Sale 1251 — The John B. Field Collection of Superb United States Stamps
Sale Date — Wednesday-Thursday, 2-3 March, 2022
Category — 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue (Scott 285-293)
View PDF of contents of this lot
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 10-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE, GRADED XF-SUPERB 95 BY P.S.E.
With 2017 P.S.E. certificate (XF-Superb 95; SMQ $6,000.00). Only seven grade higher (all at 98).
EXTREMELY FINE. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE 50-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE. A VERY DIFFICULT STAMP TO FIND IN THE HIGHER GRADES.
The 50c Trans-Mississippi is extremely scarce in well-centered condition. It also seems that fewer 50c stamps exist in Mint N.H. condition, relative to the dollar values of the set. The combination of Extremely Fine centering and Mint N.H. condition is exponentially rarer.
With 2000 and 2012 P.F. certificates (XF-Superb 95)
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB MINT NEVER-HINGED EXAMPLE OF THE $1.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE.
With 2003 P.F. and 2004 P.S.E. certificates (XF 90; SMQ $8,850.00). Only 11 grade higher (7 at 95, 4 at 98) and ten others share this grade. These are ridiculously low population numbers for what is widely regarded as the most beautiful United States commemorative stamp.
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. EASILY ONE OF THE FINEST ORIGINAL-GUM EXAMPLES OF THE $2.00 TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE IN EXISTENCE. THIS REMARKABLE STAMP HAS BEEN AWARDED THE GRADE OF SUPERB 98 BY P.S.E.
The design of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi depicts the Eads bridge, which spans the Mississippi River at St. Louis. The original engraving was used on the admission ticket to the Republican Convention of 1896, which nominated McKinley as candidate for president. The stamp, issued during the McKinley Administration, illustrates the natural boundary between East and West and so was appropriate for the Trans-Mississippi issue.
All of the $2.00 Trans-Mississippi stamps were printed in a single day's run on June 3, 1898. The $2.00 was printed in sheets that have narrower spacing between the horizontal rows than between the vertical columns. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to obtain stamps with top and bottom margins that equal the sides. This stamp essentially achieves that unnatural effect, which could only occur when the horizontal perforations were applied in such a way that the holes impinged on the space allocated to the rows above and below.
With 2012 P.S.E. certificate (OGph, Superb 98; SMQ $17,000.00). This is the highest grade awarded in any category and it is one of only three examples to achieve this grade. This is the first in this grade we have offered since 2014.
FRESH AND EXTREMELY FINE. A WONDERFUL TOP LEFT CORNER PLATE BLOCK OF TEN OF THE ONE-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE.
Scott value as plate block of six and four singles
EXTREMELY FINE GEM. A SUPERB PLATE BLOCK OF THE 8-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI -- ARGUABLY THE FINEST EXTANT.
The 1893 Columbian Issue, comprising 16 different denominations, created a backlash from collectors, who resented paying $16.34 for a complete set (the equivalent of $504 in today's dollars). For the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition, held in Omaha Nebraska, the number of stamps was reduced to nine denominations up to $2.00. The $3.80 cost for the set, while still expensive ($127 in today's dollars), was at least more manageable.
The collectors' early preference for plate blocks of four is the reason why Trans-Mississippi plate blocks of six are so rare. This 8c certainly ranks among the finest we have ever handled.
Ex Drucker. With 2002 P.F. certificate.
VERY FINE. A CHOICE AND EXTREMELY RARE MINT NEVER-HINGED BOTTOM PLATE BLOCK OF SIX OF THE 10-CENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE.
Mint N.H. plate blocks of six of the 10c Trans-Mississippi are exceptionally rare. This is because the full imprint and plate number is contained within the selvage adjoining two stamps of the Trans-Mississippi Issue, so generations of collectors saved this issue in plate blocks of four, rather than six. We have never offered a Mint N.H. plate block of six from the top position since keeping computerized records apart from one in a full pane. This is the only Mint N.H. bottom plate block we have offered. Lilly owned a top left corner plate block of ten, and a few full panes are also known. The great name auctions containing plate blocks, such as Colonel Green, Eno, Sinkler, Todd, the Weill Stock, Kobacker, Wampler and Fogelson, either had a plate block of four of the 10c Trans-Mississippi or none at all.
Ex Choban. With 1992 P.F. certificate
FINE-VERY FINE CENTERING AND IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. THE EARLIEST OF THREE RECORDED COVERS BEARING A COMPLETE SET OF THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI ISSUE. A SPECTACULAR EXHIBITION ITEM AND ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT UNITED STATES COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE COVERS EXTANT.
Although it has been reported that four covers exist with all nine values of the Trans-Mississippi Issue, we have been able to locate only three covers. The Neil-Rosenthal book, The Trans-Mississippi Issue of 1898, states more than once that four covers are known, but the census on page 167 lists the October 7 cover to London twice among the four entries. While it is possible that a fourth cover exists, we do not have any record of it. The three we record are:
1) July 18, 1898, New York Madison Square Branch to Munich, Germany, G. B. Calman corner card, ex Rosenthal and "World's Fair", the cover offered here
2) Oct. 4, 1898, Exposition Sta. Omaha Neb. datestamp, to St. Johns, Newfoundland, ex Saffin, Christie’s Sep. 1982
3) Oct. 7, 1898, New York Sta. P to London, England, ex McCoy, Dr. Martin and Gross (Sale 1188, lot 100)
Ex Rosenthal and "World's Fair". Illustrated in the Neil-Rosenthal book (p. 160). With 1986 P.F. certificate.