1¢ Blue, Types IIIa-IIIa/Ia-Ic (22-22/19-19b), Positions 85-86/95-96R4, E/F Reliefs, block of four from bottom two rows of right pane of Plate 4 with large sheet selvage, original gum, intense Plate 4 dark shade and proof-like impression, well-centered with bottom row of perfs into the design but the Type Ia-Ic characteristic plumes show in the selvage
Alfred H. Caspary, H. R. Harmer sale, 1/16-18/1956, lot 585, to Cole (for Lilly)
Josiah K. Lilly, Jr., Siegel Auction Galleries, 2/7-8/1968, Sale 327, lot 20, to Weill
Ryohei Ishikawa, Christie's Robson Lowe sale, 9/28-29/1993, lot 210, to Floyd
William S. Floyd, Shreves Philatelic Galleries, 10/23-24/2001, lot 63, to William H. Gross
CENSUS, LITERATURE AND EXHIBITION REFERENCES
Tracy W. Simpson, "1851-'60 Blocks in the Lilly Sale," Chronicle 59 August 1968
The Philatelic Foundation (1993)
Very Fine; tiny toned spots on bottom right stamp, negligible corner crease in selvage tab at bottom right (not noted on certificate)
SCOTT CATALOGUE VALUE (2019)
HISTORY AND COMMENTARY
The Fascinating Plate 4
1¢ Type Ia (and Ic) stamps were produced from the 20 bottom-row positions on Plate 4. After perforations were introduced in mid-1857, sheets on hand printed from Plates 1 Late and 2 were fed through the new perforating machine, but the narrow spaces between stamps caused perforations to cut into the designs. Plate 4 was produced in late 1856 or early 1857 when the introduction of perforations was anticipated; thus, it was entered from a new 6-relief transfer roll, and the spaces between stamps were enlarged to allow for perforations. Some Plate 4 sheets were issued in imperforate form (April to June 1857), while the greater portion was issued perforated beginning in July 1857, along with perforated sheets from Plates 1L and 2.
Plate 4's most distinctive feature is that the top row positions (1-10L and 1-10R) were entered with the designs complete at top (Type II), and the bottom row positions (91-100L and 91-100R) were entered with designs complete or nearly complete at bottom (Types Ia and Ic). Although the plate layout provided sufficient space for perforations, the height of the top-row and bottom-row designs was larger than others in the sheet, which resulted in perforations cutting into either the top or bottom rows, depending on which direction the sheet was fed into the perforator--this block shows the bottom impinged by the perforations.
Plate 4 was in use for a short period of time, and large multiples (imperforate or perforated) are rare. The complete left pane of perforated Plate 4 stamps remains intact. We are aware of just one other block with bottom-row stamps (Type Ia, Positions 81-82/91-92L4), but its condition is far inferior to the wonderful quality of the block offered here, which has graced the important collections formed by Caspary, Lilly, Ishikawa and Floyd.