XF-Superb 95; SMQ $4,800.00)
VERY FINE MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $4.00 COLUMBIAN.
The $4.00 Columbian, depicting "Isabella--Columbus," is based on an unknown portrait of Queen Isabella and a portrait of Columbus from a painting by Lorenzo Lotto. The vignette was engraved by Alfred Jones and the frame and lettering by George H. Seymour. 26,350 stamps were printed from Plate 107, and according to Luff 3,357 were destroyed. It is rare in sound and centered Mint N.H. condition.
With 2017 P.S.E. certificate
EXTREMELY FINE EXAMPLE OF THE $4.00 COLUMBIAN IN THE ROSE CARMINE SHADE.
With 1983 and 2013 P.F. certificates (XF 90 XQ)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLE OF THE $5.00 COLUMBIAN ISSUE.
With 2005 and 2021 P.F. certificates (XF-Superb 95)