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Sale 1093 — The Curtis Collection: U.S. 20th Century and Air Post

Sale Date — Monday-Tuesday, 23-24 February, 2015

Category — 1917-18 Double Line Wmk and Bi-Color Issues (Scott 519-524)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
485
ogbl
Sale Number 1093, Lot Number 485, 1917-18 Double Line Wmk and Bi-Color Issues (Scott 519-524)$2.00 Orange Red & Black (523), $2.00 Orange Red & Black (523)$2.00 Orange Red & Black (523). Top double plate nos. 8177/8179 and arrow block of eight, rich colors with just a trace of oxidation at edges

VERY FINE AND SCARCE PLATE NUMBER BLOCK OF THE 1918 $2.00 ORANGE RED & BLACK.

The $2.00 and $5.00 1918 Issue are the first bi-colored 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 1902 $2.00 and $5.00 1917 issue 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 bi-color 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.

With 1991 P.S.E. certificate

13,000
6,250
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