Sale 1266 — The Melvin Getlan Collection of U.S. Vending & Affixing Machine Perfs, Part 2
Sale Date — Wednesday, 19 October, 2022
Category — The Schermack Company, Type III Perforations
FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED COMMERCIAL USE OF THE 4-CENT IMPERFORATE, SCOTT 314A. THIS IS ALSO ONE OF ONLY FOUR RECORDED COVERS BEARING THIS IMPERFORATE ISSUE. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT 20TH CENTURY UNITED STATES RARITIES.
With the rising popularity of vending and affixing machines, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing received numerous requests from manufactures for supplies of imperforate stamps, which could then be privately perforated to conform to each firm's machine. In May 1908, a supply of 25 sheets (400 stamps per sheet) of the 4c 1902 Issue, without perforations, was delivered to the Schermack Mailing Machine Co. in Detroit. The entire supply was cut into coils with Schermack Type III perforations, designed for the firm's patented affixing machine and delivered to the Winfield Printing Co. for use on mass mailings of advertising material. Approximately 6,000 were used on a mailing for Hamilton Carhartt (a manufacturer of durable work clothes that still exists today), and almost all of the 4,000 balance were used on a mailing for Burroughs Adding Machine Co.
In The American Philatelist (May 1994), Ken Lawrence discusses the discovery of this cover, originally reported in an article in the January 7, 1911 issue of Mekeel's. Collector Fred Schmalzreidt, who bought the unused strip of five from Koslowski, reported that he "heard of a young man who took two covers containing four-cent imperforates from a wastebasket in the office in which he was employed. He took them home with him and on the same day removed one, which is perfectly centered, from the cover...it was only through my purchase of the strip referred to previously that he became aware of the value of his find. Both of these stamps are now in my collection". In a subsequent letter, Schmalzreidt stated that this originally contained an advertisement for Carhartt. The cover stayed in the Schmalzreidt collection until 1957, when it was offered at auction for the first time.
Census no. 314A-COV-02. Ex Schmalzreidt, Lawrence Fisher and Roger Brody (realized $160,000 hammer in 2002). With 1957 and 1996 P.F. certificates. Scott value $140,000.00
VERY FINE AND CHOICE. THIS BLOCK OF EIGHT OF THE 5-CENT 1908 IMPERFORATE WITH SCHERMACK TYPE III PERFORATIONS IS THE LARGEST RECORDED MULTIPLE. A MAGNIFICENT 20TH CENTURY PHILATELIC RARITY.
With 1995 P.F. certificate. Scott value $30,000.00 as two blocks of four.
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE IMPRINT AND PLATE NUMBER BLOCK OF THE 5-CENT 1908 ISSUE WITH SCHERMACK PERFORATIONS.
Based on a cursory review of auctions and our sale records, we estimate no more than four or five plate blocks of Scott 347 with Schermack Ty. III perfs exist.
EXTREMELY FINE STAMP ON A PRISTINE COMMERCIAL COVER. WITHOUT QUESTION ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE 47 RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE RARE 2-CENT TYPE Ia IMPERFORATE, ON OR OFF COVER. THIS IS THE FINEST AND EARLIEST OF THREE RECORDED SCOTT 482A COVERS AND, IN OUR OPINION, IT IS ONE OF THE TOP TEN MOST IMPORTANT 20TH CENTURY UNITED STATES PHILATELIC ITEMS IN EXISTENCE.
Scott 482A, like its more famous predecessor, Scott 314A, was issued imperforate by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and sold to the Schermack Company for use in its patented stamp-affixing machines. The Schermack "Sealer and Stamper" machine typically applied stamps one at a time, and, in most cases, the hyphen-hole perfs on one side would be cut off. Under these circumstances, the condition of this single stamp, with intact perfs on both sides, is truly remarkable. Unlike Scott 314A, the release of imperforate sheets printed from the experimental Type Ia plates escaped the notice of contemporary collectors, and, therefore, has a very small survival rate.
Our census of Scott 482A, available at https://siegelauctions.com/census/US/Scott/482A , records three singles on separate covers, the unique used pair and 42 used singles, for a total of 47 genuine stamps. A single with original gum and apparently imperforate has been certified as Scott 482A with perforations trimmed off, but most specialists agree it is a trimmed copy of Scott 500 (see Belasco book, p. 35). Removing redundant items from our list, we feel justified in ranking this cover among the Top Ten most important 20th Century United States philatelic items in existence.
Census no. 482A-COV-03. Ex "Isleham" (Siegel 1986 Ameripex sale) and Dr. Martin. With 1967 and 1988 P.F. certificates. Scott value $70,000.00 on cover.
EXTREMELY FINE. ONE OF THE FINEST OF THE SEVEN OR EIGHT REPORTED COVERS WITH THE 2-CENT HARDING TYPE III SCHERMACK PRIVATE AFFIXING MACHINE PERFORATIONS.
Used examples of the 2c Harding with Schermack Type III perforations are extremely rare, with seven or eight covers reported by Belasco. The Schermack stamps were intended to be used in affixing machines, which applied a single stamp to each envelope. However, all of the known 2c Harding covers were prepared by manually attaching the stamps.
Scott value $6,000.00