FINE-VERY FINE. A RARE SOUND PLATE BLOCK OF THE 1918 $2.00 ORANGE RED & BLACK. ONLY A HANDFUL OF PLATE BLOCKS EXIST.
The $2.00 and $5.00 1918 Issue are the first bicolored dollar-denominated postage stamps issued by the United States. Both were released just three months after the famous 1918 24c Inverted Jenny, but the early printings were issued in small quantities, since stocks of the earlier $2.00 and $5.00 issues were still on hand.
According to Johl, the $2.00 Orange Red & Black was a color error on the part of the Bureau of Engraving & Printing. The official description and order for the bicolor stamps specified "Red and Black" for the $2.00. When subsequent printings appeared in 1920 and philatelists brought the matter to the attention of the Bureau, they were told "this stamp has always been this color" (Johl, p. 306). From studies of Bureau and Post Office records, it is clear that the originally intended color was not issued until November 1920 (Scott 547), and that the earlier Orange Red stamps were mistakes. The quantity issued has been variously estimated at between 47,000 and 68,000.
FINE-VERY FINE. AN ATTRACTIVE PLATE BLOCK OF EIGHT OF THE 1918 $5.00 ISSUE.
This issue was printed from single frame (8178) and vignette (8179) plates
FINE. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE PLATE BLOCK OF THE 1919 2-CENT TYPE II ROTARY PRESS WASTE ISSUE.
At the beginning or end of a coil-stamp print run from the 170-subject rotary plates, some leading or trailing paper was left over that was too short for rolling into 500-stamp rolls. In 1919 the Bureau devised an economical plan to salvage this waste by converting the leftovers from coil stamps into sheet stamps. This was accomplished by cutting the sheets into panes and running them through the flat plate perforator for the horizontal perforations, giving the stamps perforations on all sides. The Type III design was far more plentiful (producing Scott 540) but a small number of Type II (Scott 539) was also produced.
Since Scott 539 was put through two different perforating machines (perforated 10 vertically on the rotary perforator during the coil part of production and then perforated 11 on the flat plate perforator), most of the stamps are off-center. The rotary press sheets also had a natural tendency to curl, making perforating on the flat plate perforator especially difficult.
With 2001 A.P.S. certificate.
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. ONE OF THE FEW EXTANT MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLES OF THIS MAJOR 20TH CENTURY RARITY. PROBABLY FEWER THAN 20 OF THE 1923 ONE-CENT ROTARY PERF 11, SCOTT 544, EXIST IN ANY UNUSED STATE -- LESS THAN TEN ARE MINT NEVER-HINGED.
A small quantity of 1c Rotary Press stamps was perforated 11 at the end of 1922, using remainder sheets from the earlier printings that were normally perforated in 10 gauge or 10/11 compound gauge. Its existence as a Perf 11 variety was discovered in 1936, and the stamp received its Scott Catalogue listing in 1938.
Most of the recorded copies of Scott 544 are off-center or have been damaged -- the result of irregular production and mis-handling. Our review of the records of The Philatelic Foundation and Power Search found only nine Mint N.H. examples. The P.F. has graded two, at 75 (ex Whitman) and 85 (ex "Scarsdale"). P.S.E. has also graded two, at 70 (Siegel Sale 1179) and 75 (the example offered here). One is graded 70 by P.S.A.G. Of the four ungraded, one has a tiny perf hole tear and two are centered to two sides. Only one other, ex Zoellner and Wingate and centered to right, has the potential to grade well. A Mint N.H. block of four was offered in our 1985 Rarities sale, but we are not including this in our count.
Ex "Silver Lake" and "Laila". With 1966 (for strip of four, left stamp), 1996 and 2004 P.F. certificates. With 2005 P.S.E. certificate (F-VF 75; SMQ $60,000.00).