Sale 1246 — Worldwide Stamps and Postal History
Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 1-2 December, 2021
Category — Uruguay, 1858 240c Sheet & 1864 Escudito Issue
THIS ICON OF CLASSIC WORLDWIDE PHILATELY WAS THE KEY TO UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF THE “BLANK SPACE” ON THE URUGUAY 240-CENTÉSIMOS LITHOGRAPHIC STONE AND WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN PROVING THE ORIGIN OF THE 180-CENTÉSIMOS VERMILION COLOR ERROR. THE SURVIVAL OF THIS ITEM IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM WAS NOTHING LESS THAN A MIRACLE, AND THE RECONSTRUCTION IN ITS PRESENT FORM WAS ONLY ACHIEVED AFTER DECADES OF DETERMINED EFFORT.
Since its discovery more than 134 years ago, the 240-centésimos sheet has been regarded as one of the most outstanding items in classic philately. Without it, philatelists might never have deduced the configuration of the printing stone, the reason for the remarkable “blank space” multiples, or the cause and sheet position of the 180-centésimos Vermilion color error.
The existence of the intact sheet was noted by its owner, Dr. Esteban Wonner, in his 1887 book on Uruguayan stamps. It crossed the Atlantic sometime around the turn of the century and became the crowning piece in the Uruguay collection formed by Dr. Achillito Chiesa of Milan, Italy, a prominent collector and exhibitor before World War I. In 1912 the London stamp dealers Bridger & Kay bought the sheet and offered it for sale with an asking price of £1,650. Unwilling to wait for one buyer, they divided the sheet into blocks.
The 240-centésimos printing stone of 204 subjects, arranged in 17 rows of 12, was created by making six separate transfers from the intermediate transfer block of 30 for the first 15 rows (180 subjects). To make the two bottom rows (24 subjects), the printer divided the transfer block into two blocks of 12. The photo of the entire sheet (opposite) will aid in visualizing this configuration. The transfer block of 30 included one 180-centésimos design in error, which in turn was transferred to seven positions on the printing stone. After a short print run, the printer erased the 180-centésimos transfers and left seven blank spaces, rather than entering the correct 240-centésimos transfers. The reconstructed sheet printed from the modified stone shows all of these seven blank spaces.
Nine blocks have original gum and five have no gum; all of the blocks are affected by creases; some have small thin spots or short tears; most blocks are signed in pencil by Diaz.
PROVENANCE OF THE INTACT SHEET OF 204
Before 1887--Discovered and acquired by Dr. Esteban Wonner; noted in his book (page 23)
Before 1910--Sold by Enrique Rissi and acquired by Dr. Achillito Chiesa (Milan); exhibited by Dr. Chiesa in the 1910 Berne Philatelic Exhibition
1912--divided into smaller blocks by Bridger & Kay, London dealers
PROVENANCE OF RECONSTRUCTED SHEET
Before 1956--Partly reconstructed by Robert Hoffmann and displayed at FIPEX in 1956
1958-64--Hoffmann added top left block from the Alfred H. Caspary sale and bottom left block from the Maurice Burrus collection
1982--Corinphila sale of Hoffmann collection and distributed among collectors
1993--Feldman sale of the de Bustamante collection; reassembled by Gordon N. John over 20 years
For a pdf of the description with additional provenance, go to https://siegelauctions.com/2021/1246/3657.pdf
VERY FINE. A REMARKABLE THREE-COLOR FRANKING OF THE 1864 COAT OF ARMS ESCUDITOS ISSUE TO BUENOS AIRES, ESPECIALLY RARE WITH THE 6-CENT IN THE BRICK RED SHADE WITH ONLY THREE COVERS RECORDED USED ABROAD.
This cover correctly pays the triple letter rate for international postage. All three of the recorded covers with the 6c Brick Red used abroad are known to Buenos Aires. Signed Fulpius and Calves.
EXTREMELY FINE AND PHENOMENAL USE. THIS IS THE UNIQUE USE OF THE ESCUDITO ISSUE IN ARGENTINA, USING THE RARE 6-CENT BRICK RED OVER TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO OFFICIAL RELEASE ON APRIL 13, 1864. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT COVERS OF THE 1864 COAT OF ARMS ESCUDITO ISSUE FOR SEVERAL REASONS.
There are three key factors which make this cover truly remarkable. First, this cover was used from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Only assumptions can be made as to why a Uruguay stamp was used in Argentina and why this was accepted for postal use. Secondly, the official release date of this issue was April 13, 1864. While uses as early as March 7 are known, very few examples exist used prior to the release date. Lastly, the 6c Brick Red shade is exceptionally rare on cover with only a small handful of covers known, especially with an example in this premium condition.
Ex Hoffmann. With 2004 Rocha certificate
EXTREMELY FINE AND UNIQUE COMPLETE PANE OF 56 OF THE 1864 6-CENTESIMOS IN THE UNISSUED SALMON SHADE, SCOTT NO. 20. THIS SHADE WAS PRINTED BUT NEVER ISSUED FOR USE. SINCE ITS DISCOVERY IN 2009, THIS IS ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM OF THE 1864 COAT OF ARMS ESCUDITOS ISSUE IN EXISTENCE.
Ex Sciarra. Signed Bolaffi. With 2008 Rocha certificate. Catalogued simply as singles with no premium as unique pane. Scott $30,800.00
VERY FINE AND IMPRESSIVE MULTIPLE OF THE UNISSUED 6-CENTESIMOS IN THE SALMON SHADE. PRIOR TO THE DISCOVERY OF THE COMPLETE PANE, THIS WAS THE LARGEST RECORDED MULTIPLE OF THIS STAMP IN EXISTENCE. A MAJOR ESCUDITOS RARITY.
Ex Lee and Hoffmann. Catalogued simply as singles. Scott $19,250.00