Sale 1096 — The Robert R. Hall Collection of Outstanding United States Stamps
Sale Date — Tuesday-Thursday, 28-30 April, 2015
Category — 1910-11 Washington-Franklin Issue (Scott 374-396)
VERY FINE. AN EXTREMELY RARE UNUSED PAIR OF THE 1911 3-CENT ORANGEBURG COIL, SCOTT 389. ONLY TWO UNUSED SINGLES AND SIX UNUSED PAIRS ARE AVAILABLE TO COLLECTORS. ONE OF THE GREATEST RARITIES OF 20TH CENTURY UNITED STATES PHILATELY.
The Orangeburg coil was made by the Post Office Department in 1911, specifically for use by the Bell Pharmaceutical Company. The 3c coil stamps were used to send samples of their products to physicians. Due to the quantity of mail, they were put through the first-class cancelling machine at Orangeburg, New York. The Orangeburg coil stamps' use on third-class mail and the fact that philatelists were generally unaware of their production account for their rarity.
A census of the Orangeburg coil, published in The Philatelic Foundation's Opinions VII book, certifies two singles and six unused pairs, plus an uncertified unused pair with paste-up at left in the The New York Public Library's Benjamin K. Miller collection (on extended loan to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum). The P.F. Census comports with our own, which is available at http://www.siegelauctions.com/dynamic/census/389/389.pdf . Of the certified pairs, three are centered strongly to one side. This pair comes from the strip of five that was broken into two pairs and a single. The other pair from the strip, which adjoined this pair to the right, contains the only known Mint N.H. example of the Orangeburg coil (the other stamp in that pair has a small thin spot). That pair was last offered in our 2009 sale of the Alan B. Whitman Collection, where it realized $330,000 hammer (Sale 968B, lot 494).
Siegel Census No. 389-OG-PR-05. With copy of 1997 P.F. certificate for a strip of five, this pair from positions 2-3 (certificate no. 317652). With 1997 P.F. certificate as a pair