Sale 1265 — Classic United States Stamps and Covers
Sale Date — Thursday, 29 September, 2022
Category — Allen 12c 1851-57: Plate 3 Perforated, Imprint Examples (Scott 36B)
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. ONE OF TWO IMPRINT AND PLATE NUMBER MULTIPLES OF THE 12-CENT WASHINGTON FROM PLATE 3 IN PRIVATE HANDS.
The Toppan Carpenter imprint was modified before plates were made for new printings of the 12c (Plate 3), 30c (Plate 1), 90c (Plate 1) and 1c (Plates 11 and 12). The Second Type imprint with negative lettering and "Toppan Carpenter & Co." name was first used in June 1860 on the 12c Plate 3, followed shortly after by its use on the 30c and 90c plates made during the summer of 1860. It was used next on the 1c Plate 11, probably toward the end of 1860, followed by Plate 12.
Casilear's name, which appeared in the imprint on earlier plates, even after he had retired, was omitted from the new Second Type imprint. The use of this imprint and the reversion to a 3-subject transfer roll (and absence of significant relief trimming) for the 1c plates have led specialists to theorize that the new plates were made by different Toppan Carpenter employees than the ones who made the earlier plates. The noteworthy odd characteristics of the 12c Plate 3 also support this idea.
About 15 months later, in the fall of 1861, the federal government demonetized all previous issues of postage stamps and replaced them with new stamps that would be distributed only to post offices in loyal states. The purpose of demonetization was to prevent the South from using stamps as a medium of exchange. The demand for the high-denomination stamps in 1860 was limited, and the Civil War demonetization policy cut their lives short. Unused examples would be great rarities today if not for a cache of sheets discovered in Washington, D.C., which had been found in Southern post offices after the war and returned to the Post Office. These sheets were sold to dealer Ferdinand Trifet in 1878, and many of the unused stamps from late pre-war printings come from this source. Despite the survival of unused 1857-61 Issue remainders, multiples with the imprint and plate number selvage are extremely rare. Philatelists record only two 24c plate blocks and one each of the 30c and 90c. The 12c from Plate 3 (Scott 36B) is also extremely rare. An intact pane of 100 (Right) is in the Harry L. Jefferys collection at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The block of 42 with complete imprint (Right), ex Krug and illustrated in Brookman (p. 247), is in the Charles A. Hirzel collection at the Swiss Museum of Communications in Berne, Switzerland. Only two of the imprint and plate number multiples are in private hands. A block of 50 and separate adjoining block of 25 (Sale 1000, lots 1018 and 1019) come from the same pane and together form a complete imprint and plate number (divided in half). The other block in private hands is offered here, which has the imprint intact along the block of four (Positions 49-50/59-60R3) and just a tiny portion on the reattached Position 70R3.
Illustrated in Neinken 12c 1851-57 booklet (p. 73) and Chronicle 241 (p. 54). Ex Neinken, "Sevenoaks", Chapin and Gross (who acquired the Chapin collection in a 2002 private transaction through the Shreves and sold this block in Shreves Philatelic Galleries Sale 56, May 30, 2003). Unlisted in Scott.